Category Archives: Sports

Time to ‘Cafturate’: Princeton Field Hockey Prepares for NCAA Opener Against Maryland

Maddie Copeland ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Maddie Copeland ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Late Sunday night, the Princeton field hockey team drew Maryland for its first round match in the NCAA Tournament. The team, coaches included, watched the selection show together in Dillon Library over chocolate-chip cookies and milk.

The Tigers earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 win in overtime against Penn on Saturday night. This is the Tigers’ 11th straight Ivy League championship and the 21st in the past 22 years.

Senior forward Maddie Copeland was named Offensive Player of the Year and freshman Sophia Tornetta was awarded Rookie of the Year. After Saturday’s victory, Kristen Holmes-Winn, who has been head coach for the last 11 Ivy titles, was named the league’s Coach of the Year.

Before the selection show began on Sunday night, the team entered into TTM: “Turbo Tournament Mode.” Continuing a tradition that began in 2009, the team watched a video that laid out the rules of TTM. First, your nails must be painted orange and black at all times. Second, you must wear Princeton field hockey clothes. Third, keep your muscles moving at all times. Fourth, “cafturate” (a portmanteau of caffeine and hydrate). And the list goes on.

Holmes-Winn said that while TTM is sometimes silly, it carries with it a significant sense of legacy and tradition on the team. “It helps [the women] connect to the past in a powerful way,” Holmes-Winn said. Though the team has made it to the NCAA tournament 11 years in a row, TTM aims to remind the team that it is tough to get into the tournament and celebrate this accomplishment, she said. Continue reading

Sports Shorts: Weekend of Champions

Lizzie Bird ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Lizzie Bird ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Princeton teams earned three Ivy League titles in the span of two days in an eventful weekend on the athletics calendar.

On Friday, women’s cross country held off second-place Yale at the Ivy Heptagonals at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, placing three runners in the top six spots. Lizzie Bird ’17 won the individual title, becoming the seventh Tiger woman to win a Heps cross country crown. Seniors Emily de La Bruyere (fourth) and Kathryn Fluehr (sixth) also earned All-Ivy honors.

On Saturday, field hockey’s Maddie Copeland ’16 scored two goals in a 4-0 shutout win over Cornell and the Tigers (6-0 Ivy) clinched at least a share of the Ivy title. Princeton’s Nov. 7 game against Penn (5-1 Ivy) will determine whether the Tigers win the championship outright; the winner also will represent the league in the NCAA Championships.

Women’s soccer completed the title triple with a 2-1 win over Cornell, a victory that, with help from a Harvard-Dartmouth tie, clinched the Ivy championship and earned the Tigers their first NCAA postseason bid since 2012. Tyler Lussi ’17 scored her 13th goal of the season in the Cornell game.

The weekend’s final championship for a Princetonian came after midnight on Sunday when veteran major-league pitcher Chris Young ’02’s Kansas City Royals clinched the World Series title. Young, who pitched four innings in the Royals’ game four win on Saturday, is the first Tiger to earn a World Series ring as a player.

Other highlights for Princeton teams: Women’s volleyball swept Dartmouth and Harvard Oct. 30 and 31, moving up in the Ivy standings to just one match behind first place with four matches remaining. … Football improved to 5-2 with a 47-21 win over Cornell. … Men’s hockey picked up its first win of the young season, topping Maine 3-1 in the Capital City Classic in Trenton.

Young ’02 Makes Princeton History, Pitches Royals to a World Series Win

Chris Young ’02 pitching in the World Series Oct. 27. (John Reiger/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Young ’02 pitching in the World Series Oct. 27. (John Reiger/USA Today Sports Images)

When Chris Young ’02 returned to campus in December 2013 for a Princeton Varsity Club panel featuring the four alumni in the major leagues, he was the elder statesman of the group. He told PAW that after offseason shoulder surgery, he was optimistic about the future. Young, who was 34 at the time and had missed parts of the last four seasons due to injuries, said, “I feel like there are still some good years ahead of me.”

Flash forward to Tuesday night: Young’s Kansas City Royals were tied in extra innings in a tense World Series opener against the New York Mets, and manager Ned Yost called for the 36-year-old right-hander to pitch in relief. Young delivered with three hitless innings, striking out four Mets while walking one, and his team prevailed, 5-4, in the bottom of the 14th inning.

Young made school history by entering the game, becoming the first Princetonian to appear in the World Series. (Moe Berg ’23 was a backup catcher for the 1933 Washington Senators, a World Series team, but his name does not appear in the postseason box scores.)

