Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Virginia is for Lovers... of Princeton Soccer

Though Roberts Stadium was not selected to host the NCAA women's soccer first and second rounds, some Tigers will feel right at home in Virginia when Princeton opens the NCAA tournament in Charlottesville Friday night at 7:30 against West Virginia.

Four Tigers went to high school in Northern Virginia, including head coach Julie Shackford, assistant coach Scott Champ, senior midfielder Jen Om and sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Pont.

The Tigers have played games in the state of Virginia seven times in Shackford's 14 seasons. Before Shackford took over, the program had played in Virginia only once, a 1992 game at William & Mary, Shackford's alma mater. Princeton returned to W&M in 2002 and again in 2006.

This will also be the second time the NCAA tournament has brought Princeton to Charlottesville. In 2003, Villanova got past Princeton 2-1 in the first round.

But the Princeton-Virginia ties don't end there. While no Tigers share any high school alma maters with West Virginia players, two Cavaliers and Tigers wore the same colors in high school. Virginia sophomore Kristin Bowers and Shackford both went to Lake Braddock High, and Cavalier sophomore Kika Toulouse and Pont both went to Bishop O'Connell.

In addition to women's soccer's previous appearance on campus in Charlottesville, men's soccer (1999), baseball (2004), women's lacrosse (1998, 2006, 2007) and men's lacrosse (2004) have also had NCAA tournaments at UVa.

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