With the fall football season quickly approaching, the Tigers are ramping up for a run at another conference title.
Last week, the Ivy League released its pre-season media polls. Harvard and Dartmouth, two of the Tigers’ biggest rivals, tied for first place with 108 points, followed by Princeton in third with 105. Yale ranked fourth with 83 points, and Columbia had 67. Penn, Brown, and Cornell placed in the bottom three with 49, 29, and 27 points, respectively.
In the fall of 2021, the Harvard Crimson fell to the Tigers by just two points (18–16) in the fifth overtime. The game sparked major controversy, as the Ivy League admitted to an officiating error that resulted in Princeton’s victory. Despite this announcement, the League still held that the game would be considered a win for the Tigers.
Two weeks later, the Tigers took on the Dartmouth Big Green — and fell 31–7. The devastating outcome was Princeton’s sole loss of the season. Still, the Tigers were able to hang onto first place, but at a small price: they shared the League title with Dartmouth.
This year’s battles against Harvard and Dartmouth will be Princeton’s opportunity to prove their prowess once more. While the Tigers are behind the Crimson and Big Green in pre-season polls, they aren’t worried.
“The preseason rankings or awards are not something that we place any focus on as a team or coaching staff,” Head Coach Bob Surace ’90 wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “They have value in building interest for our alumni, students and community of fans for the upcoming season … but it won’t be something that matters to the team during the year.”
Senior punter Will Powers shared similar sentiments to Surace. For Powers, his confidence in his team trumps the rankings. “We know what we are capable of, and we have a hungry team looking to defeat anyone that steps in our way,” Powers told the ‘Prince.’
Last season, Powers earned First Team All-Ivy. Powers had 36 punts for 1,578 yards, leading the League with a net average of 43.8. This summer, Powers was named to the Phil Steele Preseason All-American third team.
Asked about the honor, Powers said, “I honestly am most excited to help my team, in any way that I can, accomplish our goals.”
Powers wasn’t the only player to be named a Preseason All-American. Senior wide receiver Andrei Iosivas earned second team to add to his long list of achievements. In 2021, Iosivas was named to the All-Ivy Second Team and ranked third in the conference with 703 yards.
While a preseason honor is always gratifying, Iosivas has his eyes on the grand prize: “Being named a preseason All-American is nice, but my goal is to be named an All-American during the season.”
The first game of the season is just one month away, and as the days dwindle down to kickoff, the Tigers are ready to battle. As Powers puts it, “If we play together and combine all of our unique talents, there is no one that can stop us.”
Julia Nguyen is a co-head editor for the Sports section at the 'Prince' who usually covers the weekend recaps. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram at @jt.nguyen.