December 19, 2001: Sports

Stellar field hockey season ends just short of NCAA title game

Women’s soccer on the verge of becoming national power
Team closes out season in NCAAs

MenÍs soccer reaches second round of NCAA playoffs; plus a wrapup of other fall action

Out of tune
Men’s basketball hits sour notes in opening losses

Sports Web Exclusives! The Varsity Typewriter column


Stellar field hockey season ends just short of NCAA title game
Final Four follows Ivy championship

By Paul Hagar ’91

Photo: Record-breaker: Ilvy Friebe ’03 sparked the Tiger attack in 2001. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton’s field hockey team (17—3, 7—0 Ivy) continued its litany of success this year, winning its eighth Ivy League title, earning its second victory this season over defending champion Old Dominion, this one coming in an NCAA second-round game, and making its fourth appearance in the Final Four. The Tigers’ quest for a collegiate title came up one game short, with a 4—2 loss to eventual champion Michigan. Princeton coach Beth Bozman put this year’s team on par with her highly successful teams from the late 1990s, which made consecutive trips to the Final Four in 1996, 1997, and 1998. “This is the same kind of team as we had with Kirsty Hale ’98 and Molly O’Malley ’98,” she said. “It’s nice to see a team like this that’s so connected get rewarded with results like this.”

The highlight of Princeton’s postseason came a day after the team soundly beat Northeastern, 4—1, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. On a chilly, windy Veterans’ Day at the Class of 1952 Stadium, Princeton defeated Old Dominion, 2—1. The Tigers survived a difficult first half in which they had trouble sustaining an attack in the face of strong defense from Old Dominion. Ilvy Friebe ’03 managed to break through for the game’s first score at 26:23, but the Lady Monarchs tied the game about eight minutes later on a shot between the legs of Kelly Baril ’03 from directly in front of the net.

After halftime, Princeton developed several strong scoring chances, but was turned aside several times by strong play from Old Dominion goalkeeper Marybeth Freeman. With less than six minutes remaining, rising star Cory Picketts ’04 finally scored the game-winner, sliding to the center and slipping a ball through the sprawling goalie. “It’s easy to see Picketts’ raw strength, but her finesse is not as obvious,” said Bozman. “She can thread a needle, which is what she did on that play.” The Tigers then held on for the 2—1 victory, turning aside several strong attacks from Old Dominion.

A week later in their national semi-final game at Ohio’s Kent State University, the situation was reversed as Princeton competed well in the first half, but fell under a barrage of pressure from Michigan in the second. The Tigers took an early lead about 10 minutes into the half, when Emily Townsend ’03 scored during a scramble after a Princeton penalty corner, but Michigan tied the score before halftime, putting a rebound past Baril on a play also sparked by a penalty corner. In the second half, the Tigers retook the lead on a goal from Picketts, but Michigan then scored three unanswered goals, thanks in part to an 11—3 edge in penalty corners.

Several Princeton stars earned individual honors as members of the All-Ivy, All-conference, and All-America squads. Leading the way was All-American scoring star Friebe, who won unanimous election as player of the year in the Ivy League and also was named Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I Field Hockey Player of the Year. Friebe’s 30 goals and 72 total points led the nation this year, and she broke Ivy records for goals and points in a season, as well as goals in a game (four, against Columbia). Joining Friebe on the

Ivy and All-America teams were Townsend, who was second in team scoring and a key defensive player, Baril, and Claire Miller ’04.

From the beginning of this season, Princeton’s players described hard work and chemistry as the most important elements for their continuing success. Next year, expect Bozman’s team to maintain that focus. With none of its players graduating and a taste for the national championship, the Tigers are an obvious choice to contend for next year’s title.

Paul Hagar ’91 is a former senior editor for PAW.

