Author Archives: Hillary Dodyk

All They Do is Win: Princeton Women’s Basketball Improves to 25-0

No. 16 Princeton, the only undefeated women’s basketball program remaining in the country, already has achieved the highest ranking of any Ivy League team. With two more wins this weekend — over Dartmouth, 70-31 on Friday night, and Harvard, 78-57 on Saturday night — the 25-0 Tigers are three wins away from tying the 1970-71 Penn men’s basketball for the best start by any Ivy team in history.

Taking control early, the Tigers had no trouble scoring on Friday night. They went into halftime ahead by 18 points, and came out to score the first 12 points of the second half. The Tigers held Dartmouth to only 12 points in the first half, the fewest of any opponent this season. Junior forward Alex Wheatley led all scorers with 20 points.

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Saturday, however, proved to be slightly more of a challenge for the Tigers, as Harvard kept the game close into the second half. After four quick points by Harvard cut the Tigers’ 28-19 halftime lead down to 5, the Tigers opened up a 12-4 run, led by senior co-captain Blake Dietrick and juniors Annie Tarakchian and Amanda Berntsen, to give them a double-digit lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the game. While the Tigers shot only 30.8 percent in the first half, they improved in the final 20 minutes, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.

The Tigers are making history as a team this season, but in the midst of their collective successes have also been personal triumphs. On Jan. 10, Dietrick became the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points, and currently ranks third in three-pointers with 199. Continue reading

Bell ’18, Men’s Basketball Split Weekend Set Against Harvard and Dartmouth

After staying close with Harvard but ultimately coming up short in Friday’s 75-72 loss, Princeton men’s basketball knew it needed to come back strong on Saturday as they took on Dartmouth for the second half of an important weekend in Ivy League play. The Tigers rose to the occasion, beating Dartmouth 64-53 to return to a winning record in league play.

“[We had the] luxury of getting the chance to play again, which we were very happy to do,” Head Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said after the Dartmouth game. “I did not think last night was a great showing for us, so I’m pleased with the win, very happy for these guys and getting ready for a huge stretch of games here coming up.”

bell-oacThe first half of Saturday’s game echoed Friday night’s, with Dartmouth playing the role that Princeton had against the Crimson — constantly trailing, but within striking distance. The Tigers went into halftime up by nine. Dartmouth cut the lead to five after halftime, but the Tigers would rally to lead by as many as 17 and win by 11.

Spencer Weisz ’17 led Princeton with 16 points. Amir Bell ’18 had an impressive all-around game, finishing with seven rebounds, four assists, and four points.

“Amir Bell had one hell of a game defensively,” Weisz said of his teammate. “Coming in as a freshman, he’s been playing great for us and to stop one of the best shooters in the league [the Big Green’s Alex Mitola] … is just a great benefit for us.”

Though new to the team, Bell has been a key contributor, starting all 19 games. Henderson said he has noticed significant growth in Bell’s play. Continue reading

Football Falls to Dartmouth in Class of 2015’s Final Game

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

For Princeton Football, High Hopes Turn to Stunned Disappointment

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)

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

Men’s Soccer Tries To Regain Home Field Advantage

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)

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

Defensive Lineman Reid ’14 Prepares for the NFL Draft (and Sings Sam Cooke)

Caraun Reid ’14, left, made an impression on Ivy League quarterbacks. He’s hoping to do the same in the NFL. (Beverly Schaefer)

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