August 30, 2023

TORRID START: Princeton University women’s soccer player Pietra Tordin prepares to unload the ball last Sunday against La Salle. Sophomore forward Tordin tallied a goal and two assists in the contest to help the Tigers win 5-0 and improve to 2-0. Tordin, who scored two goals in a 3-0 win over Monmouth in the season opener on Friday, was later named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. In upcoming action, Princeton hosts Rutgers on August 31 and Army West Point on September 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming off a superb debut season for the Princeton University women’s soccer team which saw her win the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Pietra Tordin is feeling a heightened comfort level on the field this year.

“I already know a lot of the girls very well so I think the chemistry is starting to click in,” said forward Tordin, a 5’6 native of Doral, Fla. “It is just getting to know the personnel of the team and knowing how to work with them and work around their skill sets as much as possible.”

Last weekend, Tordin clicked as Princeton opened its 2023 campaign by topping Monmouth 3-0 last Friday and then defeated La Salle 5-0 on Sunday. Tordin scored two goals in the opener and added a goal and two assists in the win over the Explorers. more

HARRY SITUATION: Princeton University men’s soccer player Harry Roberts heads upfield in a game last season. Junior Roberts brings versatility to the Tigers as he can play both forward and defender. Princeton opens its 2023 season by hosting Rutgers on September 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s soccer team heads into the 2023 season, it is facing some stern tests from the get-go.

“I think we have the hardest schedule we have ever had — we have six teams in the preseason Top 20 on our schedule,” said Princeton head coach Jim Barlow, whose team hosts Rutgers on September 1 and Duke on September 4 to get the season underway. “We start off with the defending Big 10 champs and the No 4 team in the country on Monday.”

With the Ivy League holding its inaugural postseason tournament this year that will include the top four finishers in the league standings with victor earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, Barlow is hoping that the gauntlet of tough foes will steel his squad for the Ivy League battles ahead. more

AMAZING GRACE: Princeton University field hockey player Grace Schulze, left, controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior forward Schulze, who tallied six goals and 10 assists in 2022, figures to be a key offensive catalyst for the Tigers this fall. Princeton, ranked No. 10 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) preseason poll, opens its 2023 campaign by facing Louisville on September 1 and the University of North Carolina on September 3, with both games to be played at Ellen Vagelos Field in Philadelphia. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University field hockey team will feature a new look when they take on Louisville on Friday in Philadelphia.

The Tigers have to replace nine starters led by a group of seniors, including 2022 third-leading scorer Sammy Popper (9 goals, 2 assists), that graduated after helping Princeton go 13-5, win the Ivy League and reach the NCAA tournament. Princeton will also be without last year’s top scorer Beth Yeager (12 goals, 8 assists), the 2022 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American, who is playing with the United States team that is working toward Olympic qualification.  more

SUMMER CAMP: Princeton University women’s hockey player Kate Monihan controls the puck in a 2022 game. Earlier this month, senior defender and team co-captain Monihan skated at the Team USA camp for the U.S. Collegiate Women’s Select Team at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., as part of the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Kate Monihan, playing for the U.S. U18 women’s team in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship in Japan was a critical step in her hockey development.

“The things I learned there I came home and immediately brought to my high school team (Lawrenceville School),” said Monihan, who helped the U.S. win a silver medal at the competition. “It was things like moving the puck more quickly in the defensive zone from our defenders to our forwards and different strategies. When you are the U18 team, you are coached by college coaches. I had the opportunity to bring college level knowledge and experience to my high school team and that actually ended up being one of our best seasons at Lawrenceville.” more

August 23, 2023

ON THE BALL: Princeton University women’s soccer player Jen Estes looks to control the ball in a game last season. Senior midfielder and co-captain Estes is primed for a big final season for the Tigers. Princeton kicks off its 2023 campaign by hosting Monmouth on August 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The first-ever Ivy League tournament is a big carrot waiting at the end of the regular season this fall for the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

To get there, the Tigers will have to finish among the top four Ivy teams after they navigate a challenging schedule that begins with the non-conference portion this week. Princeton will get its 2023 campaign underway by hosting Monmouth on August 25 on Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium, one of four straight at home to open the year. They turn around and host La Salle two days later.

