Princeton (9–7–1 overall, 2–4–1 Ivy League) overcame the Penn Quakers (3–6–7, 0–5–2 Ivy) 2–1 at Roberts Stadium in their final game of the season to end the seniors’ career on a high note.
Honoring the seniors and their families at Roberts Stadium right before kick-off, the Tigers couldn’t have had better conditions for a game against the Quakers, who hadn’t won a single Ivy League game all season.
The program honored six seniors: goalkeeper Ella Gantman, midfielder Marissa Hart, defender Gracyn Kuerner, defender Kamryn Loustau, midfielder/forward Grace Sherman, and defender Morgan Wiese, along with their families before the game.
“They are a wonderful group of women who ended their careers playing their best soccer and also worked tirelessly for the team,” Head Coach Sean Driscoll told The Daily Princetonian. “There is nothing more our staff could have asked of them and they will be dearly missed.”
The fixture got off to a thrilling start. Sherman capped off a fluid attack with a close effort in the first 30 seconds. Both Princeton and Penn pushed for the opening goal, setting the tone for a back and forth game.
Penn took the lead in the 34th minute with a quick counter-attack as Quaker forward Anuli Okafor put the ball into the back of the net from a cross. Despite not evening the score before the break, the Tigers quickly took charge in the second half.
Less than two minutes into the half, sophomore midfielder Lily Bryant skipped past two defenders in the box and unselfishly squared it to first-year forward Kelsee Wozniak. She cleverly played it to Sherman, who scored an emotional equalizer in her final game.
Princeton struck again five minutes later off a breakaway when first-year forward Pietra Tordin passed it to Wozniak, who slotted it into the bottom left corner to give the Tigers the lead. This electric counterattack goal involving these two stellar first-years gave a peek at the Tigers’ bright future.
With her eight goals this year, Tordin cemented herself as the first rookie to lead the team in scoring since Tyler Lussi ’17 in 2013. Given her massive impact on the team as a first-year, one can only wonder about the heights she’ll reach in the years to come.
Wozniak is definitely another first-year to look out for, as fans will never forget her impressive debut against Colgate (3–10–4, 3–4–2 Patriot), where she racked up a goal and two assists.
Despite the win, Driscoll recognizes that there is always room for improvement.
“We have to play with a little more of a chip on our shoulder,” Driscoll said. “We must continue to value the ball, impose ourselves between the 18s, and be more ruthless and clinical in front of goal.”
Daniel Asika is a staff writer for the sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct all corrections requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.