Category Archives: Sports

Princeton Women’s Water Polo Wins CWPA Crown, NCAA Berth

Goalie Ashleigh Johnson ’16 was named MVP of the CWPA Tournament. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Goalie Ashleigh Johnson ’16 was named MVP of the CWPA Tournament. (Office of Athletic Communications)

The game wasn’t pretty, but the revenge was sweet for the Princeton women’s water polo team Sunday.

After breezing by George Washington and Hartwick in the first two rounds of the CWPA Championship this weekend, the Tigers advanced to the final, facing No. 11 Indiana, a team that had twice beaten them by one point this season. Like the earlier losses, Sunday’s match was decided by just one point, but this time it was Princeton that emerged from the pool victorious.

“We felt prepared for this game for so long, but I felt like we just didn’t want it enough [in previous games], and we knew this was the last opportunity as this group to face them,” goalie Ashleigh Johnson ’16 said.

Unlike Princeton’s 13-12 overtime loss to Indiana on April 10, the story of the day was tough defense and hard-earned goals. The Tigers got on the Hoosiers’ case early, disrupting their offensive flow and limiting their shooting opportunities. The tight defense led to numerous penalty whistles, but the Hoosiers failed to take full advantage of man-up situations in the first half.

“We just applied the right amount of pressure,” Johnson said. “Before, we dropped off of them too much and were just a little bit unaware, but we really pulled together and communicated and put the pressure on them, and they weren’t able to get many shots off.” Continue reading

Men’s Lacrosse Clinches Share of Ivy League Title

Kip Orban ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Kip Orban ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Mike MacDonald ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Mike MacDonald ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

With the top spot still up for grabs in the last week of regular season play, Princeton men’s lacrosse is sure to be extending its season into the Ivy League tournament. After defeating Harvard 12-11 on Friday night, and with a little help from Brown, who beat Cornell on Saturday, the Tigers are guaranteed at least a share of the Ivy title for the first time since the 2012 season — and the 27th time in program history.

The Tigers will face Cornell in the final weekend of regular season play, needing a win to clinch the outright title and home-field advantage throughout the tournament. Yet, with Yale at Harvard and Brown at Dartmouth, the playoff picture is still very much anyone’s for the taking. A Princeton loss and a Brown win would give Brown home field advantage and make the two co-champions. In fact, with Brown, Yale, and Cornell all only a game behind the Tigers, a four-way tie for the championship is still possible.

Seniors Mike MacDonald and Kip Orban continued to make their marks in the Princeton record books against Harvard Friday night while leading their team to victory. Continue reading

Quick Takes: Women’s Tennis Clinches Title Share; McMunn ’15 Sets Record; Men’s Lacrosse Wins Big

Katie Goepel ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Goepel ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Dorothy Tang ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Dorothy Tang ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Princeton women’s tennis posted weekend wins on the road at Dartmouth (4-3 on Saturday) and Harvard (5-2 on Sunday) to improve to 5-0 season and clinch at least a share of the Ivy League championship for the second straight year.

Dorothy Tang ’17 and Katie Goepel ’15, the Tigers’ No. 5 and 6 players, earned singles wins in both matches. No. 1 singles player Lindsay Graff ’15 suffered a rare loss in a three-set match against Dartmouth’s Taylor Ng but bounced back with a win at Harvard.

Princeton completes the regular season with matches at Columbia April 17 and at home against Cornell April 19. Continue reading

Football Gains Cultural Experiences, New Bonds in Trip to Japan

posterWhile the rest of the Ivy League’s football teams are gathering for spring practice, Princeton football has passed that stage in the calendar. Over the spring recess, the Tigers traveled across the Pacific to take on the Kwansei Gakuin University Fighters in Osaka, Japan. The “Legacy Bowl” was an exhibition game held March 21 in recognition of Kwansei Gakuin University’s 125th anniversary.

The Tigers prepared for their match against the Fighters, described as the Alabama of Japan (due to winning four consecutive national collegiate football titles and a record 27 total collegiate titles), while adjusting to reduced caloric intake due to smaller portion sizes, jet lag, and other obstacles.

“Usually we have a big projector, but we had to crowd around our coach’s laptop in a hotel room to watch game film,” said quarterback Garrett Gosse ’16.

