It’s been a great season to be a Princeton sports fan. For field hockey, Junior Kathleen Sharkley was the most prolific goal scorer in the nation, notching 31 goals, and won the Ivy League player of the year (Princeton’s had six straight Ivy League players of the year, by the way). The field hockey team won the Ivy League title and made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Women’s volleyball was in the thick of the Ivy League race until a late season loss at Dartmouth. Women’s soccer played magnificently all season and hosted Penn in their last game for a de facto Ivy League championship, but a tie meant that the Quakers walked away with the Ivy League title and an NCAA berth. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams are having outstanding years. And how many ways did the men’s soccer team exemplify the Tiger’s autumnal excellence? They were perfect in the Ivy League, winning the title outright after a terrific victory against Penn on the last night of Fall Break. Junior Antoine Hoppenot, who scored the second goal in the 2-1 victory over Penn in the last game of the season, was named the Ivy League Player of the Year. And the team hosts UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m.
And then, there’s the football team.
The Tigers currently sit at 1-8, and 0-6 in the Ivy League. Injuries are at least partially to blame. All-American linebacker Steve Cody ’11 was lost for the year in the first game of the season (quick tangent: I played high school football against Steve Cody. In addition to linebacker, he played offensive guard and returned punts; it was terrifying and he knocked me over repeatedly). Then Princeton lost junior starting quarterback Tommy Wortham in a loss to Brown, and senior running back (and greatest inspirational story ever) Jordan Culbreath not much later.
But wins and losses are wins and losses, and Princeton’s football team is on the precipice of a level of putridity it hasn’t seen since 1973. That’s the last time we went 0-7 in the Ivy League. And 1-9 would be the worst overall record the football team’s ever had since we switched to a 10 game schedule in 1990.
In a year where Princeton’s already had so much success athletically, why does a bad season by the football team bum me out?