Monday, November 10, 2014

A Fairly Full Weekend

Let's see.

TigerBlog went to four Princeton athletic events over the weekend. He watched others on the videostream. He followed Twitter to get updates.

He announced. He wrote. He did stats.

It was a fairly full weekend. Of course it was. How could it not be, what with nine different teams who played on campus.

TigerBlog saw four of them live - men's water polo, women's hockey, men's hockey and football. He watched the women's soccer and men's soccer games on videostream. He kept track of Twitter updates for field hockey, sprint football and women's volleyball.

He actually saw a little of the women's hockey game Friday against RIT live. It was 3-0 Tigers - the RIT Tigers - when TB got there and when he left. Then he went to the pool for a little bit of men's water polo. He got back to his office to see the end of the women's hockey comebck on the videostream, including Morgan Sly's pretty overtime goal to win it.

He then had to help out doing stats at men's hockey against Cornell. This is something that TigerBlog has a demonstrated record of doing poorly.

Lacrosse? He can do that all by himself. He doesn't even need a spotter. Hockey is another story.

TB had what would appear to be the easiest job, doing the shot chart. All he had to do was write down the number of the player on each team who took a shot and where on the ice they were. If the shot was a save, he had to underline it twice. A blocked shot was underlined once. A shot that went wide was left alone. A goal was circled.

TigerBlog failed this miserably. First, because he was sitting in the press box at Baker Rink, he was at above and behind one goal. The paper with the chart, of course, had the goals to his left and right, as if he was sitting at center ice.

As a result, he couldn't figure out his left from his right on the chart without turning the paper 90 degrees. And then he couldn't keep straight which side was Cornell and which side was Princeton.

If he kept the paper turned to replicate the ice, then the numbers he wrote down would also be off by 90 degrees.

It was very stressful.

On the other hand, Colton Phinney had a great 40-save performance, with a few "wow" saves, as Princeton won the game 2-1. The Tigers were up 1-0 early, as in 3:14 in, on a goal by Aaron Ave. TigerBlog's shot chart had him shooting it in the other goal, by the way.

The next time either team scored was 56:01 later, when Garrett Skrbich scored into an empty net. Game over, right? Not exactly. Cornell scored with 16 seconds left to keep it interesting, but that would be it.

As for Saturday, he kept checking Twitter for the field hockey score, and Princeton won that one 4-3. By then, Columbia had lost 4-1 to Harvard.

It was the one scenario that would bring Princeton an outright Ivy title and the league's bid to the NCAA tournament. And it worked out perfectly.

Princeton, the Ivy field hockey champ for the 20th time in 21 years, is going to be a tough out come NCAA tournament time.

Then it was time to do PA at football.

The game dragged for nearly 3.5 hours, with 16 TV timeouts and 98 passes. And it wasn't exactly the most artistic game for much of it.

Still, it was exactly what Princeton needed. A win. And so here is where the Tigers are: tied with Yale and Dartmouth - its last two opponents - for second, one game back of Harvard, who play Penn and Yale.

The Tigers need two wins and at least one Harvard loss, but at least they still have a chance. A loss to Penn would have basically ended that hope.

After that, TB watched the second half of men's soccer on the videostream. Princeton was up 3-2 at the half, and that's how it ended.

Dartmouth defeated Columbia, meaning that Princeton and Dartmouth are still tied for first at 4-1-1, with 13 points. Princeton is at Yale (0-5-1); Dartmouth hosts Brown (2-2-2).

Princeton would lose the tiebreaker for the NCAA bid to Dartmouth because of the OT loss on Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium earlier this season. But Princeton also is right in the mix for an at-large NCAA bid either way, and a win over Yale means no worse than a share of the Ivy title.

And with that, TB was able to exhale.

These are the kinds of weekends that TB loves. Lots of teams. Lots of games. Lots to do.

This one was a pretty good one. 

No comments: