As the clock wound down in New Haven Saturday night, the men’s soccer team was faced with the possibility of ending its Ivy League season the same way it had started — with a long, drawn out match in which the Tigers (11-3-3 overall, 5-1-1 Ivy) came out on the wrong side.
“We knew the game would be a challenge,” senior forward Cameron Porter said. “No team wants to end the season on a loss.”
Porter — No. 1 in the NCAA in total goals, goals per game, and points per game — stepped up with the league title on the line. With 32:35 to play in the second half, he scored the only goal of the match. Princeton held on and clinched a share of the Ivy championship.
“For parts of the game they definitely had the better of us, but it was great to see the defense step up and get a huge shutout,” Porter said.
Princeton shares the title with Dartmouth, in large part due to the Tigers’ league-opening overtime loss to the Big Green at Roberts Stadium Oct. 4. That initial defeat cost the Tigers an automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup, but Princeton, which hasn’t lost since that game, has a shot to earn an at-large bid. Porter said that the team is encouraged by its nine-game unbeaten streak and hopes it will factor into the selection process. The tournament bracket will be announced today at 1 p.m.
“I like to think that we have decent chance, especially given our recent form,” Porter said. “The only thing holding us back is our poor form at the start of the season. It would be tough not make the tournament because of a loss so early on. We are all really just crossing our fingers right now.”
Porter, who now has 15 goals on the season, is the fifth Princeton player to tack on that many in one year. In his career, he has scored 31.
“It was great to score in my final Ivy League game, especially a goal that means so much for the team. Going into the year I had set the personal goal of scoring once per game,” Porter said. “Although I have fallen just short of that goal, it has been an amazing season. I’m just happy that I could do my part to help us win the title. That is all that really matters.”
The men’s basketball team opened its season with a split weekend. After a 64-58 home-opening win against New Jersey rival Rider, the Tigers dropped a close 60-63 game to George Mason on the road, in which junior Hans Brase set a career-best in rebounds against a Division I opponent with 14. The team will head back on the road as they travel next to play Lafayette in Pennsylvania.
Women’s basketball started the season with a pair of road wins against Pittsburgh and Duquesne. Though the Tigers trailed 18-14 at one point against Duquesne, they put up an impressive 20-6 run over the next eight minutes. The Tigers will play their home opener against Drexel at home on Wednesday.
A 44-30 loss at Yale ended football’s hopes for a share of the Ivy title. Yale’s offense dominated the game, with quarterback Morgan Roberts throwing for 402 yards and tailback Tyler Varga running for 137. Princeton quarterback Quinn Epperly ’15 ran for three touchdowns in the loss. Princeton (5-4, 4-2 Ivy) will face Dartmouth (7-2, 5-1) in its season closer at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.