Category Archives: Sports

Tiger of the Week: Comeback Pitcher Chris Young ’02

Chris Young ’02 (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Chris Young ’02 (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Last December, when former All-Star pitcher Chris Young ’02 came to Princeton to speak on a panel of alumni baseball pros, he said in a PAW interview that he was ready to get back on the mound in the major leagues after missing nearly all of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury. “I’ve always said I want to play as long as I possibly can,” Young said. “I’m 34 right now, and I feel like there are still some good years ahead of me.”

Young’s peers agree: Last week, the Seattle Mariners righthander was voted the American League Comeback Player of the Year by a group of more than 100 players surveyed by Sporting News. Young finished the season with a 12-9 record and a 3.65 earned-run average in 29 starts. He pitched 165 innings, the most since his All-Star season in 2007.

Young had surgery in the offseason to correct a nerve injury that affected his pitching arm. “To think he won as many games as he did, and made 29 starts, coming off the type of surgery and the injuries that he had, I think it’s just tremendous,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told Sporting News. “He is a tireless worker and showed his determination with his performance.” 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

New History Covers Swimming and Diving’s 110 Years

Future Olympian Jed Graef ’64, center, dives into the water on the Feb. 8, 1963, cover of PAW. (PAW Archives)

Future Olympian Jed Graef ’64, center, dives into the water on the Feb. 8, 1963, cover of PAW. (PAW Archives)

About 300 alumni of the Princeton swimming and diving teams returned to campus last weekend to commemorate the program’s 110th anniversary. The celebration included receptions, a dinner, and a preseason scrimmage meet. It also served as the impetus for a new and expansive history of the program, written by Sanford Thatcher ’65, longtime secretary for the Friends of Princeton Swimming and Diving and a former director of the Penn State University Press.

Thatcher, who still swims at about a dozen masters meets each year near his home in Frisco, Texas, began researching Princeton swimming history in the 1970s, for a column in the Friends’ newsletter. He drew on those notes, as well as contributions from recent alumni, to create a 99-page history. It covers the great seasons, legendary coaches, and top-ranked swimmers, but it also touches on less traditional topics — marriages between swimming alumni, the achievements of former Tigers after college, and other historical tidbits, such as diver Alan Routh ’59’s role on the first Navy SEAL team. “That is what makes this, I think, a document that is unique in sports histories [at Princeton],” Thatcher told PAW. Continue reading

Tigers Prove Quarterback Depth is Useful for More Than Creative Formations

Last year, Princeton football made headlines for lining up its three quarterbacks on the field at the same time, alternating who took the snaps. As unusual as the strategy seemed, it paid off—the Tigers led the Ivy League in yards per game and rushing yards last season. Of that trio, then-junior Quinn Epperly was the most familiar face on the field. The 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year topped the conference in both rushing and passing touchdowns, leading the nation in points responsible per game.

Connor Michelsen ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Connor Michelsen ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

But as Ivy football rolls into its midpoint this season, Princeton saw a change of scenery in its quarterback spot during a 27-16 victory over Brown. Senior Connor Michelsen, taking over for his injured classmate Epperly, looked comfortable in the pocket throughout the game, throwing for 367 yards and two touchdowns to keep Princeton perfect at 2-0 in Ivy play (3-2 overall).

On Saturday, there was no trace of the sluggish starts that plagued the Tigers last season. Princeton sealed its victory early, scoring on each of its first four drives to the Brown end zone. Kicker Nolan Bieck ’16 converted on a 26-yard field goal to start things off, bringing him to twelve consecutive conversions since last season. Michelsen later connected with Matt Costello ’15 for a 49-yard touchdown, moving the seasoned wide receiver into sixth place on Princeton’s all-time receptions list. Continue reading

Women’s Soccer Dominates Brown, Keeps Pace in Ivy

On a gray Saturday in the Orange Bubble, the women’s soccer team put on a dazzling performance for their head coach, Julie Shackford. The Tigers recorded their 200th win under Shackford and had plenty of time to celebrate, scoring in the third minute and adding four more goals as goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon ’15 and her defense kept Brown scoreless.

Haley Chow ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Haley Chow ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

The 5-0 margin of victory was the team’s biggest since 2012, and it may have been a sign of things to come. All the scoring was done by two sophomores: Haley Chow ’17 scored at 2:19 and 15:02, and just three minutes after Chow’s second goal Tyler Lussi ’17 netted the first goal of her hat trick. Chow’s first score came from well out of the box as Brown attempted to clear, and she headed in her second goal on a Natalie Larkin ’18 free kick.

Defender Lauren Lazo ’15 set up Lussi’s first goal of the night with a perfect cross. Lazo set up another cross 11 minutes into the second half, and Lussi found the net again after Mikaela Symanovich ’18 got control in front of the net and slipped the ball past a Brown defender and to her sophomore teammate. Lussi completed the hat trick in the 62nd minute, heading a long pass to herself and firing the ball off the far post and into the net. 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