Walking around campus, you might never recognize senior forward Jen Hoy, though she has scored nearly twice as many goals as anyone else in the Ivy League this season. Despite her on-field successes, she maintains a low profile, out of the spotlight. On the field, however, the Sellersville, Pa., native does not take on an unassuming role, as Hoy’s combination of speed and poise has carried the Tigers to a 2-0 record in the Ivy League this season.
As a child, Hoy abounded with energy, to the point that her parents “wanted to channel it in a productive way,” she said. Since beginning her sports career at the age of 4, she has always enjoyed playing soccer but did not adopt it as her primary sport until fifth grade — she also excelled in competitive gymnastics before deciding to focus on soccer. “The rest,” she said, “is history.”
Hoy had an impressive high school and club soccer career — both of her teams were among the nation’s best in her senior year — which garnered much interest among colleges, but she always knew she wanted to attend Princeton.
“When I was little, someone asked me how I would define success and where I wanted to be when I’m older,” she said. “I told them that I want to go to Princeton. It was literally my first thought.”
After attending a soccer camp at Princeton and having the opportunity to get to the know the team’s coaches, Hoy’s mind was all but decided.
“It’s the perfect combination of academics and athletics, and that’s why it was so attractive,” she said.
Hoy acknowledged that the “perfect combination” can be difficult to juggle, explaining that she has developed the ability to balance soccer and class well over the years. But she noted an interesting phenomenon: During the season, she tends to perform even better academically.
“In season, you have to manage your time better,” she said. “It really forces you to be focused and take advantage of that small amount of time; otherwise you’re not going to get anything done.”
Now one of the senior leaders of the team, Hoy said that she and her older teammates strive to set a good example, creating a trickle-down effect that energizes the rest of the team. These efforts have not gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.
“She couldn’t be a more kind and generous kid. She’s a great teammate,” head coach Julie Shackford said. “She’s always led by example, and I think this year she’s really stepped up in the leadership area.”
Hoy has stepped up even more in the production area this season. Through 10 games, her 11 goals and 22 points lead the Ivy League by enormous margins; she also has two hat tricks, both coming in non-conference games against Colgate and Lafayette earlier this season.
In the classroom, Hoy is concentrating in economics, with a certificate in Spanish. She also loves to travel and looks forward to spending some time exploring the world before beginning a career in the financial industry after graduation.
For now, though, Hoy and her team will focus on shorter-term goals, beginning with a match against Brown on Saturday at 4 p.m. To Hoy, every game represents an important opportunity for the Tigers to work toward their goal of winning the Ivy League — and after a strong start to the season, including close victories over Yale and Dartmouth in recent weeks, Hoy thinks that this could be the year.
“I love my team; I love my teammates. We have a really great thing going for us this year,” she said. “It’s definitely a very attainable goal as long as we continue putting in the work.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/04/31375/