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This week in Princeton Athletics: Part 1

Men's soccer in matchup versus Rutgers at Roberts Stadium. 
Photo courtesy of @PrincetonMSOC/Instagram.

After one of the most memorable years in athletics history that notably saw the men’s basketball program make the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament — becoming just the third No. 15 seed to accomplish the feat — Princeton athletics returned this past weekend. Each fall sport debuted in exciting fashion and the weekend was marked by both convincing wins and narrow losses. 

Pietra Tordin and women’s soccer earn draw with Rutgers, win over West Point


With season-opening wins already over Monmouth and La Salle, the Princeton women’s soccer team (3–0–1 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) had yet another intense weekend of action, after opening their season on August 25. On Thursday night, the Tigers played host to a fellow New Jersey team, Rutgers (2–2–2 overall, 0–0 Big Ten).  

The game would end in a scoreless draw, but there were certainly bright spots for the Tigers who outshot the Scarlet Knights overall and on goal. This also marked the first time since 2018 that the Tigers started the season with three straight shutouts. 

On Saturday night, the Tigers played host to Army West Point (0–4–2 overall, 0–0 Patriot League). The star of the night for the Tigers was sophomore forward Pietra Tordin, who scored an impressive four goals on the night. Tordin, who led the Tigers in scoring in her rookie season, already has seven goals early in the season. Tordin became just the sixth Tiger to score four goals in a contest and the first since Tyler Lussi ’17.

“One of the biggest factors in this strong start for me was my focus and dedication over the summer which carried over to the start of this season,” Tordin wrote to The Daily Princetonian.

It was 1–1 at the break before the Black Knights would score off a corner to take a 2–1 lead. Tordin would score two goals in under 15 minutes and retake a 3–2 lead. With just under seven minutes remaining in the game, Princeton earned a free kick from 25 yards out. Pietra Tordin, yet again, buried the free kick into the top left corner for the two-goal lead. The Tigers would go on to win 4–3 after a late goal from the Black Knights.

Tordin added, “I think my personal goals for the season are to keep my energy going as best I can — whether through goals on the pitch or through off-the-field commitment to supporting my teammates. As for team goals, we’d love to win the Ivy League Championship and come out on top this season.” 


Men’s soccer downs reigning Big 10 champs Rutgers, loses vs. No. 3 Duke

On Friday night, the Princeton men’s soccer team (1–1 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) opened their season with a 2–1 win against the reigning Big Ten Champions, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1–2–1 overall, 0–0 Big Ten). Sophomore forward Daniel Ittycheria opened the scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game. 

The Tigers went into the halftime break with a one-goal lead. After Rutgers gave up a penalty, it was junior forward Nico Nee who gave the Tigers the two-goal lead. The game would end 2–1 to Princeton after a true battle that saw 46 fouls, seven yellow cards, and one red card. Princeton junior goalie Khamari Hadaway made six crucial saves. 

On Labor Day, the Tigers once again returned to the pitch against the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils (3–0–1 overall, 0–0 Atlantic Coast Conference). Princeton would hold Duke scoreless for the first half of the match, but fatigue would hit the Tigers’ side in the second half as they gave up two quick goals in the 50th and 56th minutes. Hadaway once more came up big for the Tigers with 11 saves in a match that showed bright spots for the Tigers against a top-five team in the country. 

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Cross Country dominant at Jersey Jam

Men’s and women’s cross country both hosted the New Jersey Jam tournament over the past weekend. For the men’s team, senior Anthony Monte took first place with the Tigers having four of the five top finishers. The men’s team finished the tournament with 16 points. On the other side, the women’s team had 15 points and swept the top five. Senior Maggie Liebich took first place for the Tigers. 

Women’s volleyball achieves mini-sweep at Bucknell tournament, drops home opener

On Saturday, the Princeton women’s volleyball team (2–1 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) opened their season campaign with two convincing wins in the Bucknell Tournament. The first match on Saturday saw the Tigers beat Niagara (0–6 overall, 0–0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) in straight sets. In the second game of the day, they once again dominated in a 3–0 win against tournament hosts Bucknell (2–4 overall, 0–0 Patriot League). Sophomore middle blocker Lucia Scalamandre and first-year setter Sydney Draper were named to the All-Tournament team following the conclusion of the tournament.

On Tuesday, the Tigers returned home for their home opener against Santa Clara (6–1 overall, 0–0 West Coast Conference). Unfortunately for the Tigers, they dropped the game in rare fashion, losing in straight sets. Last season, the squad went undefeated at Dillon Gymnasium. With the team entering unfamiliar territory early in the season, it will be interesting to see how they fare the rest of the season. 

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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