Category Archives: Sports

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

Balanced Offense, Big Plays on Defense Help Football to First 2-0 Start Since 2006

For New York Mets fans, it has felt like a lifetime since their team last made the playoffs in 2006. As the Mets clinched their first National League East title in nine years on Saturday night, the Princeton football team also completed an important feat for the first time since ’06: starting the season 2-0, thanks to a 52-26 win over Lehigh at Princeton Stadium.

Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Leading the explosive Tiger offense, junior quarterback Chad Kanoff is beginning to reap the fruits of his labor. A native of Pacific Palisades, Calif., Kanoff arrived at Princeton as one of the top recruits in the country, ranked 14th nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks by Kanoff’s arrival in 2013, however, gave him little opportunity to start: Standout quarterback Quinn Epperly ’15 was at the helm, and went on to earn 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading the Tigers to a share of the conference title. With hopes of getting more reps during the 2014 season, Kanoff was sidelined by an injury for his entire sophomore season.

After Kanoff’s first two performances this fall, people unfamiliar with the new quarterback’s background would hardly be able to guess that he has spent a majority of his college career on the sidelines. He has racked up 451 passing yards and three touchdowns in blowout victories over Lafayette and Lehigh. Behind Kanoff’s strong passing game and the Tigers’ remarkable rushing, Princeton has scored 92 points in its first two games, better than any squad since the 1950 team scored 100 points in the first two games of its national championship season. Continue reading

Princeton Football Rolls to 40-7 Win at Lafayette

On Saturday night, Princeton became the last Division I football team to start its season, and the Tigers began it in style, bringing home the first season-opening win in Head Coach Bob Surace ’90’s five years with the program. Princeton beat Lafayette 40-7, the largest margin of victory in an opener since a 1955 win over Rutgers.

Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but by halftime, the Tigers were up 23-0. Two years ago, the team had been in the same position, up 22-3 against Lehigh in a game Princeton eventually lost, 29-28.

“We have a lot of returners, so probably 45 of the guys were there when we lost to Lehigh, and the first half had looked just like that,” Surace said.

The veteran team remembered the lesson of the 2013 opener. “We sustained our energy and had some really strong plays,” Surace said. “We were able to put blinders on and just play.”

Surace said he was excited to see Trevor Osborne ‘17 on the receiving end of Chad Kanoff ’17’s first career touchdown pass. (Kanoff, in his first game as a starter, completed 20 of 31 attempts for 256 yards with one interception.) The coach also was happy to see Khamal Brown ’16, who played as a cornerback his first three years, look comfortable playing as a safety in his first game in that position.

The offensive line had an impressive debut, paving the way for more than 300 rushing yards and excelling in pass protection. “I think they only touched quarterback twice,” Surace said.

Offensive tackle Mason Darrow ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Offensive tackle Mason Darrow ’17 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Part of that offensive line was junior tackle Mason Darrow. For Darrow, Saturday night’s win marked the end of a tremendous week. He publicly came out as gay on Tuesday, when an OutSports article featured his account of coming out to his teammates. Since then, the article has been shared on Facebook more than 26,000 times.

To top it off, Saturday night was the first time Darrow played since early in the 2014 season, when he tore his ACL against Columbia. After over months of slow rehab, Darrow was thrilled to be competing for the Tigers again.

“Honestly, it was just great to be back. That was the best I’ve ever felt walking out onto a football field,” he said.

As for the attention the OutSports article has given him, Darrow said everyone has been incredibly supportive and congratulatory, but the attention has been a little weird. Continue reading

Olson ’16 Competes at World Ultimate Tournament

Lyra Olson ’16 accepts the team spirit trophy for the United States at July’s World Under-23 Ultimate Championships. (Ultiphotos/Kevin Leclaire)

Lyra Olson ’16 accepts the team spirit trophy for the United States at July’s World Under-23 Ultimate Championships. (Ultiphotos/Kevin Leclaire)

When Lyra Olson ’16 went to the Eastern tryouts for the U.S. under-23 women’s ultimate Frisbee team last fall, she was amazed by the talented players around her. “These girls were just ballers,” she said. “It was the highest level of competitive ultimate I’d ever been in.”

Olson, in just her third year playing ultimate, admits that her skills may have been a notch below the top players. But she made her case with fitness, a valuable asset in a sport of near constant running and tournaments that routinely include two or three games in a day.

Olson was one of 24 women selected for the team, which traveled to London in July for the World Under-23 Ultimate Championships, held every four years.

For Olson, it was another highlight in a remarkable year that also included a trip to the national collegiate championships with the Princeton women’s team.

Olson began throwing a disc at an early age with father, Eric Olson ’80, who played ultimate as a Princeton undergrad. But she didn’t have a chance to play on a team until college. (In high school, she was a devoted violinist as well as a field hockey player and self-described “fitness junkie.”) Continue reading

Princeton Athletes Compete for Their Countries

Katie Reinprecht ’13 (Team USA)

Katie Reinprecht ’13 (Team USA)

U.S. field hockey midfielder KATIE REINPRECHT ’13 wasted little time in her squad’s debut at the Pan Am Games July 13. She scored in the second minute against Uruguay, sparking what would become a 5-0 victory for the United States. Sister JULIA REINPRECHT ’14, also a starter, helped to preserve the shutout on defense.

The field hockey stars are among more than a dozen Princeton athletes — alumni and undergraduates, from varsity and club sports — competing internationally this summer.

Men’s basketball standout HANS BRASE ’16 led Germany to a silver medal at the World University Games in South Korea July 13. The German team pushed the United States to double-overtime in the championship game before falling, 84-77. Brase’s Tiger teammate SPENCER WEISZ ’17 is representing Israel at the FIBA U-20 European Championship in Italy.

Women’s water polo teammates ASHLEIGH JOHNSON ’16 and ASHLEY HATCHER ’15 faced off in the Pan Am Games. Hatcher, playing for Argentina, scored three goals in three games (a win and two losses), while Johnson, a goalkeeper for the United States, held Cuba to three goals in a commanding 18-3 win during the group stage. Johnson will be playing for gold tonight when the Americans face Canada in the championship game. Continue reading