 

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Women’s soccer on the verge of becoming national power
Team closes out season in NCAAs

By Paul Hagar ’91

Photo: Heather Deerin ’03 led a defense that gave up only nine goals this season. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton’s women’s soccer team can count this season as one of its most successful, despite a tough

1—0 loss at home to Rutgers in the second round of the NCAA College Cup. After winning their second straight Ivy League championship, the Tigers (14—3—2, 5—1—1 Ivy) notched a 3-1 victory over Loyola in the first round, giving Princeton its first victory in the tournament in nearly two decades.

But Princeton’s run ended when it couldn’t answer a Rutgers goal scored in a rough-and-tumble first half. In an uncharacteristic defensive lapse, the Tigers failed to clear a ball from their zone, giving the Scarlet Knights a golden opportunity. A Rutgers forward then beat Princeton’s star defender (and Ivy Player of the Year) Heather Deerin ’03 to the ball and chipped a shot in over senior goalie Catherine Glenn.

After the game, coach Julie Shackford spoke highly of her team’s efforts. “Overall it was a great year. We asserted ourselves as one of the top teams in the country, and I consider [this season] a smashing success,” she said.

In the first-round game – a 3-1 win at home over Loyola on November 16 – a focused Tiger team scored early and often, racing to a 3-0 lead within 25 minutes.

Shackford credits her four seniors (midfielders Jessica Collins, Linley Gober, and Liz Patrick, as well as goalie Glenn) for the quick development of the team this year. It was the combination of their experience and youth that strengthened Princeton on both ends of the field.

A nearly flawless defense, led by Deerin and goalkeeper Glenn, allowed only four goals in Ivy League play and gave up just nine goals overall. The offense showcased the Tigers’ youth: Four of their top five scorers are underclassmen.

Victories over perennial rivals Harvard, 2-1, and Dartmouth, 1-0, and a tough 2-0 loss to second-ranked U.C.L.A. on October 7 brought the Tigers national attention, a top-25 ranking, and showed the team was able to compete with the nation’s best. Add in this year’s postseason experience and Princeton may be ready to move into the elite ranks of college soccer.

 

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Men’s soccer reaches second round of NCAA playoffs; plus a wrapup of other fall action

Three straight weekends of hosting NCAA tournament competition at Princeton in November made for an exciting close to the fall season. The final weekend saw the men’s soccer team suffer the same fate as the women’s team when it lost 2—1 to Fairleigh Dickinson in the second round at home. The co-Ivy League champs featured the Ivy Player of the Year, Mike Nugent ’02. Nugent was the first player to win the award since his coach, Jim Harlow ’91, in 1990. Matt Behncke ’02, goalkeeper Jason White ’03, and Jeff Hare ’04 joined Nugent as All-Ivy first-teamers. Despite putting offensive pressure on F.D.U. throughout the game, the Tigers could not convert a second-half penalty kick and numerous other opportunities in front of F.D.U.’s goal.

Here’s a look at some other fall action and awards: Women’s Cross-Country: Emily Kroshus ’04 and Catherine Casey ’02 ran to All-Ivy honors. Kroshus competed at the NCAA championships, placing 124 out of 249. Men’s Cross-Country: Four Tigers placed in the top 15 to earn the victory at the IC4A championships in November. Wes Stockard ’02 and Jon Bell ’03 earned All-Ivy recognition. Football: The season-ending surge carried into awards season, with three Tigers earning All-Ivy honors. Kicker Taylor Northrup ’02, linebacker Chris Roser-Jones ’02, and defensive back Kevin Kongslie ’03 all made the first team. Women’s Soccer: Heather Deerin ’03 was named Ivy Player of the Year. Deerin, who was also named first team All-Ivy for the third time, is the first Tiger to win the award since Dodie Colavecchio ’88 in 1985. Krista Ariss ’03 and Catherine Glenn ’02 also made the first team. Volleyball: After a four-year run, the Tigers relinquished their Ivy League title to Brown. They finished 15—9, including 9—5 in the league. Water Polo: A 17—5 record earned the Tigers the 20th spot in the national College Water Polo Association rankings, after a sixth-place finish at the Eastern Championships, where they lost to the University of Massachusetts. Sprint Football: A season-ending loss at home to Penn, 35—6, to close out the season left the Tigers with an 0—6 mark.

