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 As another academic year comes to a close, the Princetonian Sports Editors present our end of year awards for 2018-19.

Best Female Athlete: Bella Alarie, women’s basketball

In her junior year, Alarie, already the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, took her dominance over the conference to a new level. She broke a Princeton single-season record with 22.8 points per game and added 10.6 rebounds per game and 2.8 blocks per game. She recorded two forty-plus point games, scoring 45 at Columbia to set an Ivy League record and 41 at Dartmouth. She missed the first nine games of the season due to injury, and Princeton struggled, going 2-7 down that stretch. She returned to help the team win 20 of its last 23 games, securing the Ivy League regular season title, Ivy Tournament championship, and NCAA Tournament berth. She was named the Ivy Tournament Most Outstanding Performer and Ivy League Player of the Year 

Bella Alarie and Princeton return to Jadwin this weekend. Courtesy of Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian

Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian 

Best Male Athlete: Ryan Kuffner, men’s hockey

Kuffner concluded a decorated Princeton career in his senior season, leading Princeton in scoring with 22 goals and 22 assists. In the process, he broke the program record for career goals, which he now holds with 75. He was named a first-team All-American and was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the nation’s top NCAA men’s ice hockey player. After Princeton was eliminated from the ECAC conference tournament, Kuffner signed with the Detroit Red Wings and played 10 games in the National Hockey League — all while finishing his senior thesis. 

Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian 

Best Female Rookie: Sarah Fillier, women’s hockey

In her first year at Princeton, Fillier established herself as not just one of the best first-years in the country, but as one of the best players. With 22 goals and 35 assists in 29 games, she led the entire NCAA in scoring with a whopping 1.97 points per game. Her scoring and playmaking abilities propelled her team to a 20-game unbeaten streak in the middle of the season and to its third-ever NCAA tournament appearance, in which Fillier scored two goals in Princeton’s 5-2 loss. Her long list of accolades includes second-team All America, National Rookie of the Year, and ECAC Rookie of the Year.  

Photo Credit: Owen Tedford / The Daily Princetonian

Best Male Rookie: Patrick Glory, wrestling

Patrick Glory entered his first year as Princeton’s second highest-ranked recruit this century. Second-best in Tiger history wasn’t good enough for him. He wrapped up his rookie season with a national fifth-place place finish, the best ever for a Princeton first-year. Along the way, he racked up an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championship, 30 wins, and All-Ivy and All-American honors. Barstool Sports called him “glorious” and a Wrestler to Watch. Head Coach Christopher Ayres called him “incredible.” He called himself “not done yet.”  

Photo Credit: GoPrincetonTigers.com 

Best Team: Football

There is no shortage of statistics to convey Princeton football’s historic dominance during the 2018 season. The Tigers averaged 47 points per game offensively, and only allowed 13 points per game on defense. They rushed for 295.5 yards per game and limited their opponents to 96.1 per game. Just two of their games were decided by single digits, a 29-21 win against Harvard, and a 14-9 thriller against Dartmouth. Most importantly, the team finished a perfect 10-0, earning an Ivy League title and its first undefeated season since 1964.  

Photo Credit: Beverly Schaefer / GoPrincetonTigers.com

Best Coach: Christopher Ayres, wrestling

The 2016, 2017, 2019  Ivy League Head Coach Of The Year, Christopher Ayres led Princeton’s previously floundering wrestling program to a century-best 15th place finish at the NCAA wrestling tournament. The Tigers boasted three All-Americans for the first time in program history, and next year’s recruiting class is even stronger.  “We’re just getting started,” Ayres said. 

Photo Credit: Beverly Schaefer / GoPrincetonTigers.com

Best Game: Men’s basketball beats Arizona State, 67-66

Princeton men’s basketball’s season ended in disappointing fashion with a loss to Yale in the Ivy Tournament semifinals, but its non-conference schedule included a stunning road win over then No. 17 Arizona State. The Tigers entered the game heavy underdogs against a team that had just beaten then No. 1 Kansas, but they held their own against the Sun Devils from the beginning and led 37-30 at halftime. The game came down to the wire, and junior center Richmond Aririguzoh knocked down a pair of free throws with 24.8 seconds left to give Princeton a one-point lead. Arizona State had three open looks on its final possession but missed all of them, and Princeton survived to pull off the upset.  

Photo Credit: Billy Hardiman / GoPrincetonTigers.com  

Best Postseason Run: Field Hockey

In 2018, Princeton field hockey advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in program history. The Tigers beat No. 13 Virginia in the first round, before facing No. 6 Harvard in the quarterfinals. Harvard had beaten Princeton 3-1 in the regular season to deny Princeton an Ivy title, but the Tigers avenged the loss with a 2-1 win in the NCAA tournament. Princeton finally fell to No. 2 Maryland with a narrow 1-0 OT loss in the national semifinals. 

Photo Credit: Beverly Schaefer / GoPrincetonTigers.com 

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