Friday, October 2, 2009

Tiger Watch: Ivy Time

Tomorrow, the football team kicks off its Ivy League slate of games when it plays Columbia at Princeton Stadium at 3 p.m. Princeton and Columbia both have 1-1 records coming into the matchup.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they will be without senior running back Jordan Culbreath, who normally carries the bulk of the load in the ground game. Last Saturday against Lehigh, Culbreath suffered an ankle sprain. According to head coach Roger Hughes, doctors have also discovered that Culbreath is anemic. Princeton will look to different players, like defensive back turned running back Meko McCray, to generate yards on the ground.

The Tiger defense may have its hands full with a Columbia team that comes into the matchup averaging 26.5 points over its first two games. Princeton's star defenders, such as senior linebacker and co-captain Scott Britton, will look to halt the Lions' offensive assault.

The game against Columbia will be a good test to see if the Tigers are ready for their Ancient Eight season.

Also this weekend, the field hockey team will play two important home matchups at Class of 1952 Stadium. Tonight, the Tigers (7-1 overall, 2-0 Ivy League) take on Columbia (3-4, 1-1) at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Princeton faces a tough test in an unbeaten Connecticut (10-0) squad at 1 p.m.

Sophomore striker Kathleen Sharkey leads the Tigers' attack with nine goals and seven assists. If Princeton is going to have success against the talented Huskies on Sunday, Sharkey will need to step up again.

Connecticut boasts a high-powered offense that averages 4.50 goals per contest. The Tiger defense, however, has been playing very solidly as of late. Junior goalkeeper Jennifer King has played especially well, only allowing 1.2 goals per game.

Though Princeton is looking forward to its matchup against Connecticut, the team first has to focus on its in-league game against the Lions tonight. But if the Tigers compete at the high level they have been playing at recently, they should have success against Columbia.