Sports » Field Hockey | Sept. 11
On Sept. 23, 2012, the field hockey team fell to No. 2 Syracuse on Bedford Field. The Tigers (2-0) have not lost a game since that 2-1 defeat. Last week the No. 3 Tigers, defending national champions, extended their consecutive winning streak to 16. On Friday, Sept. 6th and Saturday, Sept. 7th, respectively, the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils and the Fairfield University Stags came to New Jersey and left with losses at the hands of the Orange and Black.
Princeton’s opening contests tend to come against teams that have already played a few games, as Ivy League rules allow the Tigers to start a few weeks later than the rest of the NCAA. Coach Kristen Holmes-Winn said that the performance lived up to her expectations of her team’s first game.
“We’re a couple [of] weeks behind,” she said, “Which means tactically, we’re not exactly where we want to be. Given that, I thought we played really well against Duke.”
In the contest against the Blue Devils — a 3-1 result — Princeton struck first as sophomore midfielder Teresa Benvenuti assisted senior midfielder Michelle Cesan just before the 10 minute mark. It was not until the second half that the Tigers found the back of the goal again. Freshman striker Hailey Reeves earned the first goal of her college career in her first collegiate game, notching the goal that opened up the second half on a cross from junior striker Allison Evans.
Duke (3-1) kept the contest interesting with consistent offensive pressure and a conversion in the 63rd minute, making the score 2-1. At this point, the Blue Devils pulled their goalkeeper, hoping to equalize with 11 field players. With 66:25 on the clock, however, senior midfielder Julia Reinprecht widened the gap to 3-1, securing an opening-day win for the Tigers.
Although the Tigers won comfortably, the Blue Devils equaled their 10 shots and earned five penalty corners to Princeton’s four.
Princeton took on Fairfield (3-1) the next day, racking up shot and penalty corner advantages of 22 to 6 and 9 to 2. Still, Holmes-Winn described the game as “frustrating” and praised her team’s ability to pull out the victory despite a quick turnaround between games.
“To be able to turn around mentally and physically and get the win over Fairfield was great,” she said.
After being outshot 12 to 0 in the first half, the Stags scored first in the second half to put the Tigers behind 0-1. Shortly after, the Tigers executed perfectly on a penalty corner and began a streak of three unanswered goals. Benvenuti, junior striker Sydney Kirby and Evans scored within two minutes of each other to make the score 3-1. Benvenuti notched her second goal in the 67th minute to secure a 4-3 win for Princeton.
Despite not capitalizing on many scoring opportunities, the Tigers continued their winning streak and will look to extend it against Michigan State at home this Friday at 6 p.m.