After slipping out of contention for a second consecutive Ivy League title, Princeton football will have plenty of work ahead to prove that the end of the 2014 season was not the end of an era.
Two bonfires, an Ivy League championship, two Ivy League Player of the Year awards, two NFL draft picks, and an 18-12 combined record is an impressive run for three seasons. But with the Tigers’ top two starting quarterbacks graduating in the spring, the program will be tested as it searches for players to follow in the footsteps of the senior class, which played its final game in Saturday’s 41-10 loss to Dartmouth.
“All the work that it takes to put in to be great — it starts tomorrow,” sophomore defensive lineman Ty Desire said. “We have to realize we’re not the team we were last year up front, and we can’t ride anyone’s coattails.” Continue reading
At Saturday’s Princeton-Harvard game, packed stands eagerly awaited a thrilling victory reminiscent of the past two meetings between last year’s Ivy League co-champions, but alas it was not to be. Instead, Tiger fans were stunned as they watched their team lose 49-7 to drop into third place in the Ivy standings.
Joe Rhattigan ’17 scored Princeton’s only points against Harvard with a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. (Office of Athletic Communications)
The past two weekends the Tigers (3-3 overall, 2-1 Ivy) came out strong, and the defense showed no indication that the day would be any different on the opening drive. But when the offense took the field for its opening drive, it became apparent that this was not going to be the case.
The Tigers were their own worst enemy, with penalties proving too costly to overcome as they prevented the offense from extending drives whenever they seemed to be gaining momentum. Harvard’s explosive offense took away the rest of the Tigers’ momentum as it dominated in the second quarter.
“I’m definitely surprised, but they played really well,” senior linebacker and co-captain Mike Zeuli said. “They executed better than us and that’s what happens.”
With Princeton and Harvard leading the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) with two of the top five run defenses, Harvard’s initial success came from its passing game, which exploited mistakes in the Princeton secondary. But the Crimson did not stop there: the visitors threw for 392 yards, compared to the Tigers’ 190, and rushed for 306, compared to the Tigers’ 54. Continue reading
Home field advantage is an expression for a reason—familiar turf comes with knowledge, comfort, and an atmosphere of success. At least it’s supposed to. But for Princeton men’s soccer, the pressure of playing on the road, away from the supposed advantages of home, has brought them more victories this season.
Cameron Porter ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)
A tough 2-1 overtime loss to Dartmouth on Saturday was the Tigers’ second loss at Roberts Stadium this season, bringing their home record to 1-2-1, while their away record sits at 2-1-1. The loss to Dartmouth also was the Tigers’ first Ivy League match of the season.
“It’s a tough loss because when you look at the teams who end up winning the Ivy League and getting the bid into the [NCAA] tournament it generally takes six wins, and so losing your first game means you have a lot to do,” senior forward and co-captain Cameron Porter said. “Going into the rest of the season it really puts the pressure on you because its also kind of out of your hands. Dartmouth is a good team, [so if] they go win out, you’re kind of out of luck no matter what.” Continue reading
Caraun Reid ’14, left, made an impression on Ivy League quarterbacks. He hopes to do the same in the NFL. (Beverly Schaefer)
Always respected by the football community for his skills, defensive lineman Caraun Reid ’14 has used his fifth year as a Tiger to develop as a vocal leader on and off the field, as well as thrive as a leader among the campus Christian and arts communities. Known for his faith and his singing voice (see below) in addition to his ability to put pressure on the quarterback, the pro-football hopeful will be waiting to hear his name called during this week’s NFL draft, which begins May 8.
Reid credits his work ethic for allowing him the opportunity to take on his initial leadership role on the football team; those leadership responsibilities, he said, were heightened over the past year.
“I definitely stepped up more in terms of vocal leadership. Granted I was one of the better players on the team so everyone always saw my work ethic and being able to make plays on the field as leadership, but I took more responsibility over the lives of my teammates and how they developed,” Reid said. “I think more and more it just drove me to work harder knowing, if I’m doing a lot of talking then I have to be at the level where no one can question my work ethic. … That’s what I want to bring to the pros, just being one of those guys that always stands out, on and off the field.” Continue reading
Yale had taken home the title from the Princeton Invitational in four consecutive years, but this year, that streak came to an end as another Ivy rival, Harvard, finished three shots ahead of the Bulldogs to claim the top spot. Meanwhile, the host Tigers ended the weekend ninth out of the 15 teams in the three-round event at Springdale Golf Club.
Greg Jarmas ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)
Led by senior Greg Jarmas, the Tigers completed round one on Saturday with Jarmas and senior Nick Ricci sitting among the top 15 in the standings. Jarmas would cut four shots off of his first-round score to shoot a 66 in the second round on Saturday, tying for the lowest score of the day and placing him in a tie for second place and three shots back of the lead going into Sunday’s final round. He would ultimately finish 12th.
“The difference between who moves up and who moves back in a tight race almost always comes down to putting, especially at Springdale,” Jarmas said. “The guys who make just a couple more makeable putts will come out on top.”
Jarmas was named All-Ivy League in 2013 after becoming Princeton’s first Ivy individual champion since 2005. Jarmas also was the Tigers’ highest finisher at NCAA Regionals. The Princeton Invitational was the first — and only — home event of the spring for men’s golf. Continue reading
Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)
Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)
For most teams, a trip to California would be a trip across the country to train, compete, and bond with teammates, but for many on the women’s water polo team, it is also a trip home. With a schedule that affords them only six home games at DeNunzio Pool all season, the trip provides an additional opportunity for friends and family of 11 of the 15 women to see them play.
“We are luckily to get to stay with teammates’ families while we are in California,” junior Kelly Gross said of the visit home. “It’s really nice to be in a home instead of a hotel for the whole week and get some home-cooked meals, too. My mom even brought our new puppy to our tournament, which was definitely a highlight!”
The two-time reigning CWPA champion Tigers continued what has been a strong start to their season as they headed to the West Coast on an eight game trip that left them with a 21-1 mark and a six-game winning streak. The Tigers started off the week with a triple-overtime 14-13 win over No. 13 UC San Diego, but lost 10-6 the next day to No. 14 San Jose State, giving them their first loss of the season. However, they would win the remaining six games of the trip, including a decisive 9-3 victory over No. 8 Loyola Marymount during the second weekend. Continue reading