Thursday, April 10, 2014

Reeling It In

TigerBlog has never caught a fish. He's been fishing. He's just never caught a fish.

Both of his children have.

Miss TigerBlog, back when she was still Little Miss TigerBlog, once got a fish on the end of her line on a riverbank. She was maybe three or four at the time. When she felt the fish on the line, she got so scared that she turned and ran away from the water, and in doing so dragged the fish out of the river and up onto the bank, without ever actually reeling it in.

TigerBlog Jr. has caught a few fish. He had caught a small one when MTB added a new dimension to the time-honored way of fishing, and then he answered hers with a bigger one of his own. TB is pretty sure they were trout.

As for himself, TB came up empty, even though he was fishing in a stocked river. He's pretty sure the fish were mocking him by the end. "Can you believe this guy? Maybe we should just in his boat and then jump out." That sort of thing.

Maybe this summer he can try it again. Certainly there has to be at least one fish out there that TB can get without having to order it off the menu.

TB is pretty sure that in the five or so times he's been out, he's had a fish or two on his line, only to let it get away. He did reel in a wooden plank one time, fought it hard all the way to the boat. TBJ still makes fun of him for that.

Hooking the fish is only part of it. Getting it all the way in is the problem. Maybe MTB's way is the best way.

The women's lacrosse team had a big one hooked last night. Unfortunately, it got away at the end.

Reeling one in among the top four teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference isn't easy.

The top four teams in the ACC are North Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse and Boston College. Oh, and what are the odds that you could have gotten in, say, 2000, that of those four school, Maryland would be the one NOT in the ACC within 15 years.

Anyway, those four also just happen to be ranked 1-4 in this week's Brine Division I women's lacrosse media poll.

And those four combined are 33-1 in non-league games, with the only loss among them a 7-5 UNC loss to Northwestern, who is ranked fifth.

Princeton hosted Maryland last night on Sherrerd Field, which has now seen two games in two days, with a combined score of Princeton 18, Other Guys 18, with two great one-goal outcomes. The men rallied to tie Lehigh with 2.7 seconds left and then win it in the second overtime. The women were not as fortunate, as they came up just short against No. 2 Maryland 8-7.

Princeton led 4-1 early and 5-3 at halftime. It was 7-6 Maryland when Alexandra Bruno tied it with 4:54 to go, but Maryland won it on a free position goal with 1:39 to go.

Had Princeton been able to reel it in, it would have been a great confidence - and resume - building as the season heads down the stretch.

Regardless of the outcome, Princeton can't focus too long on it. Not with the Ivy League race where it is.

Princeton is one of what appears to be six teams in the hunt for four spots in the Ivy League tournament with three weekends left in the regular season. This one is a huge one. Well, they all are.

Actually, it's a huge eight-day stretch for the Tigers.

Penn is currently 2-0 in the league. Princeton and Harvard are both 3-1, followed by Brown, Dartmouth and Cornell all at 2-2.

Princeton is at Harvard Saturday and then home against Penn Wednesday and Dartmouth next Saturday. And that's it for the Ivy League portion of the Tigers' schedule.

The regular-season winner gets the designation of Ivy champ and gets to host the tournament.

The winner of the Ivy tournament gets the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Those are the big prizes that are still in the water, waiting to be reeled in.

A win last night would have been great. The biggest games are still to come for the Tigers. There are a lot of tiebreakers to determine seeds, host and participants in the case of ties.

Win all three Ivy games and Princeton is the league champion (or co-champ) but definitely the tournament host. It doesn't get less complicated than that.

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