Friday, July 24, 2015

A Summer Friday

So it's a Friday in the summer.

Either you're off today or you can't wait to get on with your summer weekend, so TigerBlog will get right to the point today.

Or points. He has a few subjects. This won't take long, and then you can go enjoy your weekend.

First, there's Chloe Jones.

You have no idea who she is. That's okay.

Chloe is a member of the U.S. women's U-19 national lacrosse team. She scored a goal yesterday as the Americans opened the world championships with a 15-9 win over Canada in Scotland.

By the way, TigerBlog didn't realize it until he started reading about the current tournament that the first women's lacrosse game was played in Scotland, back in the 1800s.

Chloe is the youngest player on the U.S. team, at least in terms of class year. She's a rising junior in high school.

Two years ago, Chloe was Miss TigerBlog's teammate with Lower Bucks Lacrosse. She and MTB also played on the same middle school field hockey team.

When TB watched Chloe play as a youth player, it was obvious she was a special player. She was fast and strong and saw the whole field and made everyone better, and TB figured that if anyone from LBL was going to be a big-time player, it would be Chloe.

The fact that she turned out to be the only 2017 high school grad on the U19 team reaffirms for TB that he's a good judge of talent. He's going to have that tested when the kids that TigerBlog played lacrosse with on either the youth, high school or club level in his class - all 28 of them - play in college starting this year. TB has a sense of who will do well and who won't, and he's eager to see if he's right.

The U.S. team has won four women's U19 world lacrosse titles. The team that is now 1-0 in the competition is coached by Kim Simons Tortolani, who is one of the best players in Princeton women's lacrosse history. And she wasn't too bad at field hockey either.

Between the two she earned seven All-Ivy League selections, and she was team captain for both. She was a three-time All-America in lacrosse, and she was the captain of the 1994 NCAA championship team.

She's also married to Justin Tortolani, who is now a doctor in Baltimore. Justin, like his wife, also captained Princeton to an NCAA championship, his in 1992. He graduated as Princeton's career leader in goals with 120, a record that has now been passed by four players (Jesse Hubbard, Chris Massey, Mike MacDonald, Sean Hartofilis).

TigerBlog wonders how many captains of NCAA championship teams are married to someone who also captained an NCAA championship team.

Anyway, because of Kim Simons and Chloe Jones, TigerBlog is all in on the U.S. team at the U19 championships.

The fact that the U.S. men's national soccer team ended its relationship with Bob Bradley has left TigerBlog lukewarm on the Americans since then, though he does root for former Princeton soccer ball boy Michael Bradley, who has grown up to be the best player the U.S. has. TB was shocked when the U.S. lost to Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals the other night.

Should America lose to Jamaica in any team sport?

Speaking of international competition, TigerBlog was happy to see Katharine Holmes of the women's fencing team win the individual epee title at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Holmes and Princeton teammate Anna Van Brummen will compete today in the team epee competition.

TigerBlog saw the two in the Princeton Varsity Club weight room a few weeks ago as they prepared for the event. In fact, they were there the day that TB's colleague Andrew Borders put a story on about how they had qualified for the Pan Am Games.

TB recognized them from the picture, the one that's up there now in fact. He introduced himself and wished them luck.

This is one of the things about Princeton Athletics that is really appealing. There are 38 teams with 1,000 athletes, and they all have incredibly different backgrounds and stories. They also have vastly different goals.

TB loves meeting athletes from as many different sports as he can. That's why the people who work here do so, to try to help each athlete have the best possible experience. Meeting the athletes is a reaffirmation of that.

So good luck to the fencers today. And to the U.S. women as they move along at the U19s.

And for you?

Thanks for sticking with TB this far.

Now go have a great summer weekend.

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