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No. 14 women’s soccer team continues win streak against Cornell, 4-2

women's soccer player runs and kicks soccer ball
Midfielder Marissa Hart scored the deciding goal in No 14. Princeton’s 4-2 victory over Cornell.
Photo Courtesy of

After a successful week with back-to-back wins against Georgetown (6–1–3 overall, 2–0–0 Big East Conference) and Quinnipiac (4–3–0, 2–0–0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) that saw the women’s soccer team (6–1–1, 1–0–0 Ivy League) jump to No. 14 on United Soccer Coaches’ Rankings, Princeton looked to carry forward their momentum into their highly anticipated Ivy Opener against the Cornell Big Red (2–1–4, 0–1–0). The Tigers won 4–2, backed by an early lead that proved too much for the Big Red to handle.

At the start of the game, it seemed as though the game would be a defensive stalemate as the two teams battled for control. Cornell’s forwards applied constant pressure to Princeton’s defensive line, firing multiple shots at goal and keeping the ball on Princeton’s half of the field. Despite the attacks, the Tigers never relented, counter-pressing Cornell players to try and win back possession.


The momentum soon shifted towards Princeton after 30 minutes. Using a nifty crossover move to get by her defender, junior midfielder Lily Bryant sprinted down the field and passed the ball into the penalty box where senior midfielder Jen Estes was matched up against Cornell defender Cecily Pokigo. Though the pass was just too high for Estes, sophomore forward Drew Coomans saved the play by bumping the ball back with her torso towards Estes, who then fired in her second goal of the season through the legs of Cornell’s goalie, Natalie Medugno.

— Princeton WSoccer (@PrincetonWSoc) September 22, 2023

14' left, 1st half | #1 Princeton 1, Cornell 0

Jen Estes is on the spot for the finish! Tigers up!


With two minutes left in the half, the Tigers would find the back of the net once again with a powerful free kick from senior midfielder Aria Nagai after a foul right outside the penalty area. With Cornell defenders forming a wall to her right, Nagai placed the ball perfectly into the back left corner of the net, never giving Medugno an attempt to save it.

“It was a great feeling to finally get a goal, under the lights, at home,” Nagai wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “It was good to have a 2–0 lead at the half, but we knew the next goal of the game would be crucial, so the main focus was coming out strong [the second] half and getting that next goal.”

Staying true to Nagai’s words in the second half, Princeton came out of the half and continued to dominate the Big Red defense.


“We wanted to play with intensity and maintain our identity of being a possession-based team,” stated Nagai.

With Princeton controlling the game pace, they found more opportunities to score. At 33 minutes left in the half, a corner ball from Nagai found its way to the feet of senior midfielder Marissa Hart, who put away the easy finish to create a 3–0 lead for the Tigers.

— Princeton WSoccer (@PrincetonWSoc) September 22, 2023

33' left, 2nd half | #14 Princeton 3, Cornell 0

Marissa Hart puts in the rebound! It's a three-goal Tiger lead!


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“My role was to mark the goalie and make it difficult for her to secure the ball off the corner kick,” said Hart to the ‘Prince.’ “Aria put in a dangerous ball and Heather [MacNab] did a great job of redirecting the ball back across the goal from the back post to make it an easy finish for me.” 

Just five minutes later, junior forward Heather MacNab earned her second assist of the game with a crossing pass that found its way to senior forward Lexi Hiltunen, who used her body to put away the score. 

Princeton’s victory last night was especially redeeming after a tough, 2–1 loss against Cornell last season. 

“We’ve been looking forward to playing Cornell the past year to redeem ourselves,” Hart told the ‘Prince.’ “We have a lot of respect for their program and how hard they fought until the end last night, but starting our Ivy season with a win against them felt great.” 

Cornell found its offensive footing with 11 minutes left with a score by midfielder Kendall Patten, followed by another goal by fellow midfielder Abigail Bishara. 

“As a team, we did not manage the game well enough at the end, so that will be a focus for us moving forward,” Hart noted. 

Despite the late goals conceded, Princeton junior goalkeeper Tyler McCamey came up with five saves on 12 shots faced, her most of the season. 

The win against Cornell is encouraging for the No. 14 Tigers as they prepare for the rest of the season.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to showcase our talents to the rest of the league,” said Nagai. “We’ve been waiting a long time for the Ivy season to start, so we want to make sure we stay true to our identity, play the way we want to play, and continue to win games to hopefully lead us to an Ivy League title.”

The Tigers aim to ride their three-game win streak into Tuesday’s matchup against Lafayette (6–3–0, 2–1–0 Patriot League) and a tilt against conference rival Brown (5–1–2, 1–0–0) next Saturday.

Peter Wang is a contributor to the Sports section of the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]