Four soccer matches will open the 2012 season on campus for the Princeton women's soccer team as the Tigers host an invitational tournament for the first time since 2005.
The Tigers return 11 goal scorers from last season, including first-team All-Ivy League senior Jen Hoy, who led the team with eight goals last season. Sophomore Lauren Lazo, who had a second-best four goals, was an honorable mention All-Ivy midfielder a year ago. In net, seniors Kristin Watson and Claire Pinciaro combined to play 87 percent of the minutes last season and both return for this season.
Hofstra and Colgate will play at 5 p.m. Friday on Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium, while Princeton will open its season at 7:30 against Wake Forest.
Ranked No. 15 in the nation in the NSCAA poll released Tuesday, Wake Forest will enter the weekend at 2-1-1 with a 4-1 win over Richmond to start the season before a scoreless tie against UNC Wilmington, a 1-0 loss to UNC Greensboro and a 2-0 win over Charlotte.
Six players have split Wake Forest's six goals, though junior Katie Stengel, the ACC's Offensive Player of the Year last season, has not played as she's been with the U.S. U-20 National Team at the U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. The Americans face North Korea in a quarterfinal match Friday night in that tournament. In goal, junior Aubrey Bledsoe, a first-team All-ACC pick last season, has been tough to solve, playing every minute while yielding an 0.47 GAA.
The only time Princeton has faced Wake Forest was in the Tigers' history-making season of 2004. In Princeton's fourth game that season, the Deacons handed the Tigers a 1-0 defeat, one of only three losses the Tigers incurred in a season that ended in the NCAA College Cup semifinal.
After an off day Saturday, the invitational will reconvene Sunday with a noon game between Hofstra and Wake Forest, followed by a 2:30 game between Colgate and Princeton. The Raiders are 2-2 wins over in-state rivals Buffalo and Marist and losses to major-conference foes Washington and Syracuse.
Colgate junior Jillian Kinter, the Patriot League Player of the Year last season, leads the Raiders with two goals, while senior Ashley Walsh has been in goal for 98 percent of the team's minutes and has a 1.75 GAA.
Coincidentally enough, Colgate was the only other regular-season loss, along with Wake Forest, that Princeton incurred in 2004, the Colgate game coming after the Tigers vanquished Cornell 7-0 to complete the Ivy road schedule. Princeton leads the series 5-3-1, with the last meeting, a 2-0 road win for Princeton, coming in 2008.
Hofstra enters the weekend at 2-1 with wins over Ohio State and Temple before a loss to Georgetown. Sophomore Sam Scolarici leads the team with three goals, while junior Emily Morphitis leads the team in net with a 1.00 GAA.