Evans prepares for final season
Princeton University senior Allison Evans, a 2011 Emmaus High School graduate, spent much of her summer in studying abroad in Amsterdam. There, she took classes on social policy and public health.
But while it was her first time leaving the country for academic purposes, her preparation and training for her senior season on the Tigers' field hockey team remained relatively the same. There may have been a shortage of training facilities, but the three-team All-Ivy League selection found ways to continue preparation in the summer months.
"It was similar to Princeton, having a balance with your academics and athletics," Evans said. "It definitely took motivation to go to class for probably at least four hours a day, and then make sure I was getting my training in. I ended up doing a lot of running around the city because there is not that many sports facilities available to the public."
In her first three seasons, Evans helped lead the Tigers to three Ivy League titles, three NCAA tournament appearances and a national title as a sophomore.
For Evans, the picture-perfect ending to a storybook career would be a fourth-consecutive Ivy League championship and another run at the national title. Princeton won the 2012 NCAA crown in Evans' second season of college field hockey.
"That was probably the best feeling athletically that I've ever felt because our team put so much effort and hard work in the whole entire season," Evans said of the NCAA title win over North Carolina. "We really came together as a team in the last few weeks for the tournament, and we ended up playing our best hockey then. That was an amazing feeling.
"It's definitely interesting being my last year because it's your last chance to go out with a bang. We're definitely planning on winning a fourth-consecutive Ivy League title for the girls who have been here for four years. Hopefully we can make it far in the NCAA championships as well. Obviously the best-case scenario would be to win another one like my sophomore year."
As a striker, Evans has accumulated 34 goals and 17 assists through three seasons, bringing her career points total to 84. Last season, she tallied 11 goals and six assists as a Second-Team conference selection. In her sophomore campaign as a Second-Team Ivy-League honoree again, she scored 12 goals along with five assists.
But perhaps one of her more successful seasons came as a freshman when she earned both First-Team Ivy League and Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.
"Another Ivy recognition would be great to keep up with that," Evans said. "As a team, obviously winning the Ivy League and going into NCAAs is the top priority. I guess an All-Region selection or something like that would be nice, but it's not necessary if the team does well."
Evans was previously named to the All-Region team as a freshman and sophomore. She has put in the time and reaped the rewards both individually and with her team.
"I guess it doesn't seem surreal because you're putting in the hard work every day for it," Evans said. "You're kind of earning every second you get on the field. I guess the only reason it doesn't feel surreal is because we all put in so much hard work to be where we are."
Her 84 career points ranks just outside Princeton's top 10 in program history. She is five points away from tying Melanie Meerschwam, who is currently 10th in most career points.
The accomplishments certainly didn't begin at Princeton.
At Emmaus, she scored 158 goals in leading the Hornets to four district titles and two PIAA championships, which ranks as the top goal-scorer in the state.
She played on both the U17 and U19 United States National Teams, as well as the US High Performance Field Hockey Tournament for two seasons as a tryout for the adult women's national team.
It looks as if her senior season at Princeton will unfortunately end her field hockey career. But before that, Evans and the Tigers have a number of goals within sight.
That quest for another Ivy League title begins on September 5 at Duke.