The Tigers ultimately came out on top, scoring five touchdowns and a field goal in a 36-7 victory. Chad Kanoff ’17 paced Princeton with strong play at quarterback, completing 15 of 20 passes for 207 yards and earning game-MVP honors.

The score differential does not, however, truly capture the benefits of playing against the Fighters. “A big part of Japanese culture is discipline and respect, so even though we were winning by a lot in the fourth quarter, they were still trying as hard as they could,” said tight end Dylan White ’16. “From a football perspective, it’s awesome — it gets guys who usually aren’t playing a lot more experience.” Continue reading

Perseverance Pays Off for Perez ’16

Chris Perez ’16 (Beverly Schaefer)

Chris Perez ’16 (Beverly Schaefer)

Wrestler Chris Perez ’16’s path to the NCAA Championships this year was a demonstration of English writer Samuel Johnson’s statement that “great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”

A Long Island native, Perez tore his ACL near the end of a strong freshman campaign during the 2011-12 season. Taking the following year off from school to heal, he experienced the sudden death of his father, Hubert, and tore his ACL a second time. When he injured his ACL a third time at the beginning of his sophomore season, Perez’s future prospects on the mat seemed grim.

But despite doctors’ recommendations that he stop wrestling, Perez refused to give in. “After I tore my knee the third time, I said to the coaches, ‘ESPN is going to make a sweet story when I win the NCAAs,’ ” Perez said. With his right leg completely wrapped, he became the starter at 149 pounds this season and compiled a record of 19-11.

At the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships at Lehigh University, he upset nationally ranked opponents Cody Ruggirello of Hofstra and Penn’s Charles Cobb. Perez finished second in the tournament as he and 141-pounder Jordan Laster ’17 made the finals at consecutive weight classes. The two were among five Tiger wrestlers who landed berths at the NCAA Championships March 19-21 in St. Louis, Mo., matching a program record.

At the NCAA tournament, Perez suffered a close loss in his first match against Alex Richardson of Old Dominion, but moved quickly through the consolation bracket. In his second wrestleback match, he gained revenge with a 10-6 decision over nationally ranked Ken Theobold of Rutgers, who had beaten him in February. Perez ultimately fell in the Round of 16 in a close 7-5 decision to Bryant Clagon of Rider, two matches away from All-American status.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned from these experiences is that life is unpredictable,” Perez said. “I never really lost focus on my goals, and just looked at it all as part of my journey.” Looking ahead to next season, that postseason journey could continue closer to home: The 2016 EIWA Championships will be held at Princeton, and the 2016 NCAA Championships will be at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Quick Takes:

TRACK AND FIELD throwers competed at the Monmouth Season Opener on Saturday, where junior Brielle Rowe threw a personal best in the hammer throw of 47.58 meters.

MEN’S TENNIS, currently ranked No. 28 in the nation, took down No. 57 Penn to open Ivy play on Saturday at Jadwin Gym. Senior Zack McCourt and sophomore Tom Colautti led the way in the Tigers’ 6-1 win.

WOMEN’S TENNIS also posted an impressive 6-1 victory over Penn to start the Ivy season. After posting a 7-0 league record last season, the Tigers have won their last eight Ivy matches.

SOFTBALL began its Ivy season with consecutive wins over Brown in a Saturday doubleheader. Senior Alyssa Schmidt’s home run in the top of the first was the only run of the first game, as junior Shanna Christian posted seven shutout innings to maintain the Tigers’ lead. Another low-scoring contest followed, with the second game scoreless until the final inning. With freshman Kylee Pierce on third, sophomore Haley Hineman dropped down a bunt to bring home the game-winning run and give the Tigers their second 1-0 win of the day.



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NBA Commissioner Speaks About Activism in Pro Basketball

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told a Princeton audience that when a handful of the league’s stars wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warm-ups last year, following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, he appreciated their effort to express their point of view.

“Derrick Rose, I think, was the first player to wear the T-shirt,” Silver said. “Credit to him — he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew how much more effective that would be than making a statement to a reporter after a game.” But Silver cautioned that too many political statements on the court would be “a disservice to the fans, who come to see a basketball game.”

Steve Mills ’81, general manager of the New York Knicks, and Craig Robinson ’83, an ESPN commentator and former college coach, joined Silver for a March 24 discussion of “Political Expression and Activism in Today’s NBA,” moderated by Professor Eddie Glaude *97. The event was sponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Department of Athletics. Continue reading