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No. 2 Field Hockey Vying for First-Ever National Title Sunday vs. No. 1 UNC

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 11/17/2012
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2012 NCAA Championship Final Four 
No. 2 Princeton (20-1, 7-0 Ivy) vs. No. 1 North Carolina (23-1, 5-0 ACC)
  Game Info:
Finals • Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
  Location:
Old Dominion • Norfolk, Va.         
All-Time Series Record: 
North Carolina leads 5-2
Last Meeting:
Princeton won 4-2 on Nov. 3, 2002
Game Notes:
Princeton vs. North Carolina
Live Media:
Live Stats Live Video

@PUTIGERS @TigerFH
Recap the Semis: Photo Album l Postgame Presser
Tournament Field: NCAA Bracket
Preorder Tickets:
NCAA.com/tickets 
For all sessions: adults $20 and children $15
Gameday Tickets: Adults $15 and children $10 per day

Headed to the Championship Game: A script could not have been written better for the No. 2 Princeton field hockey team in 2012, returning to the pitch with four U.S. National Team players, including a pair of Olympians, seeing significant contributions throughout the lineup and then advancing to NCAA National Championship game. This Tiger team is doing something that has never been done during 10th season head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn tenure in playing in the title game and they are hoping to accomplish a program first - win it all.

Princeton and No. 1 North Carolina will play for it all on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.

Last Time Out: Kathleen Sharkey notched a pair of first half goals, but that would not be enough as the Terrapins found a way to even the score, 2-2, off a penalty stroke in the 58th minute. After conceding the tying goal, the Tigers were unable to break through and retake the lead before the end of regulation.

In their first overtime match since Sept. 6 at Penn State, Michelle Cesan drove the ball into the circle and was fouled, setting up a penalty stroke. A confident Teresa Benvenuti then took the stroke at 75:56, sailed it into the right side between Maryland's Natalie Hunter's extended arm and leg to send Princeton into the championship game.

How to See the Tigers in Norfolk: The most convenient way for fans to purchase tickets to see the Tigers in the Final Four is to pre-order tickets at NCAA.com/tickets.

Scouting No. 1 North Carolina: The top-ranked Tar Heels easily handed No. 5 Syracuse a 6-1 loss in the early semifinal matchup Friday to advance to the title game. UNC, the only team in the semifinals Princeton has not faced this season, enters Sunday's contest riding a 23-1 overall record.

Tigers All-Time vs. North Carolina: Princeton has faced the Tar Heels three times in the postseason, going 0-3, including a meeting in the championship game in 1996. The two programs have not met since 2002, when the Tigers handed the Tar Heels a 4-2 on Nov. 3 in coincidently Norfolk, Va.

The Stroke: There's a reason why Teresa Bevenuti was named the Ivy Rookie of the Year and to the All-Region and All-Ivy First Teams. The midfielder has had a stellar freshman campaign and was a key reason why the Tigers are playing in the title game Sunday. The rookie scored the game-winner, a golden goal in overtime off a penalty stroke versus Maryland in the semifinals on Nov. 16. The stroke was the first of her career.

Shark Attack: Kathleen Sharkey continued her tear through defenses Friday in the semifinals versus Maryland, scoring a pair of first half goals. The striker has tallied 11 multi-goal games, including scoring three or more goals on six occasions. Sharkey has scored at least one goal in 17 games this season.

In Overtime: The Tigers have only played in two overtime games this year, nearly book ending the season. Princeton's first extra period match was on Sept. 6 at then-No. 8 Penn State. Michelle Cesan found the back of the net minutes in to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 win. The Tigers are a perfect 2-0 in overtime in 2012.

Outright Ivy Champs: The Tigers won the outright 2012 Ivy League title after going undefeated 7-0 in conference play for the fourth time in five years and 15th overall. Princeton has won at least a share of the last eight consecutive Ivy League titles, winning its first outright championship since 2010. The Tigers have won 21 Ivy titles in program history, bringing home the conference crown 18 of the last 19 seasons.

Dominating the League: Princeton only conceded one goal throughout Ivy League play in 2012, tallying six shutout victories. Since giving up the lone goal in their conference opener to Dartmouth, the Tigers have played 420 scoreless minutes versus conference foes. Princeton outscored Ivy opponents 45-1.

NCAA Championship History: Princeton is 20-16 all-time in NCAA play, earning berths the last eight consecutive seasons. The Tigers have advanced to the Final Four six times over program history, including a pair of appearances in the championship game prior to 2012. Princeton has never won an NCAA Championship, playing for the title in 1996 and 1998.

The Tigers are 4-1 all-time in NCAA Play-In Games, winning in its last three consecutive matches to earn berths into the tournament.

12 and Counting: Princeton has won its last 12 consecutive games entering Sunday's championship contest.

Sharkey Joins the 100-200 Club: Senior Kathleen Sharkey further cemented her stance as one of the most prolific players in program history, eclipsing the 100-goal and 200-point milestones during the regular season.

Sharkey has become the all-time Princeton leader in:

  • points in a career - 243
  • points in a season - 83 (eclipsed her former record)
  • goals in a career - 106
  • goals in a season - 37

May I Assist You?: Senior Katie Reinprecht has been a mainstay in the midfield for the Tigers, moving into the top-five in several all-time program records with her play this season.

Reinprecht ranks in the all-time Princeton record book:

  • #4 in points in a career - 155
  • #2 in assists in a career - 49
  • #2 in assists in a season - 18

In the Cage: Junior Christina Maida's play in goal for the Tigers has been outstanding this season. She enters the Final Four with a 17-1 record over 18 games played.

Maida ranks in the all-time Princeton record book:

  • #3 in career goalie wins - 38
  • Tied-#3 in wins in a season - 17

How the Team Stacks Up in Record Book: The 2012 team currently ranks in the all-time Princeton record book in the following:

  • #1 in wins in a season - 20
  • #2 in points in a season - 274
  • #2 in goals scored in a season - 99
  • #1 in assists in a season - 76

Tigers Sweep Ivy Top Honors, 10 Players Honored: Coming off capturing its 21st Ivy League title, 10 members of the Princeton field hockey team earned postseason Ivy accolades, including a Tiger sweep of the top three honors. Seniors Kathleen Sharkey and Katie Reinprecht earned unanimous Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year accolades, respectively, and Teresa Benvenuti was voted Rookie of the Year. This is the 12th time Princeton has swept the Ivy League's top honors.

Sharkey, Reinprecht, Benvenuti, Michelle Cesan and Julia Reinprecht collected First-Team All-Ivy honors, while Allison Evans and Sydney Kirby picked up second team accolades. Rounding out the Tiger honorees was a trio of honorable mention selections in Amanda Bird, Kelsey Byrne and Amy Donovan.

Princeton Leads Ivies with 10 on All-Region Team: Ten members of the Princeton field hockey team were named Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mid-Atlantic Region Team, it was announced Thursday by the NFHCA.

Six Tigers garnered first team honors, with Ivy Offensive Player of the Year Kathleen Sharkey, Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Katie Reinprecht and Ivy Rookie of the Year Teresa Benvenuti leading the way. Juniors Michelle Cesan, Christina Maida and Julia Reinprecht rounded out Princeton's first team contingent.

Coming off their 2012 All-Ivy honors, Amanda Bird, Amy Donovan, Allison Evans and Sydney Kirby picked up All-Region Second Team accolades.

 


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