December 14, 2005: Features
Field days: 48 hours of Princeton sports, in pictures
By Brett Tomlinson and David Baumgarten ’06
Some Princeton athletes play in front of thousands of fans, others for mere dozens, but all are fueled by a passion for competition. On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, PAW followed six varsity teams to capture the stories behind the scores.
Photographs by Beverly Schaefer
Tucked among the fall foliage at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, on a hilly, winding loop of grass, dirt, and gravel, the fastest men and women in the Ivy League pushed their legs to their limits at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships Friday morning.
The NCAA Championships in November are the ultimate showdown for the nation’s best, but Heps is the favorite meet for most of Princeton’s runners, according to Catha Mullen ’07. “Everyone is so excited to run and it’s so competitive,” she says. “It’s not even about times anymore, it’s about beating the girl next to you.”
The 3.1-mile women’s race was the fastest in history, with three runners, including third-place finisher Cack Ferrell ’06, topping a meet record that had stood for more than two decades. Mullen and Mia Swenson ’07 were close behind, placing ninth and 11th, respectively. Princeton was second in the team standings behind Columbia.
As the women competed, the men warmed up in a remote corner of the park, stretching their muscles and collecting their thoughts without getting caught up in the palpable energy at the women’s finish line.
“The slightest thing can send your body into a real adrenaline rush,” explains Frank Macreery ’06, the Princeton captain.
When it was time to run, the Princeton men looked ready, starting strong and staying even with national power Dartmouth in the opening two miles of the five-mile run. The Tigers eventually settled into second place, with five runners in the top 16. Macreery placed third, three seconds off the winning pace.
Photograph by Ricardo Barros
Wearing an orange and black flannel jacket he borrowed from the marching band, Drew Schmidt had no intention of sitting and watching quietly as his daughter Hillary ’06 played the final home game of her illustrious Princeton field hockey career Friday night.
After all, as the recognized ringleader of the devoted and enthusiastic Tiger parent cheering section, Schmidt has a reputation to uphold. So he made sure the chatter never stopped, encouraging the Tigers, bellowing at the referees, and teasing the other parents like brothers and sisters.
But Schmidt’s loudest holler of the night was one of pure elation. Early in the second half, with the Tigers well on their way to routing Rutgers 5–0, Hillary fed younger sister Paige ’08 for her second of three goals — and their proud papa made some noise.
“Schmidt to Schmidt!” he screamed, arms raised high in triumph. “Schmidt to Schmidt!”
Sounds of the sideline
Photographs by Bill Allen ’79, NJ Sport/Action
Standing on the sideline at Princeton Stadium, the first thing you notice is the noise. Not any one sound, but the cacophony of all of them.
At Princeton’s football game against Cornell on Saturday, there was the clatter of the game: violent thwacks as players collided on the field, sturdy thuds as Derek Javarone ’06 practiced kicks into a net on the sideline, and shrill whistles as the referees blew a play dead.
There was the bellowing of the coaches: offensive line coach Stan Clayton hollering, “You gotta be strong!” at his charges; defensive backs coach Eric Jackson screaming “Jay Mac” over and over to get the attention of his star, Jay McCareins ’06; and defensive coordinator Don Dobes working the referees with shouts of, “He moved! He moved!”
There was the chatter of the supporting cast: a cameraman complaining about the cold, cheerleaders discussing the ideal height for a boyfriend, a professor explaining intricacies of the game to his two young sons, and public safety officer Kenny Samuel — now in his fourth decade on the sideline — exhorting the Tigers to “Pick that ‘D’ up!”
And then, when Javarone’s field goal split the uprights in overtime, giving Princeton a 20–17 win, there was the single loudest noise of the afternoon: the joyous sound of dozens of Tiger players and thousands of their fans roaring as one.
Minding the net
Photograph by Frank Wojciechowski
Whether crouching, leaping, diving, or just pacing patiently, Bobby Guelich ’06 seemed at home in front of the Princeton goal in the Tigers’ 2–0 win over Cornell Saturday afternoon. The long-limbed goalkeeper played sparingly in his first three seasons on the men’s soccer team, backing up more experienced players, but coach Jim Barlow ’91 never worried that Guelich would lose interest in the sport. “He loved the training,” Barlow says.
That training paid off this year, as Guelich entered the starting lineup and became one of the Ivy League’s most effective keepers. While he was not tested often in his two-save shutout against Cornell, the lack of action did not bother him. “I try to be there when they need me,” a smiling Guelich said after the game, “but some of my favorite games are when I hardly even touch the ball.”
Recapturing the magic
Photographs by Frank Wojciechowski
Last year was a dream season for women’s soccer, which rolled to an Ivy League title and four postseason wins, becoming the first Ivy team to reach the NCAA Final Four. After losing 10 seniors, coach Julie Shackford said she knew it would be tough to duplicate last year’s success, but that didn’t make the team’s 1–4–2 start this season any easier to take.
Co-captain Emily Behncke ’06, a self-described optimist, says she learned more from this season’s struggles than she did from last year’s wins, and by late October, Princeton’s outlook was beginning to brighten. Led by three Behncke goals, Princeton beat Cornell 4–1 Saturday evening, winning its third straight game and inching within three points (one win) of first-place Dartmouth. Of the winning streak, Behncke says, “We feel like we have a little magic right now.”