Wednesday, October 15, 2014

UDub, And Princeton Soccer Dubs

BrotherBlog's official title is Associate Director for the Center for Law, Science and Global Health at the University of Washington.

BB has lived in Seattle for a long time. TigerBlog has been there, and as cities go, it's not a bad one, even if it has way more homeless people than TB thought it would and that the smell of a certain weed permeates most downtown blocks. There is water everywhere, and TB recommends the short ferry ride to Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound because of 1) the island itself and 2) the view of Seattle on the way back.

The Space Needle is a great place. So are the football and baseball stadiums.

Oh, and apparently it rains there a lot, though as TB has only been there in the summer, he has yet to see one drop on any of his trips.

TB has spent some time on the campus of UDub, as they call it out there. It has a great football stadium, one that backs up onto Lake Washington. On the other side of campus, there is a fountain that offers beyond it an unobstructed view of Mt. Ranier.

TB's brother-in-law - himself the MLIS Program Chair in the UDub Information School - jokes that the view of the mountain draws students to the university in the summer and then they spend four years unable to see it because of the clouds that come in from September through June.

So that's a really quick overview of what TB thinks of when he thinks of Seattle.

Here's what he doesn't think of: college men's soccer.

And yet, to his wild amazement, there is UDub, ranked No. 1 right now in the latest NSCAA poll. Actually, the Huskies have had a solid men's soccer program, making the NCAA tournament every year but two from 1995-2007, before having a postseason drought that ended in 2012.

Last year, Washington was 16-2-4 and reached the NCAA quarterfinals before losing to New Mexico.

And TB never knew any of this.

He first looked at the soccer standings last week, and he was taken aback by the teams ranked No. 1 and No. 25. Last week, that was Dartmouth, before the Big Green lost to Boston University. Now Dartmouth is in the receiving votes category, while BU went from receiving votes to No. 22.

Harvard is also receiving votes in this week's poll.

On the women's side, no Ivy League team is ranked or receiving votes.

So what does all this mean?

Let's start with the men. It means that Princeton is pretty good. The Tigers lost to Dartmouth 2-1 in overtime in the Ivy opener two weeks ago and are 6-3-2 overall after last night's 1-0 win over Loyola.

Princeton dominated the game against the Greyhounds, outshooting them 19-3, but it wasn't until a late penalty kick on a hand ball that was so obvious that nobody in green bothered protesting.

Next up for Princeton is Columbia in New York Saturday. Princeton, Columbia, Penn and Brown are all 1-1; Harvard and Dartmouth are 2-0.

Princeton got a late goal from Joe Saitta Saturday to knock off Brown 2-1 at home in what was a huge moment of the season. After the Columbia game is an entire week to get ready for a home game against Harvard.

Princeton has scored 22 goals, of which 16 have come from Thomas Sanner and Cameron Porter.

The Princeton women are also relying on a one-two scoring punch, this from Tyler Lussi and Lauren Lazo.

Princeton is 5-3-3 overall and 2-0-1 in the league, tied for first with Harvard. Princeton is also at Columbia Saturday on the women's side.

As for Lussi and Lazo, they have done the men one better, literally. The Princeton women also have 22 goals as a team, and Lussi and Lazo have combined for 17 of them.

Lussi has 11 goals in 11 games, which makes her one of five players in Division I who is averaging at least one goal per game. She also already tied for 11th on the single-season goals list at Princeton (the record is 20, set by current assistant Esmeralda Negron in the 2004 Final Four season), and with two more goals she will tie for 10th all-time at Princeton in career goals scored, despite the fact that she's about two-thirds of the way through her sophomore year.

Lussi scored two more last night in a 3-0 win over Army. Lazo had the other.

The world of Ivy League soccer isn't easy, and it is one of the most competitive top-to-bottom sports the league has. Princeton found out the hard way how subtle things can be, going from 7-0-0 two years ago on the women's side to seventh place last year.

Now Princeton is back in the thick of the league race, with four league games to go. Having two pure goal scorers is a major plus in that chase.

As for UDub's men, they are next at UCLA, who happens to be ranked No. 1 for the women (and No. 14 for the men).

If TB had to guess, he'd say that his brother has no idea about any of this.

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