“We have a very tough schedule, and it should prepare us for conference play,” said Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll. “We’re putting ourselves in a position to play against teams that are going to challenge us and hopefully prepare us. That’s why it’s considered one of the Top 20 non-conference schedules in the country. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves.” more

SUCCESSION PLAN: Jason Vigilante gives his Princeton University men’s cross country runners some instructions at the Ivy League Heptagonal meet. Vigilante was recently named as the head coach of the Princeton men’s track and field team, succeeding the legendary Fred Samara who retired this spring following a 46-year career guiding the Tigers. Joining the Princeton track program in 2012, Vigilante has served as the head coach of the men’s cross country team and as an assistant with the track and field program where he oversaw the distance runners.  (Photo by Princeton Athletics/Sideline Photos)

By Justin Feil

Jason Vigilante knows that he has enormous shoes to fill.

A Princeton University track and field assistant coach since 2012, Vigilante will take over the head coaching duties after legendary head coach Fred Samara retired following the spring season, his 46th year with the Tiger men.

“It’s really exciting,” said Vigilante, who also has been the PU men’s cross country head coach since his arrival in Princeton. “It’s a huge honor to not only follow Coach Samara but also Coach (Larry) Ellis. It’s the first time they had a head track and field coach search in 50 years. It’s an honor to have gotten it, and I know there were some really fine candidates who were up for the job.” more

VIVA LAS VEGAS: Brendan Gorman streaks up the ice last winter in his freshman season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. Gorman made an immediate impact in his debut campaign, tallying 20 points on five goals and 15 assists to lead all Tiger freshmen in points and tie Ian Murphy for the team lead in assists. This July, Gorman took part in an NHL Development Camp with the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Brendan Gorman, joining the Princeton University men’s hockey team last winter was something he had been looking forward to for years.

“My dad was throwing on the Princeton jersey and stuff when we were younger,” said Gorman, whose father, Sean ’91, was a star and a captain for the Tigers. “Ever since I was like really young it was my dream to go to Princeton. My brother (Liam) committed to BU first but ended up going to Princeton. That kind of sealed the deal, playing with my brother and going to my dream school.”

The younger Gorman showed his stuff last winter, tallying 20 points on five goals and 15 assists to lead all Tiger freshmen in points and tie Ian Murphy for the team lead in assists. more

August 16, 2023

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Skye Ettin shows his joy after helping to coach the Princeton University men’s basketball team to an upset win in the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament in Sacramento, Calif. Ettin, a former Princeton High and The College of New Jersey hoops standout who was on the coaching staff of the Tigers for eight years starting as the director of operations and getting promoted to assistant coach in 2016, recently left the program to take a similar position at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Skye Ettin’s basketball life has revolved around the Princeton area.

Growing up in Princeton, Ettin attended Princeton University basketball camps as a kid, honing the skills that would make him a star for the Princeton High boys’ basketball team. After PHS, Ettin played college hoops a few miles from home, enjoying a superb career for The College of New Jersey men’s hoops program.

Upon graduating from TCNJ in 2015, Ettin returned home to join the staff of the Princeton University men’s hoops team as its director of operations. He quickly moved up the ranks, becoming an assistant coach a year later. more

August 9, 2023

SUMMER JOB: Tosan Evbuomwan heads to the hoop last winter during his senior season with the Princeton University men’s basketball team. Evbuomwan recently competed a NBA Summer League campaign for the Detroit Pistons. Evbuomwan scored 7.0 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field, averaged 4.0 rebounds per game, and 1.3 assists per game in helping the Pistons go 4-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

BY Justin Feil

Tosan Evbuomwan stuffed a statistics sheet at Princeton University, but only cared if it led the Tigers to winning.

He is taking that same approach to his professional career.

If his first foray as a part of the Detroit Pistons summer league is any indication, the recent Princeton graduate looks as though he could have the same effect at the pro level. Evbuomwan finished tied for third in the entire NBA Summer League in plus-minus at plus-17, meaning the Pistons were 17 points better with Evbuomwan on the court than when he was off it.  more

August 2, 2023

REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Team USA star midfielder and co-captain Tom Schreiber, left, races past a Canadian defender in the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego, Calif. Former Princeton University standout Schreiber ’14 helped the U.S. win its second straight world title as it defeated Canada 10-7 in the gold medal game on July 1. Although Schreiber missed three and a half games in the tournament due to injury, he still tallied five points on three goals and two assists in the competition. (Photo by USA Lacrosse)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in late June, Tom Schreiber figured to play a leading role in orchestrating the offense for the U.S. squad.

