While the past two weeks have helped the Princeton women's soccer team prepare for the new season, the first test will come Friday night when Rutgers visits Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium to open the campaign.
||Game 1: Princeton vs. Rutgers
Friday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium
Live Video | Twitter
||Goals Per Game
||Goals Against Average
||All-Time Series Wins (3 ties)
Last Meeting: Princeton and Rutgers played Sept. 15, 2013 at Rutgers' Yurcak Field, where the Scarlet Knights won 5-1 to extend their series winning streak to three games. With the last two meetings (2010, 2013) having been played at Rutgers, this will be the first time since 2009 that the teams have met in Princeton, the only other time Rutgers played at Roberts Stadium. Princeton's last win in the series came in 2007 when the teams played at Princeton Stadium during Roberts Stadium's construction.
One More Time: Princeton head coach Julie Shackford announced that the 2014 season, her 20th leading the team, will be her final one. Shackford is four wins away from her 200th victory with Princeton, already having outpaced any other coach in Princeton men's or women's program history. Shackford has led the team to six Ivy League championships and an Ivy-record eight NCAA tournament appearances, highlighted by the team's run to the 2004 NCAA College Cup semifinals.
In Passing: While Julie Shackford is embarking on her last season, Rutgers' Mike O'Neill is in his first as his team's head coach after 14 years under previous Scarlet Knights mentor Glenn Crooks.
New Look: The Princeton starting lineup will feature at least six different names this time around than it did a year ago against Rutgers. The returnees for the Tigers include goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon, forward-turned-defender Lauren Lazo, midfielders Jessica Haley and Nicole Loncar, and defender-turned-forward Gabrielle Ragazzo. Four of those five, with the exception of sophomore Loncar, are seniors.
A Head Start: As Princeton and its fellow Ivy programs do annually, the Tigers will start their season against an opponent that has already played a few games. Rutgers received the eighth-most votes of programs that didn't make the NSCAA top 25 on Sept. 2 and has opened the season with three wins over Stony Brook (3-1), Vanderbilt (3-0) and Seton Hall (1-0).
On the Scarlet Knights: Rutgers' seven goals on the season have come from five players with senior Amy Pietrangelo and sophomore Madison Tiernan getting two apiece. Rookie Casey Murphy, from nearby Bridgewater, N.J., has played every minute between the posts so far this season and has given up just one goal, coming in the 82nd minute of the opener against Stony Brook. Murphy enters the Princeton match on a shutout streak stretching 188:44. The team returns 24 of its 35 goals from a year ago with the biggest portion of those lost coming from Jonelle Filigno (eight). Stefanie Scholz led the team with 10 goals a year ago is back for her senior season.
Happy Returns: Princeton brings back 24 of its 27 goals from last season, including the team's top four scorers from 2013: Tyler Lussi (10), Lauren Lazo (five), Melissa Downey (three) and Jessica Haley (three).
Encore: Tyler Lussi's 10 goals last season were the most for a Princeton freshman since 1982, when Linda DeBoer '86 had 12. Jen Hoy '13, who led Princeton in goals in all four of her seasons, was the last Tiger freshman to pace the team in goals scored, doing so in 2009.
Standing Guard: Darcy Hargadon played the most minutes in goal of any Tiger last season and is back for her senior campaign. She accounted for 12 of the team's 17 starts in goal and played 1,141 of the team's 1,620 minutes.