Afterward, Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews asked Young how much longer he could have pitched, if the game had continued beyond the 14th. “Look, it’s the World Series,” he said. “Whatever they need. We’re leaving it all out there at this time of the year.”  Continue reading

New Zealander Bowkett ’18 Making His Mark for Princeton Men’s Soccer

Daniel Bowkett ’18 in action against American earlier this season. (Beverly Schaefer)

Daniel Bowkett ’18 in action against American earlier this season. (Beverly Schaefer)

On a Princeton men’s soccer team led by a strong group of upperclassmen, sophomore midfielder Daniel Bowkett is one young player who has become a regular in the lineup this fall. This is Bowkett’s first true season on the squad, as a season-ending injury during the opening weeks of his freshman year kept him off the playing field last fall.

Bowkett’s background sets him apart from most of his teammates. Born in Australia, he spent the first few years of his life there before moving with his family to New Zealand. Bowkett quickly took to soccer growing up, progressing through elementary and middle school to become one of the strongest young talents in New Zealand. Bowkett eventually joined the New Zealand Under-19 Schoolboys National Team, and was named Player of the Tour during a trip to the United Kingdom.

But Bowkett knew at a young age that he wanted to attend college and play soccer in the United States.

“My thought of playing in the U. S. came along quite soon into high school, around Year 10, when I was 14 or 15 years old,” Bowkett said. “With New Zealand and soccer there, unless you go straight from school into the pros, there’s no intermediate pathway where you can pursue sports to a very high level. A lot of New Zealand players have come through the U. S. and the colleges here.” Continue reading

Putting the Pieces Together: Women’s Soccer Wins Seven in a Row

With wins over Brown (4-0 Oct. 10) and Army West Point (4-1 Oct 7), the Princeton women’s soccer team improved its winning streak to seven in a row.

Tyler Lussi ’17 has scored nine goals in 12 games for Princeton, which improved to 9-3 this weekend. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Tyler Lussi ’17 has scored nine goals in 12 games for Princeton, which improved to 9-3 this weekend. (Office of Athletic Communications)

“You’re as good as your last game. And when your last game is consistent, that’s a good thing,” head coach Sean Driscoll said, speaking to the positive momentum of the players have been feeding off of.

The Tigers started off the season with two wins followed by three losses. Villanova, the sixth game of the season, proved to be a watershed moment, Driscoll said. Since then, the Tigers have been unstoppable, with the three of their seven wins coming in Ivy League play.

Driscoll attributes the team’s success to its cohesiveness and competitiveness. “This is by far the most competitive team I’ve ever coached. They have a desire to win that I’ve never seen before,” he said.

This drive to win is especially noticeable during Ivy play. Driscoll, who joined the Princeton program in January, said that there is a difference in focus level when it comes to the Ivies. “Every time you change the game from a want to a must, the whole complexion of the game changes,” Driscoll said.

Even the style of play changes during Ivy games. The team, which usually plays a very pretty, possession oriented game, plays a “less aesthetically pleasing game” because both teams are playing with such intensity, according to Driscoll.

“We treat every Ivy League game as a championship game, because it is,” Driscoll said. “The Ivy League has never produced a champion that has had more than two losses [against other Ivies]. This puts incredible pressure on the players and on the coaching staff.” Continue reading

Young Talent Kickstarts Men’s Cross Country Team’s Season

The West Windsor Fields were far from their top condition for the Princeton Inter-Regional Meet on Saturday — it poured for the entirety of the day before, and strong gusts prevailed throughout the day — but the Princeton men’s cross country team wasn’t concerned.

“I think a lot of us ran personal bests on Saturday despite a wet course and all the wind,” said Brett Kelly ‘16, co-captain of the Tiger men’s squad. “The race really built our confidence.”

Steven Sum ’19 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Steven Sum ’19 (Office of Athletic Communications)

The team finished second at the meet out of 11 teams, placing behind No. 19 Indiana and ahead of ranked squads from Providence, UNC, and Virginia Tech. Such a strong performance against top teams means the Tigers themselves likely will be nationally ranked soon.

Steven Sum ’19 crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter course in 24:12.4 (6th overall), followed by Michael Sublette ’16 (24:18.8, 8th), Noah Kauppila ’18 (24:17.5, 11th), Sam Berger ’16 (24:25.4, 21st), and Jeremy Spiezio ’19 (24:26.5, 24th).

“We competed really well on Saturday,” said head coach Jason Vigilante, noting the win was part of an exciting start to the season — on Sept. 11, the Tigers defeated Harvard and Yale for a first-place finish in the HYP meet at Cambridge.

The West Windsor race showcased the talent of freshman runners Sum and Spiezio, who have been contributing throughout the season. “Jeremy was our fourth guy at HYP and Steven was our fifth,” Vigilante said. “I have to be very careful with them and do everything I can to make sure we don’t push them too hard as we go through.” Continue reading