On Wednesday, the Princeton women’s field hockey team (8–4, 2–0 Ivy) finished their non-league play with an outstanding performance against the Monmouth Hawks (4–7, 1–1 Colonial). Aggressive play from the Tigers earned them a 6–1 win to carry them toward the end of their season.
The Tigers were eager for the matchup after the Hawks kept them from the 2021 NCAA tournament by handing them a 3–2 overtime loss. Indeed, the Tigers came in with a vengeance and did not take their time settling into their rhythm of play.
Junior goalie Robyn Thompson set the tone for the Tigers early in the first period with an impressive save, and the Tigers were off. Six minutes into the game, junior forward Grace Schulze, the Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, drew a penalty corner and immediately followed with a goal to kick off the Tiger’s scoring streak. Schulze was assisted by senior forward Ophélie Bemelmans.
Just over a minute later, the Hawks defense was lining up to prepare for another Princeton corner, again taken by Schulze. The Tigers found success once more, with senior forward Sammy Popper finding the net with an assist from sophomore midfielder Beth Yeager. For the remainder of the first period, Princeton continued to test the Monmouth defense, outshooting the Hawks 6–2.
The second period continued to prove successful for the Tigers, who launched into a series of corner shots two minutes into the period. The third and final corner was where the Tigers were able to break through, and Yeager sent a shot past the Monmouth goalie to further Princeton’s lead. Monmouth answered Princeton’s offensive success with four corners of their own five minutes later, but the Tigers’ defense was just as strong and did not let anything get past.
Near the end of the first half, the corner powerhouse of Schulze, Yeager, and Bemelmans was once again able to score, which put the Tigers up 4–0 going into the second half.
“We work on corners almost every day in practice just to make sure everyone is on the same page and can practice finishing in tight spaces,” Schulze told The Daily Princetonian. “We also mix up which corners we do during games to keep the other team guessing and increasing the chances for a positive outcome.”
The Hawks came into the second half with energy and were able to end their shutout only 38 seconds into the third period with their only goal of the game. The Tigers’ defense recovered, and the teams both showed strong play throughout the period.
The Tigers were ready to finish the game strong with an even bigger lead in the fourth period. Two minutes in, first-year defender Ella Hampson scored off of a rebound for her first goal of the season. Three more penalty corners for Princeton gave the team momentum, and with 11 minutes left in the game, senior defender Autumn Brown scored on a deflection, securing the Tiger win. First-year Ella Thorburn finished the game with a goal for the Tigers and made an impressive save, not giving anything to the Hawks.
The Tigers finish their out-of-league play with a huge win to push them into their final five games of the season. They return home to play Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m.
Evelyn Walsh is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter and Instagram @evelynwalshh.