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No. 9 field hockey upsets No. 2 UConn, returns to NCAA Final Four

<p>Princeton field hockey advanced to the NCAA Final Four after beating UConn.</p>
<h6>Photo Credit: Paul Neff /</h6>

Princeton field hockey advanced to the NCAA Final Four after beating UConn.

Photo Credit: Paul Neff /

No. 9 Field Hockey (15–4, 7–0 Ivy) upset the second-ranked UConn Huskies on Sunday afternoon in Storrs, Conn. to advance to the NCAA Final Four. The 2–0 victory was the sweetest form of revenge for the Tigers, who lost to the Huskies in overtime at home in September.

The first period was a defensive standoff, with senior goalie Grace Baylis making two huge saves to preserve the scoreless tie. Midway through the second quarter, two shots by the Tigers were denied before they were awarded a corner. Junior striker Clara Roth played a ball in to sophomore midfielder Hannah Davey, whose shot was deflected into the net by junior midfielder MaryKate Neff. At the half, Princeton led 1–0, though each team had recorded four shots.


Princeton would again rely on its defense in the third quarter. Late in the period, Baylis and Neff combined to save three shots off a UConn corner. Princeton pressed into the final 15 minutes in search of an insurance goal. With 13 minutes to play, Davey rebounded her own shot and slipped it by the UConn goalie to put Princeton up 2–0.

UConn pulled their goalie with seven minutes to play, but could not convert a score in the game’s waning minutes. The Tigers outshot the Huskies, 10–8, and also came away with the advantage on corners. Princeton’s 2–0 win sends the team to its third NCAA Final Four in four years.

Princeton’s 5–1 victory over 13-ranked Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament’s first round on Friday set the Tigers up for their Sunday rematch with the early-round hosts, UConn.

Princeton’s attack got started with two consecutive corners in the fourth minute, but the Tigers didn’t convert a goal until the end of the first quarter, when Davey hit in a corner from Neff. In the second period, Roth forced a turnover, then dribbled the length of the field before playing the ball past Syracuse’s goalie to give Princeton a 2–0 lead at the half.

The second half opened with another score for the Tigers. This time, it was sophomore striker Ali McCarthy who got her stick on a high ball sent in by junior midfielder Julianna Tornetta. Davey then added her second goal of the day off a corner, putting the Tigers up 4–0.

Less than two minutes later, Roth became the second Princeton player to score her second goal of the day. She collected a bouncing ball after a misfired corner shot and whipped it into the net. Though Syracuse made it on the board late in the third, the Tigers overpowered them, easily claiming a spot in the national quarterfinals.


The Ivy League also announced its annual awards this week. First-year midfielder Sammy Popper and Head Coach Carla Tagliente were unanimous selections for Ivy League Rookie and Coach of the Year, respectively. Popper is the 17th Tiger to be named Rookie of the Year, following teammate Julianna Tornetta in 2017. This is Tagliente’s second Coach of the Year honor.

Clara Roth, Hannah Davey, Julianna Tornetta, and Popper were all First Team All-Ivy selections. Ali McCarthy and MaryKate Neff were second-team All-Ivy, while Grace Baylis earned an honorable mention.

Princeton is now off to the NCAA Final Four. The Tigers will face No. 3 Virginia in the national semifinals on Friday at Wake Forest University’s Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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