Football team celebrating and holding trophy

Princeton athletics teams ‘on fire’ during the fall semester

Quarterback John Lovett hoists the Ivy League championship trophy after closing out an undefeated season on Nov. 17 versus Penn.

Student-athletes at Princeton made their mark during a successful fall season in which Tiger teams won four Ivy League championships and added a fifth from another league. 

Women's soccer team celebrating on soccer field
The women’s soccer team celebrates a 1-0 victory over Penn as time expires on Nov. 3.

As December draws to a close, Princeton ranks seventh in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, which determine the best overall athletic programs using a formula based on NCAA post-season participation and success. Princeton has received points in the standings from men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, field hockey and men's water polo.

And that doesn’t include the football team, which swept all opponents in a 10-0 season, including victories over Harvard and Yale that earned the campus a bonfire celebration for the first time since 2013. It was Princeton’s first undefeated season since 1964, and the 2018 Tigers became the highest-scoring team in Ivy League history.

Soccer team celebrates and holds trophy
The men’s soccer team celebrates winning the Ivy League championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Other fall highlights included:

  • The men’s soccer team won the Ivy League championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament, falling in 14 rounds of penalty kicks to Michigan in Ann Arbor.
  • The women’s soccer team won the Ivy title and was eliminated at Lubbock, Texas, in the opening round against Texas Tech.
  • The field hockey team reached the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, defeating Virginia and Harvard before falling in overtime in the semifinals to Maryland. 
  • The men’s cross-country team won the Ivy championship and the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional before finishing 22nd at the NCAA Championships in Madison.
  • The women’s cross-country team finished second in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional and earned an automatic berth to the NCAA finals, where the Tigers finished 21st
  • The men’s water polo team won the Northeast Water Polo Conference title and lost to George Washington in overtime at DeNunzio Pool in the NCAA tournament.
    The bonfire from afar with thousands of students gathered around it

    The University community honored the Princeton football team for its victories over Harvard and Yale and its undefeated season with a traditional bonfire on Cannon Green Sunday night. The banners for other classes that celebrated bonfires hung on Morrison Hall, at right.