Following their strong start to the season, which featured only one loss in five games to No. 6 Penn State (7–0–1, 1–0 Big Ten), the Tigers Women's Soccer team (5–1–1, 0–0 Ivy League) were up for a tough week against No. 10 Georgetown at home in Roberts Stadium and the Quinnipiac Bobcats away in Connecticut. After prevailing in five- and six-goal thrillers, respectively, the Tigers earned a Top 25 national ranking this week.
The Hoyas succumb to the Tigers
Going into Thursday, the then unranked Tigers were heavily anticipated to lose to the Hoyas. Although their last three games against each other had been extremely close, Princeton had been winless against Georgetown. This Thursday, however, the tables were turned.
The first half against Georgetown was an unusual one offensively for the Tigers. Outshooting the Hoyas 6–3 in the first half, Georgetown scored two own goals within six minutes to give the Tigers a 2–0 lead before halftime.
In the first fourteen minutes of play, the Tigers trapped the Hoyas in their own half, receiving two corners and registering four shots on goal. With their relentless pressure, it was only a matter of time before the Tigers would catch their prey.
In the 18th minute, senior midfielder Aria Nagai collected the ball on the right corner of Georgetown’s half. Managing to skip past three players, she sent a through ball onto the feet of senior midfielder Jen Estes, who took the ball from the edge of the penalty box to the near post of Hoya goalkeeper Cara Martin. Trying to find her teammate in the box, Estes found the feet of a Georgetown defender, who slotted the ball into her own goal for the first goal of the match.
Six minutes later, senior defender Madison Curry assisted the second Hoya own goal. After collecting the ball from the left edge of the penalty box, Curry dribbled her way past her defender and whipped a cross towards the far post. Again, the cross found the feet of a Georgetown defender, who volleyed in Curry’s pass for the second own goal of the game.
Early in the second half, however, the Hoyas bit back. In the 50th minute, a long shot by Georgetown defender Kaya Hanson halved Princeton’s lead. Three minutes later, a skillful shot by Hoyas forward Natalie Means leveled the game at 2–2.
The game remained 2–2 until sophomore forward Pietra Tordin’s heroics in the 77th minute. Though Tordin was the goal scorer, junior midfielder Lily Bryant’s elegance in the final third created Tordin’s chance. While under pressure from two Hoya players, Bryant managed to find her teammate, sophomore forward Drew Coomans, on the rightwing. Coomans, who managed to stumble past her defender, then found a charging Tordin on the far end of the post for the goal. As of Sept. 18, 2023, Tordin leads all Princeton players this season with nine goals.
A late red card on senior defender Morgan Wiese saw the Tigers scrambling on defense in the final 30 seconds of the game, but by then, there was no time for the Hoyas to mount a comeback.
The Tigers take care of the Bobcats
Following their nail-biting win against Georgetown, the Tigers made the trek to Connecticut to face the Quinnipiac Bobcats three days later.
Just like their last game, the Tigers were the ones to strike first. An edge-of-the-box finish by Curry to the top right corner put the Tigers up one in the 14th minute, but this lead only lasted eight minutes. Following a foul by Coomans in Princeton’s penalty box, Quinnipiac forward Courtney Chochol slotted in the equalizing penalty in the 22nd minute.
This, however, did not deter the Tigers. Junior forward Heather Macnab smashed in Princeton’s second from a well-orchestrated team goal in the 31st minute. Two minutes later, Tordin scored her ninth goal of the season from a distant freekick that found the top left corner. Princeton ended the half suffocating the Bobcats—registering five shots on goal while only allowing one.
The second half saw Princeton all but secure the win in the 61st minute. Princeton’s pressure on the Quinnipiac defenders saw them recover the ball in the final third. With nobody in front of her, Macnab dribbled towards the penalty box before passing the ball to Estes, who scored Princeton’s fourth goal of the night. The Bobcats managed to get a late consolation goal in the 81st minute, but they did not have time to score two more.
Princeton will now look ahead to Saturday, when they will play their first Ivy League game of the season against Cornell (2–0–4, 0–0) at Roberts Stadium.
Brian Mhando is an assistant editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.