Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn nsellyn@princeton.edu

February 12, 2003:

Can women's lacrosse repeat as national champions?
Women's lax's Hannah Foster '03 talks about polls, teammates, and women's sports

By Nate Sellyn '04

In 2002 the Princeton women's lacrosse team won its second national championship. The Tigers also earned their sixth Ivy League championship with a perfect 7-0 conference mark, en route to a 19-1 season.

The team also set records for longest winning streak (19), most points in a season (428), most goals in a season (291), and most assists in a season (137). What was maybe the greatest women's lacrosse team in school history, also held on to the top spot in national coaches' poll for five consecutive weeks, also a school record length.

Much of the same is expected of Princeton in 2003. Two weeks ago, the Tigers were named the #1 team in the nation in a preseason poll.

So this week I sat down with a member of the team, senior defenseman Hannah Foster, the only walk-on from her class to compete with the team. Foster is also a team legacy. Her mother, Dinah Seiver '73, played lacrosse during the team's inaugural two-game season in 1973, as well as field hockey, at Princeton.


Here's what Foster had to say:

What do you think about the team's #1 preseason ranking?

The only ranking that matters to us is the one for the postseason NCAA tourney. We don't care about the newspapers' preseason predictions. They have no bearing on our performance on the field.

How does this year's starting lineup compare with last year's?

Every year we have a totally different team. So many seniors graduated in '02, a lot of other people have a chance to step up and be leaders.

Who can the fans expect to see a lot from this year?

Look to the sophomore class: Elizabeth Pillion, Jenny Austin, Sarah Kolodner, Lindsey Biles, Iggy [Ingrid] Goldberg, and Leigh Slonaker. I know they have all stepped up so far, and I trust they will continue to do so.

Your team is almost as successful as the men's team, but you receive a great deal less coverage. Why is that?

There's less spectator interest in women's collegiate athletics, and it is crucial to maintain a high level of support at the institutional level, hence the importance of Title IX.

Female athletes are just as passionate and invested in their athletics as males and with continued support they will see a rise in spectator interest.

What do you do when you're not playing lacrosse?

I'm writing my thesis on Native Americans and South Africans, which I'm really enjoying. I represent history majors on the Undergraduate Program Committee. I'm in the teacher prep program, and I plan on teaching high school history when I graduate. I hang out a lot. I like puns and word games.

Now that you're a senior, is your role on the team different?

I have much more experience now, and I think I can use that to help with the freshmen. I'm just deliriously happy to still be playing. The other seniors are among my best friends and role models.

Last year the women's team celebrated the championship by meeting President Bush. Presuming the season ends the same way, what prominent figure would you like to meet this year?

President Tilghman. We had a session with the president of the United States, but haven't yet gotten a chance to hang out with, and maybe even be congratulated by, the president of our university.


You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU