Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Weekend, Another Title

TigerBlog is jealous.

He found out that ESPN was going to be doing its awesome pregame show - College Game Day - from Harvard Saturday before the Harvard-Yale game and was jealous.

Yes, it's great exposure for the league. No, it doesn't involve Princeton - and therefore TB is jealous.

He goes through this all the time. Princeton competes against seven other schools in all these sports all the time, and of course a huge part of being in college athletics is to win.

And these schools are Princeton's rivals. So when something good outside of the league - like in NCAA competition - or something like the College Game Day event comes to one of the other campuses, what is the natural reaction?

To be happy for a league partner? To be annoyed that it's not Princeton?

In this case, it's definitely jealousy. How cool would it be to have College Game Day at Princeton?

Oh well. Another time.

TB also hopes that the College Game Day people don't fall back into the stereotyping of Ivy League that so often happens. People like you know what Ivy League sports are all about, how serious they are, how well the teams do outside the league.

When outsiders, as it were, come along, they know very little about just how strong Ivy League teams are. They tend to fall back to the stereotypes - nerdy kids, sports that aren't that serious, all that stuff, everybody's smart, that kind of stuff.

The ESPN presence will come before the kickoff between Harvard and Yale. Had Princeton been able to beat Yale Saturday, then it's unlikely the show would be in Cambridge.

Now, heading into the final weekend of Ivy football - boy, does that season fly by - Harvard is unbeaten, while Yale and Dartmouth have one loss each. Princeton has two.

As a result, Princeton cannot win a share of the championship, but Yale and Dartmouth can. Yale needs to beat Harvard, and that would be a co-championship. Dartmouth would get in on it by having Yale win and by having Dartmouth win in its final game, which just happens to be here Saturday.

Should Harvard win, it'll all be over anyway.

TigerBlog's focus this weekend was on Princeton's game at Yale, but not as much the football one as the men's soccer game.

Princeton went into the final weekend of Ivy men's soccer tied with Dartmouth for first place and needing only a win over Yale, who was 0-5-1 in the league and 1-12-3 overall to get at least a share of the league crown. Of course, as TB said last week, Yale had played 13 one-goal or tied games.

And now that number is 14. Princeton, using yet another Cameron Porter goal, escaped New Haven with a 1-0 win. As a result, Princeton earned at least a share of the Ivy League title.

If you're keeping track, that's three straight weekends with one Ivy championship, after men's cross country two weeks ago and field hockey last week. That's not too bad.

It was an emotional game for Yale, whose coach, Brian Tompkins, was in his final game with the program after 19 years. Yale desperately wanted to win, and it was not an easy one for the Tigers.

When it was over, there was hope that Brown could beat or tie Dartmouth and give Princeton the outright championship. TigerBlog wrote that in his story and then had to go back and update it one way or another.

At the World Cup (TigerBlog's two main focuses in soccer are the World Cup and the Ivy League), the last group matches all start at the same time, so nobody can do any scoreboard watching. In the Ivy League, Princeton's game ended just as Dartmouth's was starting.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. Dartmouth scored in the 11th minute (TB probably could have updated his story right there) and then added two more in the second half for a 3-0 win.

As a result, Dartmouth ties Princeton for the championship and gets the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Princeton now waits for the NCAA selection show this afternoon at 1 on Princeton is right on the bubble, one way or another, but TigerBlog is optimistic that the Tigers will be rewarded for their 11-3-3 season, challenging schedule and 8-0-1 record in its last nine.

He and they will find out at 1.

Elsewhere this weekend, the women's hockey team won two overtime games against teams who are last place in the ECAC. Another way to say that is that Princeton swept its league weekend, and style points don't matter.

The cross country teams did well at the NCAA regionals, but only Megan Curham qualified for the national championships. The women's basketball team swept two games in Pittsburgh; the men split, winning at home against Rider and losing at George Mason.

Women's volleyball finished third in the Ivy League (Harvard and Yale tied for the title). The men's hockey team was swept on the road. The field hockey team was eliminated in the NCAA tournament.

Was it a good weekend?

Any weekend with an Ivy title is a good one, TB supposes.

He's really happy for Jim Barlow and his team. A great deal was made about how the football team went from 1-9 and 1-9 to an Ivy title.

The seniors on the men's soccer team were 1-5-1 in the league as freshmen. Now? Ivy champs.

Is the season over?

TigerBlog hopes not.


Glenn Adams '63 said...

What a shame for the Tigers' men's soccer team that the NCAA excluded it from the tournament, despite its tying for the Ivy Title, its very impressive 11-3-3 record, and its very strong finish of being unbeaten in its last 9 games. Its only 3 losses were to NCAA 8th seed Georgetown (whom we led at the half), an OT loss to Dartmouth, and a double OT loss to Fairleigh Dickinson, which despite its being our opener probably cost us inclusion in the NCAA's. This limitation of Ivy representation to one of its two title teams reminds me of men's bball, in which it has been impossible for more than a single Ivy team to qualify for the NCAA's - no matter how good a 2nd Ivy team is. Guess we have to schedule more highly ranked teams to help our chances of making the NCAA's. In any case, I think the Tiger Men's Soccer Team was very deserving of an NCAA bid and I salute them for a terrific season and a share of the Ivy title. Well done, guys! Glenn Adams '63

Glenn Adams '63 said...

I just attempted to leave my comment.