By Brittany Urick ’10
A 4-0 trouncing of Yale Nov. 13 helped the MEN’S SOCCER team punch its ticket for Princeton’s first NCAA tournament appearance in eight years. Sophomore forward Antoine Hoppenot stole the show thanks to a hard-earned hat trick, but the win, which was televised before a national audience on Fox Soccer Channel, can be attributed to a solid defensive effort, impressive control of the midfield, and an unrelenting offensive onslaught that involved every player on the field. The Tiger teamwork, a product of veteran leadership and talented youth, has been a hallmark of Princeton throughout the season.
The Tigers began the year with high hopes, posting a perfect 4-0 record in their first four matches. Princeton hit a slump toward the end of September, however, and dropped two Ivy League contests to Dartmouth and Brown. The skid stopped when a 3-0 home victory over Columbia on Oct. 17 renewed Princeton’s confidence. One week later, the Tigers earned arguably their most remarkable win of the season when they defeated then-No. 11 Harvard, 2-1, in a double-overtime game in Cambridge.