December 18, 2002: Sports
Sports Web Exclusives! P-nut Gallery column
wins and twins
Photo: Julie Shackford coached the womens soccer team to its fourth straight NCAA appearance. (beverly schaefer)
Coach Julie Shackford helped put Princetons womens soccer team in the spotlight this season. But it wasnt the Tigers 12-game, season-opening win streak or their top-15 national ranking that earned her and the squad ink in newspapers around the country. The focus was on the twins a pregnant Shackford carried all season.
The only time I can get press is when Im 50 pounds overweight, jokes Shackford, who was eight months pregnant when her teams season ended November 15 with a 20 loss to 12th-ranked Penn State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. She was also seven months pregnant with her daughter, Kayleigh, in 2000 as the Tigers headed into the NCAA tournament.
This years pregnancy did little to slow Shackford in her eighth season at Princeton. She coached the team to a 1331 record and its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Tigers also won their first outright Ivy League championship after sharing the title the previous two years.
The pregnancy was not difficult, although I started to get more tired toward the end. The only thing I did differently was not play with the
team, says Shackford, who is due December 27. She plans to return to campus and her off-season coaching duties after a two-month maternity leave. It will be a challenge, but I cant think of a better environment in which to raise kids.
The pregnancy was not all Shackford, a three-time All-American at William and Mary, had to deal with this year. She was hit with a late-season bout of bronchitis, which led to a broken rib caused by violent coughing attacks.
Despite all of that, she was our foundation the entire season, says Heather Deerin 03, who earned first team, All-Ivy honors for the fourth consecutive year, the 34th athlete in Princeton history to do so.
If Shackford was tired, she did not let her team know. She kept the same intensity from the beginning of the season until the end, says Esmeralda Negron 05, whose eight goals led the team this season.
The Tigers and their coach almost made history when they jumped out of the gate with 12 wins, making them the countrys only undefeated, untied team at the time. The streak ended in a double-overtime thriller at home against Harvard on October 26 that the Crimson won 10. The only Princeton womens soccer team to win more consecutive games was the 1980 squad, which won its first 14 games in the programs inaugural year as a varsity sport.
It was hard not to think about the winning streak, although we did try not to talk about it too much, says Deerin, who spearheaded a defense that allowed only 11 goals this season. Its kind of like when a pitcher is throwing a perfect game, you just dont talk about it and hope not to jinx it.
hockeys high hopes languish
By Paul Hagar 91
Photo: Ilvy Friebe 03 made the All-America first team for the second straight year. (beverly schaefer)
As field hockey season came to an end, the Tigers should have been savoring yet another Ivy title and an eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament.
But in the days following a 32 loss to Penn State on November 17 just a game away from the Final Four the team instead was looking back on a rocky road and wondering what might have been.
The first sign that this season would be difficult came in its debut, a 32 loss to Ohio at Class of 1952 Stadium. Princeton hadnt dropped an opening game in 10 years. After falling behind, the Tigers evened the score and dominated the game late, but couldnt put in a winning goal. It was an unfortunate trend that would reemerge throughout the season, as the team consistently produced more shots and more scoring chances off penalty corners than its opponents.
I think this team is an example of our record [127 overall, 70 Ivy] not reflecting the quality of team that we are, said coach Beth Bozman. Her disappointment was understandable the Tigers seven defeats were more than in any season since 1990, when the team was 88. To be fair, five of her teams losses were to opponents ranked in the top 10 nationally, two of which were ranked number one at the time.
And its not as though the Tigers have nothing to celebrate. Princeton extended its dynasty in the Ivy League with a ninth consecutive championship (10th overall), and a third consecutive undefeated league season. Ironically, the Tigers success in the Ivies may have hampered its ability to climb the rankings. It entered the tournament ranked ninth nationally, a ranking that resulted in a lower seed in the NCAA tournament.
Princetons final two games encapsulated the ability and angst of the 2002 squad. On November 16, the team upset national-champ Michigan, 43, to avenge last seasons loss in the semifinals. A day later, however, the Tigers would lose to Penn State despite out-shooting them 1710, hitting three shots off goalposts, glancing one off the crossbar, and missing two empty nets.
You hate to admit it, but you do need a little luck to win, said Bozman. And I believe you create your own luck. But looking at what we did all year, you have to wonder what more we could have done.
In 2003, despite losing seniors on attack, including stars Ilvy Friebe, who earned her second straight Ivy Player of the Year award, and Rachael Becker, as well as goalie Kelly Baril 03, Bozman will be looking for an unprecedented 10th Ivy League title. According to the coach, the team returns a good core group, centered on juniors Cory Picketts and Claire Miller, along with a host of talented sophomores and an infusion of new talent at attack and in goal.
Paul Hagar 91 writes frequently for PAW.
Photo: Cameron Atkinson 03 (beverly schaefer)
Princeton football (64, 43 Ivy) ended its first winning season since 1997 on a high note as Cameron Atkinson 03 saved his best for last. The senior tailback ran for a career-best 233 yards on 28 carries, including 181 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-point fourth quarter, to carry the Tigers to a 3830 win over Dartmouth at home November 23. With 1,028 yards, Atkinson became the first Princeton back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Keith Elias 94 in 1993. The mens basketball team opened its season with a 6259 win over Western Michigan in the first round of the Sooner Invitational in Oklahoma November 22. Judson Wallace 05, who made the All-Tournament team, scored nine points and grabbed 14 rebounds in his first career start and Spencer Gloger 04 led all scorers with 18 points. But Princeton was unable to do much against its hosts the following night as Oklahoma, ranked third in one national poll at the time, took the championship game 8263. Andre Logan 04 led the Tigers with 16 points. The mens rugby team defended its Eastern Penn Rugby Union league championship title, drubbing West Chester 365 on October 27 and avenging its only loss of the fall season. The team, which is coached by Tom MacFarlane 88, is seeded fourth in the springs Mid-Atlantic regional tournament and will be vying for a national title.
In mens soccer, Jeff Hare 04 was a unanimous All-Ivy first-team selection for the second straight year, and Bob Nye 03 was selected to the second team. Womens volleyballs Abby Studer 03 and Kellie Cramm 04 were selected to the All-Ivy first team, while their teammate Michelle Buffum 03 made the second team. In womens soccer, Emily Behncke 06 was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The mens water polo team placed cocaptains Kevin Foster 03 and Robert Urquhart 03 on the All-Southern first team. Peter Sabbatini 05 and John Stover 06 made the second-team All-Southern. Foster was also named first team All-Eastern, while Urquhart was selected to the second team.