The Princeton field hockey team (13–4 overall, 7–0 Ivy) finished their regular-season play on Saturday against the Columbia Lions (6–11, 3–4). The 3–1 victory clinches undefeated league play for the Tigers as they prepare for the postseason.
Although the Tigers sealed their Ivy League title after a dominant win against Brown (8–9, 1–6) on Oct. 30, they were determined to prevent Harvard (13–4, 6–1) from sharing the title.
The Tigers were aggressive from the jump, spending a lot of time in the circle with multiple attempts to get past the Lions’ sophomore goalie, Katie Wimmer. Senior forward Sammy Popper was quick to try for a shot, aiming it to the top of the goal, but Columbia’s goalie did not let it past. Soon after, Popper drove to the goal, and Princeton drew two consecutive corners as a result.
On the second corner, a Columbia defender was called for a penalty on sophomore midfielder Beth Yeager, and the Tigers were given another opportunity to score. Junior defender Sam Davidson lined up for her seventh penalty shot of the season, and like all of her other ones, she converted, snaking it past Wimmer to give the Tigers a 1–0 lead four minutes into the game.
The Lions were not ready to let the Tigers run away with the game just yet though, remaining aggressive as they tried to move into their offensive zone. Columbia was able to drive the ball into the circle, and an impressive goal off a hopper pass tied the game at 1–1. The Tigers continued to push through the rest of the half, drawing eight corners to Columbia’s one and putting up nine shots on goal.
Three minutes into the second half, the Tigers were eager to build their lead, and Yeager drove to the goal. From just inside the circle, she sent one flying past the Columbia defense to make the score 2–1.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Tigers, who continued to hold the Lions, lined up for two more corners. On the second, they were able to shoot the ball into the net, but the shot came from just outside the circle, leaving the Tigers empty handed.
Still, Princeton wanted to secure their win and prevent any risk of overtime, so with a minute and a half left, they lined up for their eleventh corner of the game, determined to score. Senior defender Hannah Davey drove into the circle and crossed the ball to junior forward Grace Schulze, who knocked the ball in, securing the victory.
“The team is looking forward to having more games and more practices together. I know we have a large senior class and we are all just super excited to keep playing,” Schulze wrote to The Daily Princetonian.
With an Ivy title to add to their long list of achievements, the Tigers have secured a spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament. On Sunday, the NCAA announced that No. 7 Princeton will be taking on Syracuse (15–5, 3–3 Atlantic Coast) in their first game of the tournament.
“Each game is a great opportunity to improve as individuals and as a team. Columbia was well prepared and adapted to how we play, forcing us to make adjustments,” Yeager told the ‘Prince.’ “That game gave us an opportunity to play against a unique structure and well thought out game plan which helped us develop even more before heading into next week.”
Evelyn Walsh is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any correction requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.