Sports: December 1, 1999

Men's soccer earns Ivy championship
For first time in 15 years, women earn way to NCAA tournament, but inexperience costs them

In the end, the margin between the men's soccer team and the rest of the Ivy League was slim: a last-minute penalty kick and two stellar stops at the goal line. But the former allowed Princeton to beat Penn, 1-0, in Philadelphia November 6 and the latter gave the Tigers a 0-0 tie against Yale a week later.

Together, the win and tie clinched the Ivy championship for Princeton (11-4-2, 6-1-1 Ivy), its first since 1993.

"We always say that good teams create their own luck," said Griff Behncke '00, who put away the penalty shot in the 89th minute against the Quakers.

Lucky and good, Behncke and his teammates take Princeton back to the NCAA tournament, on November 21 against Virginia, after a three-year absence and for the first time in head coach Jim Barlow '91's tenure.

The last three years, marred by injuries and disappointing finishes, have been long ones for the team. But the wait has sweetened this season's success, especially for seniors like Behncke.

"You always expect a lot at the beginning of your four years," he said. "Finally getting to the postseason makes this season's finish all the more exciting."

Winning the Ivy race took a couple of last ditch efforts from Princeton. After Behncke clinched the victory over Penn, the Tigers had to beat or tie Yale. A loss would not only have dropped Princeton out of first place but also out of the NCAA tournament picture completely. Twice in the closing minutes of the second half, at a packed Lourie-Love field November 13, Princeton almost lived that nightmare. First, goaltender Jason White '03 batted away a Yale corner kick only to have an attacker redirect the ball at a White-less goal. Defender Bob Nye '03 was there, however, and he deflected a certain game-winner. Then with under a minute to play, Princeton lost possession in their own end, and left White to face an attacker all alone. But White coolly turned aside the shot, the last threat to Princeton's title.

Women's Soccer

Despite stumbling in its regular season finale against Penn, the women's soccer team managed a berth in the NCAA tournament. And although the team fell to Hartford 2-1 in the opening round, the tourney appearance itself was a milestone.

"Being here is a credit to our program and the league," head coach Julie Shackford said after the game.

It was no small feat for the Tigers (12-5-1, 4-2-1 Ivy); they had not been in the championship tournament in 15 years. They looked in jeopardy of missing the NCAA's again when they lost a 1-0 decision to the Quakers on November 6 and dropped to third place in the final Ivy standings. But by virtue of a strong overall record, the team grabbed an at-large bid.

Hartford hosted the game and looked the more seasoned bunch in jumping out to a 2-0 lead. But Dana Decore '00, whose 59 career points put her second on Princeton's all-time scoring list, headed home a cross late in the second half to pull the Tigers to within one. That was all the scoring Princeton could manage.

"Inexperience in this postseason environment may have cost us," Shackford said, of a young team that finally has some tournament savvy.

-Oakley Brooks '99

The men's cross country team has been in front of the pack in the Ivy league from the beginning of the season, which culminated in a win for the third year in a row at the Heptagonals, October 29 in New York's Van Cortland Park. Leading the Tiger stampede was Paul Morrison '02 (second from left), who finished first overall in 24:36.6. At his heels was second-place Mike Spence '00 (far left), Pat Anglin '01 (center), Chris Banks '00 (second from right), and Alex Hallett '01. The women's team finished sixth overall.

Football losses continue

Any prospect of salvaging something out of what could be coach Steve Tosches's worst year in 13 seasons ended with quarterback Tommy Crenshaw's face planted on the 10-yard stripe with 2:06 left of the Yale game at Princeton Stadium on November 13. Even lying on the ground, Crenshaw '02 knew no one had caught his pass, which would have tied the game.

Crenshaw had just brought the Tigers within two points with a bullet between a pair of defenders for a touchdown. But on the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, two wide-outs had collided, forcing Crenshaw to throw the ball through the back of the end zone. There just wasn't anything there. With just the Dartmouth game left, Princeton was 1-5 in the Ivy League and 3-6 overall.

There was the same lack of anything the week before, when the Tigers played Penn at Franklin Field. After a lackluster first half ended at 6-6, the Quakers put up three touchdowns in just over five minutes of the third quarter. Princeton finally got a touchdown in the fourth, but Penn produced two, leaving the final score 41-13.

Against the Elis, who came in tied with Brown for the Ivy league, the Tigers played better than themselves. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-0 lead before defensive back Brian Beem '02 picked off a screen pass at the Yale 40 and ran it in for a score. Kicker Taylor Northrup '02 muffed the point after and though he later added a field goal, the half concluded 10-9.

In the third quarter, the Tigers, using a dime defense, doubling each receiver, quelled the Eli passing attack. Quarterback Joe Walland responded by scrambling for 101 yards on 16 carries and nailing passes underneath the coverage. A two-yard touchdown run and a missed extra point followed and, with 13:24 to play, Yale led 23-9.

