On Friday, No. 7 Princeton field hockey (5–4, 1–0 Ivy) secured another hard-fought victory with a 2–1 win against Penn (1–7, 0–1) in the Ivy League opener.
With 10 minutes elapsed in the first quarter, sophomore midfielder Beth Yeager gave the Tigers a lead with a goal off of a penalty corner. This was Yeager’s seventh goal this season.
Despite the fast start, things took a turn during the second quarter as Penn defender Elita Van Staden tied the game with a penalty strike goal. It wasn’t until the final minute of the second quarter when Princeton senior forward and defender Sammy Popper scored an impressive unassisted goal, giving the Tigers the final goal of the game, and ultimately the win.
“There’s a bunch of things we need to work on moving forward so it’s great to have a win under our belt,” Popper said to The Daily Princetonian.
As Popper referenced though, the win revealed a number of ways the team can improve.
“We just need to execute better,” head coach Carla Tagliente said. “We really need to open up the game a bit more and get a few more [goals] on the board to extend the lead.”
The Tigers kept their composure during the second half, with an incredible performance by junior goalie Robyn Thompson, who had nine saves.
“I was very happy with the win,” Thompson said. “It was obviously a team effort. I was very happy to get nine saves, but couldn’t do it without defense in front of me.”
Having already played three games in the past week, the Tigers didn’t show any sign of exhaustion. They kept their cool in the final quarter and drew the game out until the final minute.
“It definitely takes a toll on you physically but we’ve taken care of our bodies, making sure we’re up and ready for the next game. We’re all feeling pretty good,” Thompson said.
“I think we’re taking it game by game and getting better and better and seeing where that takes us,” she added.
Dana Serea is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @dana.serea.