A win will lead to at least a share of the Ivy League title Saturday when Princeton heads to Cornell for its penultimate Ivy League contest. A victory would give Princeton 18 standings points, a total that Penn and Dartmouth, the only two other teams still alive in the league race, could match but not surpass with wins both this week and next.
With three teams still alive and two games left to play, plenty of scenarios exist to determine which team would win the Ivy title and automatic NCAA bid. Here is what could be decided in the Tigers' favor this week:
Brown at Penn, 5 p.m. Sat; Harvard at Dartmouth, 1 p.m. Sun
• Princeton wins a share of the Ivy title if... it defeats Cornell, or if Princeton, Penn and Dartmouth all lose.
• Princeton wins a share of the Ivy title and NCAA berth if... it defeats Cornell, and Penn loses or ties. Under this scenario, Princeton would win the automatic berth even if it defeated Cornell and lost to Penn next week, since it would have the tiebreaker in a head-to-head tie with Dartmouth by virtue of the Tigers' win over the Big Green on Sept. 29.
• Princeton wins the outright Ivy title and NCAA berth if... it defeats Cornell, and both Penn and Dartmouth lose or tie, or if Princeton ties and both Dartmouth and Penn lose. Princeton would get to 18 standings points with a win, and Penn and Dartmouth would then max out at only 15 or 16 with a loss or tie this week. With a tie, Princeton would get to 16, and losses by Penn and Dartmouth would keep those teams at a max of 15.
• Of course, even with a 5-0 start that is the best Princeton has seen since 2004, nothing is certain yet regarding an Ivy title share or an NCAA berth, as Penn would put itself in position to snag both if it wins out and Dartmouth loses or ties one of its last two. Under that scenario, if Princeton and Penn both win this week and Penn wins next week's meeting between the two, the teams would share the Ivy title but Penn would get the automatic berth by virtue of the tiebreaker, the head-to-head win. What would happen in a three-team tie is as yet uncertain.
• Since Penn became a varsity program and gave the Ivy eight teams for the 1991 season, this is the fourth time that Princeton has started 5-0 in the Ivy. In 2001 and 2002, game No. 6 tripped up the Tigers, with a tie against Penn in '01 and a loss to Harvard in '02. In 2004, however, when playing the same league schedule the Tigers are playing this year, the team won that sixth Ivy game at Cornell as well as the seventh to become the fourth - and most recent - Ivy team to run the league table.
• The Big Red may still be searching for their first league win, but both their win and their tie have come in the last four games. On Oct. 2 at home, Cornell ended its 0-10 start to the season with a 4-1 win over Lafayette, a team Princeton also defeated 5-2 on Sept. 19, and next time out at Harvard, the Big Red tied the Crimson 1-1, the team Princeton beat 3-1 last week.
• Cornell's last five losses have come by one goal apiece, as have seven of the Big Red's last eight defeats and eight of their 12 this season.
• Senior Maneesha Chitanvis leads the Big Red's nine goal-scorers this season with four goals, and junior Tori Christ has played 95 percent of the team's minutes in goal, carrying a 2.30 GAA and .708 save percentage.
• Princeton leads the series against Cornell 21-7-4 and has won 16 straight against the Big Red. Cornell's last win in the series came in 1995, Julie Shackford's first year as head coach.
• Each of the last three meetings with Cornell have been decided by one goal. In 2009, Alexandra Valerio '11 scored with 24 seconds left in double overtime at Roberts Stadium to deliver a 1-0 win. In 2010, with current senior Kristin Watson making five saves to get the win, Kalie Bartholomew '12 scored in OT to keep Princeton's Ivy title hopes alive with a 2-1 victory. In 2011, Watson completed the clean-sheet win, getting a 24th-minute goal from current junior Gabriella Guzman for a 1-0 victory.
• Princeton outshot Cornell 21-3 overall and 7-1 on goal to get the win last season.
• Senior Rebecca Shmoys, an Ithaca native, will be playing her final game at Cornell this weekend. She is one of two New Yorkers on the squad, with sophomore Liana Cornacchio from Briarcliff, north of New York City.
• Princeton has won nine in a row, its longest win streak since 2004 when it won 10 straight games. That is the third-longest streak in program history, whether single-season or over two seasons, behind the 12 straight Princeton won in 2002 and the 14 straight the Tigers won in their first varsity season of 1980.
• In the most recent NCAA national ranking, released prior to the La Salle win Monday, Princeton was eighth in the nation in scoring at 2.71 goals per game. Senior Jen Hoy was second in goals per game at 1.143, fourth in total goals with 16, and fourth in points per game at 2.36.
• Hoy notched her 17th goal of the season with the OT winner at La Salle. She stands three behind current assistant coach Esmeralda Negron '05 for the Princeton single-season record of 20.
• Hoy's next goal will make her and Negron the only two players in the Ivy League since 1989 to score 18 goals in a single season. As it is, Hoy and Negron are the only Ivy Leaguers to score 17 goals in a season since 1997.
• Hoy is ahead of Negron's 2004 pace, as Negron had 14 goals through 15 games. Negron did not score in the 16th game, getting a hat trick in the finale against Penn to make it 17 regular-season goals before adding three more in five NCAA tournament games.