Something happened to the Tigers then. A 37-yard pass to Phil Wendler '00 brought the Tigers within eight, but Northrup again failed to convert, creating the need for the two-point try. Crenshaw and running back Kyle Brandt '01 hooked up on a perfect screen for 36 yards to the Yale 12, followed by another touchdown catch by Wendler. The final score was 23-21.

-Stephen R. Dujack '76

Sisterhood helps women's ice hockey team
With last year's seniors gone, men's team faces challenges

Coming into the season, the women's ice hockey team stressed the benefits of improved team chemistry. While it's too early to tell how close the Tigers have grown, sisterhood has already proved a powerful force for Princeton-the sisterhood of Nikola '03 and Annamarie Holmes '01, that is.

Through four games, the two forwards from Apple Valley, Minnesota, have accounted for six of the team's nine goals. The elder Holmes was the star in the season opener November 6, as the Tigers came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 tie against Northeastern. Holmes knotted the game at one early in the first period and later fed Andrea Kilbourne '02 for the game-tying goal with just under seven minutes to play in the third period.

Nikola Holmes scored her first career goal the next day, and it looked as though her tally might earn the Tigers another tie, but at 18:39 of the final period, Providence's Jessica Tabb scored a breakaway goal to hand Princeton a deflating 2-1 defeat. Nikola added two more goals the following game to lead Princeton over Maine 3-1 for its first win of the season. Her first goal, which put the Tigers ahead to stay at 17:32 of the first period, came off an assist from sister Annamarie.

Not to be outdone, Annamarie came back with two goals of her own at New Hampshire on 14, but it was not enough, as Princeton was outshot 32-18 en route to a 5-3 loss. Holmes's second goal had put Princeton up 3-1 in the second period, but New Hampshire cut the lead to one before using a Holmes of its own, senior forward Samantha (unrelated), to tie the game at three. New Hampshire added a late goal and an empty-netter for the final margin.

In men's action, head coach Don Cahoon faces perhaps the toughest challenge of his nine-year tenure in replacing the celebrated members of the Class of 1999, four players now playing professionally and who spearheaded the Tigers to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1998.

Through five games the team had yet to notch its first win, but some hope came in the form of a tie at home, November 6, against ECAC favorite and defending conference champion Clarkson. With Princeton trailing 3-2 in the final minute of regulation, Cahoon pulled goalie Craig Bradley '00 for an extra attacker. Winger Shane Campbell '01 took a feed from Chris Corrinet '01 and knocked the puck home to send the game to overtime. In the extra frame, Princeton outshot Clarkson 4-1 but could not score again.

Behind two goals from forward Kirk Lamb '01, Princeton earned another tie in its next game, a 5-5 stalemate with Dartmouth, November 12 in Hanover. The Tigers continued their scoring run the following night against Vermont, getting two power play goals from Brad Parsons '02 to go up 4-3 in the final period. Vermont countered with three late goals and toppled Princeton 6-4, dropping the Tigers to 0-3-2 on the season, 0-2-2 in conference play.

-Jeremy Weissman '01

Women's Basketball Schedule

November 19          Lehigh          home          7:30 p.m.

November 21          Navy          away          1:00 p.m.

November 23          Delaware          away          5:30 p.m.

Princeton Invitational
at Princeton University

November 26          Arkansas vs. UNC-W          2:00 p.m.

                               Princeton vs. Ohio          4:00 p.m.

November 27          Consolation Game          2:00 p.m.

                               Championship Game          4:00 p.m.

December 1          Lafayette          home          7:30 p.m.

Roger L. White Invitational
at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

December 3          New Hampshire vs. Miami-OH          6:00 p.m.

                             Princeton vs. Northwestern          8:00 p.m.

December 4          Consolation Game          6:00 p.m.

                             Championship Game          8:00 p.m.

December 11          Siena          home          7:30 p.m.

Ala Moana Hotels Paradise Classic
at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

December 21          vs. Vanderbilt          6:00 p.m.

December 22          vs. Hawaii          8:00 p.m.

December 23          vs. Fairfield          9:00 p.m.

January 2          Providence          away          2:00 p.m.

January 8          Pennsylvania          home          2:00 p.m.

January 24          Rider home          5:30 p.m.

January 28            Cornell          home          7:30 p.m.

January 29          Columbia          home          7:30 p.m.

February 4          Brown          home          7:30 p.m.

February 5          Yale          home          7:30 p.m.

February 11          Dartmouth          away          7:00 p.m.

February 12          Harvard          away          6:00 p.m.

February 18          Columbia          away          7:00 p.m.

February 19          Cornell          away          7:00 p.m.

February 25          Harvard          home          7:30 p.m.

February 26          Dartmouth          home          7:30 p.m.

March 3          Yale          away          7:00 p.m.

March 4          Brown          away          7:00 p.m.

March 7          Pennsylvania          away          tbd

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