Former Princeton University standout midfielder Schreiber helped the U.S. win the title in the 2019 World Championship, scoring the winning goal in the waning seconds of a 9-8 win over Canada in the gold medal game. Schreiber’s skill, experience, and leadership led him to be named as one of the captains of the U.S. team for this year’s competition. more

WORLD CLASS: Team USA midfielder Michael Sowers, left, looks to elude a Haudenosaunee defender in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in late June. Former Princeton University standout Sowers ’20 starred as the U.S. won its second straight title in the competition, defeating Canada 10-7 in the gold medal game on July 1. Sowers tallied two goals in the final and totaled 17 points on 12 goals and five assists in the tournament, earning All-World honors at midfield. (Photo by USA Lacrosse)

By Justin Feil

Michael Sowers didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate helping the United States reach the pinnacle of the lacrosse world.

After helping Team USA win the gold medal at the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, Princeton University graduate Sowers ’20 returned to helping the Waterdogs remain atop the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and was named captain of the Rising Stars team for the PLL All-Star game that was played Saturday to continue a busy July. more

July 26, 2023

JERSEY GUY: NYCFC’s Kevin O’Toole, right, and Malik Pinto of FC Cincinnati trade jerseys after the two former Princeton University men’s soccer standouts met in the U.S. Open Cup on May 10. O’Toole, a 2022 Princeton grad and Montclair native, has emerged as a key performer for NYCFC in his second Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Kevin O’Toole served a dangerous ball into the middle of the box in the final minutes of the New York City Football Club’s game at Philadelphia on July 15.

Two teammates had chances to finish it, but the ball didn’t go in as NYCFC lost, 2-1, to conclude the first half of the Major League Soccer (MLS) season.  more

July 19, 2023

RISING STAR: Xaivian Lee heads to the hoop for Team Canada last month in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) U19 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary. Princeton University men’s basketball rising sophomore Lee averaged 14.1 points-per-game along with 3.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds to help Canada finish seventh in the competition. Overall, Lee ranked 14th in scoring at the FIBA U19 World Cup. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

As Xaivian Lee got into basketball, he had two main goals.

“Playing for Canada has definitely been one of my dreams and playing in March Madness,” said Lee, who hails from Toronto, Ontario.

“Those were two of the biggest things that I thought about when I was younger.” more

July 12, 2023

MAJOR SHOWDOWN: FC Cincinnati midfielder Malik Pinto, right, races past Kevin O’Toole of NYCFC as the two former Princeton University men’s soccer teammates met in the U.S. Open Cup on May 10 in Cincinnati. Pinto, who bypassed his senior season this fall for Princeton, to join the Major League Soccer club, has emerged as a key performer for FC Cincinnati. The 5’11, 155-pound native of Durham, N.C., has made 17 appearances with one start for the club, which is currently in first place in the Eastern Conference standings with 45 points (13 wins, 6 draws, 2 losses). (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Malik Pinto will be missing from the Princeton University men’s soccer lineup when the team opens the season on September 1 against Rutgers.

Pinto, though, does have a game the next day in Cincinnati but it will be a Major League Soccer (MLS) contest. Following his junior season with the Tigers in 2022, Pinto’s collegiate career ended and his professional career began when he signed a deal with FC Cincinnati of MLS in January.  more

July 5, 2023

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS: Princeton University men’s track and field head coach Fred Samara makes a point to one of his athletes. Last week, U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Famer Samara announced his retirement after 46 years at the helm of the program. During his storied tenure, Samara coached the Tigers to 51 Ivy League Heptagonal team and 502 individual championships. He also coached 10 different athletes to nine NCAA championships and guided six of his athletes to the Olympics. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Princeton University men’s track and field head coach Fred Samara could be found any weekday around lunchtime not in his office, but working out on his own.

He might be throwing the medicine ball, doing hurdle walkovers, running stadium stairs, lifting, or running sprints.

“You never lose being a decathlete,” said Samara, who competed for the United States in the 1976 Olympics in decathlon. “It’s just part of my life. You can’t leave it.” more

June 28, 2023

PAIR OF ACES: Princeton University women’s lightweight rowers Nathalie Verlinde, right, and Madeline Polubinski are all smiles after they took second in the women’s lightweight pair without coxswain at the Henley Women’s Regatta on the Thames River outside of London, England. Verlinde, a Princeton High alumna, worked through a rib injury this spring to help the Princeton varsity four take first at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta before heading to England for the Henley competition. (Photo provided by Nathalie Verlinde)

By Justin Feil

Nathalie Verlinde’s third year in the Princeton University lightweight women’s rowing program was another championship year.

