#13 Princeton (15-2) vs. #21 N.C. State (15-5-1), Friday, Nov. 17, 2:30 p.m.: Video (ACC Network/ESPN3) | Live Stats | Tickets | Bracket | Princeton Game Notes
No. 12: Princeton is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Princeton was in the first two tournaments in 1982 and 1983 before returning annually from 1999-2004. Princeton has won its first-round match in each of its last three NCAA tournaments, at West Virginia in 2012, at home against Boston College in 2015 and at home against Monmouth last week.
Monmouth game recap: Princeton outshot the Hawks 28-6 overall and 12-1 on goal with Mimi Asom scoring in the sixth and 66th minutes, Abby Givens scoring in the 21st and Carolyne Davidson scoring in the 71st.
Princeton vs. N.C. State: Two NCAA tournament games, two rematch games for Princeton. The Tigers followed up their 3-0 Aug. 25 win over Monmouth with last weekend’s win, and they’ll have the chance to follow up their Sept. 2 2-0 win at N.C. State with Friday’s game. It was the second time Princeton faced N.C. State, as Princeton won a 2014 game at Princeton 5-3. Current Tiger seniors had a big day in the 2014 game, with Vanessa Gregoire getting a goal and an assist, Natalie Larkin getting three assists and Beth Stella getting one. Mimi Asom and Mikaela Symanovich had the Tiger goals in the game earlier this season with Abby Givens, Natalie Grossi and Eve Hewins getting assists. Grossi had the shutout, making six saves. N.C. State outshot Princeton 15-7 overall and 6-4 on goal. Sydney Wootten, who allowed both goals in her 54-plus minutes, started before Grayson Cameron relieved, each making one save.
Princeton vs. UNC and Colorado: Princeton has faced UNC once, in a second-round NCAA game at UNC in 1982, a 4-0 UNC win. The Tigers and Buffs have never met.
Common opponents vs. N.C. State: Princeton and N.C. State have no common opponents as the Wolfpack did not face Wake Forest, which Princeton also beat 2-0 on Sept. 4. UNC also beat Wake Forest, 2-0 on Oct. 8, and beat N.C. State, 1-0 on Nov. 3. Princeton and Colorado have no common foes.
Shutouts: Natalie Grossi‘s 11 shutouts surpassed the program record set by Kelly O’Dell ’84 with 10 in 1981, and the Tigers’ 12 shutouts this year are tied for second all-time with the 2004 team and behind the 13 from 2000. Princeton is on an active shutout streak of 239:52 since giving up a 31st-minute goal at Harvard on Oct. 21.
Ivy and the NCAA: Princeton has two of the Ivy’s three NCAA wins since Yale was the last Ivy team to win more than one game in an NCAA tournament in 2005. The Tigers beat West Virginia in 2012 and Boston College in 2015 and Harvard beat Central Connecticut State in 2014. Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale have all won NCAA games in their histories.
Stat rankings: Princeton’s .882 (15-2) winning percentage is fourth in the nation, its .706 shutout percentage is fifth, its 0.353 GAA is seventh, its .887 save percentage is seventh, its 2.35 goals per game is ninth and its 2.12 assists per game is 16th. Individually, Natalie Grossi‘s 11 shutouts are sixth, her 0.375 GAA is seventh, and her .882 save percentage is 12th. Despite ranking ninth in goals per game, Princeton has no individual player in the top 20 in the stat while counting three in the top 70: Abby Givens (21st, 0.67), Mimi Asom (34th, 0.63), and Courtney O’Brien (69th, 0.53).
N.C. State’s top stats are its 15th-ranked 43 assists and its 2.05 assists per game. Individually, Tziarra King ranks fourth in goals (16), fifth in points (38), seventh in goals per game (0.76) and eighth in points per game (1.81). Hannah Keogh ranks eighth in assists with 10. King has 16 of the team’s 39 goals on the season with Kia Rankin standing second on the team with five.
UNC ranks top-20 in winning percentage (seventh, .850), assists per game (seventh, 2.40), assists (eighth, 48), goals per game (11th, 2.30), GAA (11th, 0.484), points per game (11th, 7.0), goals (12th, 46) and shutouts (15th, 0.600). Samantha Leshnak is fifth with 12 shutouts and 12th with an 0.484 GAA. Colorado’s top stats are its 10th-ranked shutout percentage (0.667) and its 13th-ranked save percentage (0.870). Jalen Tompkins has the 12th-ranked save percentage of .882, and Taylor Kornieck ranks 17th with 4.29 shots per game.
