Winter athletes enjoy record-breaking success
Princeton's varsity sports teams enjoyed a season of success this winter, highlighted by record-breaking performances by the women's hockey and basketball teams and by Yasser El Halaby, the most dominant player in collegiate men's squash history.
The women's hockey team, ranked No. 6 in the nation, earned its first-ever NCAA tournament berth after collecting a team-record 21 victories and winning its first Ivy League title since 1995. Princeton will take the ice against fourth-ranked Minnesota, the two-time defending national champion, at 8 p.m. EST Friday, March 17, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Updates will be available on the team's home page on the Princeton athletics Web site.
The Tigers' strong showing led to a number of individual honors: head coach Jeff Kampersal was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference women's hockey coach of the year; junior forward Kim Pearce and junior defender Laura Watt were named to the all-ECAC first team; and forward Annie Greenwood was co-winner of the ECAC rookie of the year award.
In men's squash, El Halaby capped his remarkable career by winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive national individual championship. El Halaby defeated Harvard's Siddharth Suchde in the finals, avenging a loss earlier in the season.
The men's squash team fell to defending champion Trinity in the national title contest after finishing in a three-way tie with Harvard and Yale for the Ivy League championship. During El Halaby's career, Princeton twice advanced to the national team finals and won two Ivy League titles.
Another Princeton team that shared the Ivy League crown this winter was the women's basketball squad, which tied with Dartmouth and Brown. Despite the disappointment of losing to Dartmouth in a playoff for the league's NCAA tournament slot, Princeton enjoyed a record-breaking 2005-06 season, with 21 wins overall and 12 victories in the Ivy League -- both new highs.
Senior center Becky Brown and sophomore forward Meagan Cowher earned first-team all-Ivy honors, the first time since 1981 that two Princeton players earned those honors. On the men's side, senior guard Scott Greenman was named first-team all-Ivy after helping the Tigers rebound from early-season struggles to finish second in the league.
Also turning in championship performances this winter were the women's and men's swimming and diving teams. The women's team collected its 16th Ivy League title, entering the league championships as an underdog but managing a resounding defeat of defending champion Harvard. The men's team captured the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League title and shared the dual meet championship with Harvard.
The men's team enjoyed a number of notable individual performances this season, including sophomore diver Stuart Malcolm breaking a 31-year-old school record on the three-meter board. Juniors Meir Hasbani (swimming) and Kent DeMond (diving) will compete in the NCAA championships, which are scheduled for March 23-25. Joining them at NCAAs will be freshman diver Peggy Kearns of the women's team.
For more on Princeton's varsity sports teams, visit the University's athletics Web site.