By A.D.

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Out of tune
Men’s basketball hits sour notes in opening losses

By Wes Tooke ’98

Photo: Center Konrad Wysocki ’04 heads a talented corps of big men. (Beverly Schaefer)

Over the past few years we reporters have grown accustomed to introducing the Princeton men’s basketball team with a flattering metaphor. David vs. Goliath. Poetry in motion. And usually the team has deserved our most hyperbolic phrases, especially during that breathtaking run in 1998 when they became a jazz quintet, taking the traditional Princeton offense and riffing it into one of the finest displays of pure basketball in recent memory.

So what are we to do with this season’s squad, a team that looked mediocre losing its first two games? After all, last year’s team, which surprised us by making the NCAA tournament, seemed to set the stage for another engaging run this season. The team returned a sturdy corps of players, added a few intriguing freshmen, and has several talented upperclassmen returning from various sabbaticals.

Another run may yet materialize. But the team that was shredded 70—58 by a solid Cal squad in the opening game of the Black Coaches Association Classic didn’t appear as if it was ready to play competitive basketball against a big-conference opponent. The Tigers looked tentative, unnerved by the large partisan Cal crowd, and were sloppy enough to turn the ball over an astonishing 24 times. During one five-minute stretch the team committed the following mistakes: a three-second violation, traveling, two offensive fouls away from the ball, several bad shots near the end of the clock, and dribbling fumbles off two knees and a foot.

For most of the game all of Princeton’s flaws were on display. The team has no players who can create off the dribble or penetrate against an athletic opponent, and none of the squad’s big men command any attention in the post. On defense Princeton also has to try to disguise its weakness in the middle.

But the next night, as Princeton faced the unenviable task of playing an excellent St. Joseph’s team that was surly from losing in the tournament’s first round, the Tigers played 25 minutes of basketball that demonstrated they have real potential. As the team matched St. Joseph’s – ranked 10th in one national poll at the time – basket for basket, the Tigers looked like a deep squad of athletic, sharp-shooting swingmen who can play aggressive, disruptive defense even against one of the best backcourts in the nation. Although Princeton got in foul trouble down the stretch and missed good shots — ultimately losing 74-63 — the team’s prospects appeared much brighter than just 24 hours earlier.

After the game, however, Thompson nevertheless had the betrayed look of a teacher who has just watched his entire class bomb its first exam. “A lot of things need improvement,” he said grimly. “Offense. Defense.” His withering assessment aside, it appears the Tigers will need to repeat their pattern of growing into themselves during the season. This team is more athletic than the other Ivies, and much deeper. But to win outside the conference the Tigers need to improve in every aspect of the game.

The first priority is developing the young big men. Center Konrad Wysocki ’04 is agile and sweet-shooting, but is also undersized and needs to develop his post moves. His backups, Dominick Martin ’05 and Mike Stephens ’05, may contribute this season. But the pair looked lost at both ends of the floor during the first two games, which is natural. Thompson, however, seems reluctant to grant his new players any grace period. “We’ve got a lot of young guys who’ve got to learn what college basketball is all about,” he said after the loss to St. Joseph’s. Perhaps he is so critical because he knows that this team, if it plays its best basketball, has a chance to be worthy of its own flattering metaphor by season’s end.

Wes Tooke ’98 is a former PAW senior editor.

Dominant debut

What a difference a year makes for the Princeton women’s basketball team. Coming off a 2—25 season, the Tigers jumped out to a 3—1 start with victories over Lehigh, St. Francis (New York) and Northeastern. New head coach Richard Baron and his up-tempo offense – the team is averaging more than 80 points in its victories – appear to be a good fit with the young team. Karen Bolster ’05 scored 23 points in her collegiate debut. Only Bill Bradley ’65 had more to start his Princeton career, with 27 in 1962.

By A.D.

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