The Princeton High alumna won a third title at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta on Mercer Lake in early June and reached the championship race in her first trip to the legendary Henley Women’s Regatta weeks later, but those triumphs were preceded by a period of uncertainty after she suffered her first serious injury in college. A stress fracture in her rib left some doubt about Verlinde’s ability to return to championship level, and it made the storybook ending to her junior year at Princeton even more meaningful.

“It was great,” said Verlinde, reflecting on her big spring. “It was the perfect comeback story. I think it was really emotional to be back on the water and contribute to this incredible year that the team has had.” more

June 21, 2023

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Tom Schreiber heads upfield for the Archers in Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) action. This week, former Princeton University men’s lax standout Schreiber ’14 will be competing for Team USA in the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego, Calif., which starts on June 21 and ends on July 1 with gold medal final. Star midfielder Schreiber, who scored the winning goal for Team USA in a 9-8 defeat of Canada in the gold medal game at the 2018 Worlds, has been named as one of three captains for the U.S. squad. (Photo by the PLL, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Tom Schreiber produced a highlight for the ages in 2018 when he scored the winning goal for Team USA in a 9-8 defeat of Canada in the gold medal game at the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in Israel.

But for Princeton men’s lax alum Schreiber ’14, that moment isn’t what stands out the most when he reflects on the competition.

“When you look at it, it is a dream moment to score the winner as time is winding down,” said Schreiber. “That part of it is not something I think about very often. It is more the hanging out at that kibbutz, traveling to and from the game and being around the guys. That is the part that comes up a lot when I think about the last time around.” more

SHOOTING FOR GOLD: Michael Sowers unloads a shot during his career with the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. Star attackman Sowers ’20 will be competing for the Team USA at the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego, Calif. The competition starts on June 21 and culminates on July 1 with the gold medal game. The U.S. squad, which also includes another former Princeton standout, midfielder Tom Schreiber ’14, is the defending champion in the event. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Michael Sowers has come up big in some of the most meaningful lacrosse games.

The 2020 Princeton University graduate will try to do the same again for the United States in the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego, Calif., that begins on June 21 and culminates in the gold medal game July 1.

“In the four-year window, so much can happen,” said Sowers. “To wear Team USA across your chest is the dream and pinnacle of the sport. You cherish the opportunity and I’m certainly not treating it like I’m going to have this opportunity again because you really don’t know. At the end of the day, you treat it like it’s my one go at it and I’m going to give it everything I have.” more

June 14, 2023

EARNING HIS STRIPES: Andrei Iosivas, right, eludes a Harvard player during his career with the Princeton University football team. Star wide receiver Iosivas was recently selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He is currently working out with the team as he looks to earn a spot on its final roster for the 2023 season. Iosivas finished his stellar Tiger career ranked third all-time in program history in touchdown catches (16), sixth in receiving yards (1,909), and 12th in receptions (125). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Andrei Iosivas has been battling a couple of stigmas as he tries to start his career in the NFL.

As an accomplished track athlete at Princeton University as well as a football player, he heard often from teams that wondered if he was a football-first athlete. He is. He gave up track this spring to focus on preparing for the NFL draft. And then, like many Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) prospects, he’s heard the doubts about jumping to the NFL from Princeton.

“If you go to North Dakota State, South Dakota State, stuff like that, people still respect you more,” said Iosivas. “They don’t really respect the Ivy League. People literally laugh about it. They say, ‘You played Harvard, Yale, a bunch of yacht dwellers.’ I’m always saying, ‘We have really good football.’ That was the chip on my shoulder more than the track thing.” more

June 7, 2023

LIGHTING IT UP: Members of the Princeton University women’s lightweight varsity 8 crew show off the spoils of victory after taking first in their grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship Regatta last Sunday on Mercer Lake. It marked the third straight national title for the Tiger top boat. The victory culminated a historic day for the Tiger women’s lightweights as their double sculls and varsity 4 also prevailed in their grand finals. Princeton won the team title at the event for the second straight year. (Photo by Row2k, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden=

Sarah Polson wasn’t sure how she would measure up after deciding to join the Princeton University women’s lightweight crew program.

