We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Princeton Tigers, located in Princeton, NJ, are up for Preview!
2012 saw the Tigers go 11-5 and make a serious push towards the end of the season, before losing to Yale in the Ivy Finals, and then Virginia in the NCAAs. Princeton played 8 Top 20 games, going 3-5 in those contests. They got big wins over Villanova, Yale (regular season), and Cornell, and lost tight games to Hopkins (10-8), UNC (9-8), Syracuse (10-9), and Virginia (6-5).
2013 produces a similar slate for the Tigers, with a couple of changes. The Ivy games stay the same, but now Princeton opens up with Hofstra, followed by Hopkins, Villanova, UNC, and Manhattan, before starting Ivy League play. In the middle of their Ivy run, Princeton plays Syracuse, and then Rutgers. Only 13 regular season games means each big one counts just a little bit more, and bad losses can be killer.
The biggest glaring hole for Princeton is in net, as Tyler Fiorito has graduated. Losing a backstop like Fiorito can be devastating, but the Tigers are not without talent in net, as Eric Sanschagrin got some valuable experience last year. Matt O’Connor is a big freshman with potential out of the Lawrenceville School. One of those keepers better pan out, because the Tigers also have some serious holes to fill on defense. Rob Castelo started every game last year, and returns as a Junior, but his two partners in crime down low (Wiedemaier and Meyers) are both gone. The Tigers have 8 poles on their roster, and both Derick Raabe and Mark Strabo could emerge as starters.
Offensively, things look better for Princeton. Tom Schreiber and Jeff Froccaro both return, and these guys are studs. They are joined by Tucker Shanley and Forrest Sonenfeldt, two big boys who can rip from distance and can spread a defense out. With the emergence of a couple of new faces, Princeton’s offense should be flying high, and it should be a real bright spot for this team. Bobby Lucas should continue to take a lot of face offs, but Froccaro could see some time there this year as well, like he did last year, especially when Lucas struggles.
In the end, I think Princeton will lose a couple of close games early on to good teams, and this may cause others to overlook them. However, by the end of the season, I fully expect Princeton to compete for the Ivy League AQ, and possibly an at-large bid. The defense will solidify, the offense is potent, and the Tigers have plenty of young talent on the roster, which should help them in the depth department, should the injury bug bite.
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UPenn, and Penn State!