Path to the postseason: Princeton fell 2-0 to Columbia on Oct. 14 at Roberts to find themselves three points behind the Lions with three games to play. Princeton won its last three while Columbia won the following week but lost to Yale on Oct. 28 and tied Harvard on Nov. 4, allowing Princeton to get past the Lions and win the Ivy title by two standings points, 18-16. The outcome gave Princeton its ninth Ivy League title overall and fifth outright, joining 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2015.
Garden Staters: N.C. State has almost as many New Jerseyans on the roster as Princeton. The Tigers have three in Tomi Kennedy (Glen Ridge), Sophia Gulati (Washington) and Samantha McDonough (Monmouth Beach). The Wolfpack have Tziarra King (Sicklerville) and Maxine Blackwood (Somerville). Only one New Jerseyan is on the UNC or Colorado rosters in Tar Heel Julia Ashley (Verona).
Coach Sean Driscoll: Princeton coach Sean Driscoll has the top winning percentage in program history at .774 (39-10-4) and is a two-time Ivy League Coach of the Year (2015, 2017), earning the honor in two of the four years it’s been awarded. His 39 wins are already third-most in program history behind the program’s first coach, Bob Malekoff (52, five seasons), and predecessor Julie Shackford (203, 20 seasons).
National rankings: Princeton debuted in the United Soccer Coaches rankings on Sept. 12 at No. 20 and climbed as high as No. 11 before the Oct. 14 loss to Columbia dropped the Tigers to No. 17. Princeton has since risen to No. 13 in the poll, where it has been the last two weeks. The Tigers were also No. 6 in the latest TopDrawerSoccer poll, No. 10 in the SoccerAmerica poll and ninth in the latest NCAA RPI.
Best records: Princeton’s 15-2 record is in select company in program history. Princeton was 15-2 on the way to 19-3 in 2004 as the only other time the team was at least 15-2 through 17 games. The wins are the second-most in program history behind the 2004 team (19).
The goal scorers: Nine Tigers have scored this season, combining for 40 goals. All but six of those goals have come from players able to return next year, with a trio of non-forwards in Symanovich (two), Gregoire (three) and Larkin (one) accounting for the Class of 2018’s goals. Four of the nine have scored their first career goals this season, including sophomore O’Brien (10) and rookies Olivia Kane (two), Carolyne Davidson (two) and Eve Hewins (one). Sophomores Abby Givens and O’Brien co-lead the team with 10 each while junior Asom has nine.
Score early, not often: Princeton has given up six goals this season while scoring 40. All but two of those six goals allowed have come in the game’s first 20 minutes with one more, Oct. 21 against Harvard, coming in the 31st. West Virginia scored in the 19th minute on Sept. 15, Brown scored in the 10th minute on Oct. 7, and Columbia scored in the 10th and 11th minutes on Oct. 14.
Sophomore forward Abby Givens (10 goals) has more than tripled her freshman-year goal total (three) during the regular season on the way to a first-team All-Ivy League honor. She is a two-time Ivy League Player of the Week honoree this season. She has three career two-goal games, all this season.
Junior forward Mimi Asom earned first-team All-Ivy League honors for the first time after two second-team honors and a Rookie of the Year recognition in 2017. Her 31 career goals stand sixth in program history (Jen Hoy ’13 is fifth with 36), and her 69 career points stand eighth (Diana Matheson ’08 is seventh with 78). She has five career multi-goal games with one hat trick, Oct. 29, 2016 at Cornell.
Sophomore forward Courtney O’Brien has scored all 10 of her career goals this season on the way to a first-team All-Ivy League recognition. She has scored in bunches, netting four two-goal games this season.
Senior midfielder Vanessa Gregoire was named the Ivy League’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year, the second Tiger to receive the honor (Tyler Lussi’17, 2014, 2015) since it was split into Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year for the 2013 season. It was the 11th time a Princeton player won an Ivy Player of the Year honor. Her 26 career assists share the program record co-held by fellow Canadian Diana Matheson ’08 and former teammate Lauren Lazo ’15.