“I didn’t even get recruited to Princeton, it was too much of a high shoot for me,” said Polson, a native of Chicago, Ill. “Thankfully I got into Princeton. I rowed in high school at CRF (Chicago Rowing Foundation) and when I came, I knew I wanted to walk on. I had no idea that I would be able to make the top boat.” more

MAKING NOISE: Members of the Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 crew shout for joy after getting the hardware they earned for taking first in their grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship Regatta last weekend on Mercer Lake. The Tigers posted a winning time of 5:41.02 over the 2,000-meter course, 1.8 seconds in front of runner-up Harvard. The heroics by the top boat help Princeton win the team title and earn the IRA President’s Cup for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Row2k, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

One of the unique challenges in sports is performing your best when your best is required.

As the Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity 8 crew prepared to compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship Regatta last weekend on Mercer Lake, Marty Crotty was confident that his rowers were poised to achieve such an effort due to some focused training in the wake of taking first at the Eastern Sprints. more

ALL IN: Members of the Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 crew, lying on the ground to the right, join the members of the Tiger men’s and women’s lightweight rowing programs last Sunday to celebrate their success at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship Regatta. The men’s heavyweights placed third in their grand final while both lightweight squads won national team titles in the competition which took place at Mercer Lake. (Photo by Row2k, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

After the members of the Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity 8 crew got their medals for taking third in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship Regatta last Sunday at Mercer Lake, they rushed off the stage en masse to pose for a group shot with the Tiger men’s and women’s lightweight rowers.

The scene of the heavyweights celebrating with the lightweight crews, who dominated their competition winning team titles and five grand finals, exemplified the special spirit that has developed among the Princeton rowers.

“Holy cow, what a day to be a Tiger,” said Princeton men’s heavyweight head coach Greg Hughes, whose team placed fourth in the team standings at the competition behind champion Cal, runner-up Washington, and Yale. “We always talk about how we are one boathouse, that we have the best boathouse in the country. Today is proof of that. For me, to be a part of that and the power of that, you can’t put a value on that.” more

May 31, 2023

OH HENRY: Henry Byrd takes the field last fall in his senior season for the Princeton University football team. Byrd, a recent Princeton grad who emerged as a force on the offensive line for the Tigers, recently signed with the Denver Broncos of the NFL as an undrafted free agent. The 6’5, 310-pound Byrd, a First-Team All-Ivy League performer in 2021 and 2022, has already attended the first rookie mini-camp and is excited about the chance to fit in with the Broncos, who have a new head coach in Sean Payton, a previous Super Bowl winner. (Photo by Sideline Photos, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Justin Feil

Henry Byrd bought several team hats to be prepared, but 10 minutes after going undrafted, it was the Denver Broncos hat that he wore proudly after signing as an undrafted free agent.

“Once I grabbed the right hat, the Broncos hat, that’s when it hit me — it’s real and I play in the NFL,” said recent Princeton University graduate Byrd, a native of Nashville, Tenn. “You kind of know it’s going to happen and it’s not a surprise by any means but that initial wave of emotion, it’s not something you can prepare for.” more

BRONZE AGE: The Princeton University women’s open crew varsity 8 displays its form in a race earlier this spring. Last weekend, Princeton’s top boat took third in the grand final at the NCAA Rowing Championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken. The bronze medal effort helped the Tigers finish third in the team standings at the competition behind champions Stanford and runner-up Washington. (Photo by Ed Hewitt/Row2k, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Lori Dauphiny will tell you that a key to the success of her Princeton University women’s open crew program over the years has been the effort put in by all of the rowers in the squad from top to bottom. Last weekend at the NCAA Rowing Championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken, that depth was on display as Princeton finished third in the team standings at the competition with 113 points behind champions Stanford (129 points) and runner-up Washington (120). The Tiger varsity 8 placed third in the grand final with the second varsity 8 taking fifth and the varsity 4 coming in sixth. more

May 24, 2023

ALL HANDS ON DECK: The Princeton University women’s open crew team celebrates after it placed first overall at the Ivy League Championships earlier this month on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. The Tigers will go for another title this week when they compete in the NCAA Rowing Championships on Cooper River in Pennsauken from May 26-28. (Photo by Ed Hewitt/Row2k, provided courtesy of Princeton Athletics)

By Bill Alden

The last time the Princeton University women’s open crew team competed on the Cooper River course in Pennsauken, things went pretty well.

Rowing in the 2022 Ivy League Championships, Princeton placed first as the varsity 8 held off Brown to give the Tigers the league title.

This week, the Tigers are heading back to Cooper River looking for another championship as they take part in the NCAA Rowing Championships from May 26-28. more