Tuesday, July 28, 2015

That's Golden

TigerBlog, as you might recall, was rooting hard for Jill Ellis as the head coach of the U.S. women's team at the recently completed Women's World Cup.

You might have heard that the Americans won.

He's also rooting for Kim Simons, the 1994 Princeton grad and former field hockey and lacrosse great who captained the Tigers to the 1994 NCAA title. She is currently coaching the American U19 women's team at the World Championships in Scotland.

TB is liking the U.S. team's chances, what with two shutouts in its first four games and relatively easy wins over Canada and Australia. The Americans play England today in their final round-robin game.

So that's two teams from the U.S. that TigerBlog wants to see do well.

What about the U.S. men's national soccer team? That's a more complicated story.

Yes, TB tends to root for America. This one, though, isn't so simple.

TigerBlog thinks that Bob Bradley got a raw deal when he was let go as U.S. head coach. And his replacement, Jurgen Klinsmann, didn't do as well as Bradley did in the World Cup a year ago and now has seen the U.S. finish fourth in the Gold Cup this month - with losses to Jamaica and Panama.

Now the U.S. will have a game against Mexico to see who advances to the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017. That game will be played in October.

Does TB want to see the Americans win? And then qualify for the World Cup?

Well, obviously he does. But still, the whole Bob Bradley piece bothers him, even if Bradley's son Michael - nephew of Princeton baseball coach Scott Bradley - remains the U.S. team's best player.

When push comes to shove, if it's down to the last few minutes of a game with qualification on the line for the next World Cup, yeah, TB will want the U.S. to get in. Probably. He is still bitter.

Meanwhile, in other international competition, TigerBlog definitely was rooting for Canadians against the U.S. recently. Where?

The Pan Am Games, which recently ended in Toronto.

TigerBlog remembers the Pan Am Games as being a bigger deal when he was a kid. When he checked it out, he saw that the first Pan Am Games were held in 1937 in Dallas and that nobody really cared.

At least that's what it says on Wikipedia.

Princeton was well-represented in Toronto the last two weeks, and there was a lot of gold to be won there. Mostly by Americans.

The U.S. field hockey team won the gold medal, with Princeton's Julia and Katie Reinprecht on the team and Kathleen Sharkey sidelined by injury. The 2-1 win over Argentina in the championship game included a Reinprecht (Julia) to Reinprecht (Katie) goal for the Americans.

The victory gives the United States more than just the medals. It also means an automatic berth into the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio. The Reinprechts were both starters on the U.S. team in 2012 at the London Olympics as well.

Katharine Holmes and Anna Van Brummen each won gold in women's fencing. In fact, Holmes won two golds, with the individual epee championship and then the team championship, where she joined Van Brummen and Penn State alum Katarzyna Trzopek for gold as well.

And then there's Ashleigh Johnson, the women's water polo goalie.

Johnson also left Canada with a gold medal, after she led the U.S. team to a 13-4 win over Canada in the final. Johnson made 12 saves in the game.

Instead of heading home, though, she continued her busy summer with a short trip over to Russia, where she is now playing for the U.S. team at the World Championships, which began Sunday.

It's been a busy summer for Johnson, who also found herself featured in an ESPN.com article that you can read HERE.

And then there was another winning performance in Toronto.

Martin Barakso (rising captain of the Tiger heavyweights) joined Michael Evans ’13 (former captain) in the M8+ to win gold for Team Canada.

So take that America.


Unknown said...

Ashley Higginson, class of 2011, also won gold at the Pan American Games by winning the women's steeplechase in a meet record time. Steven Feldman '68

TigerBlog said...

Ah, TigerBlog apologizes to Ashley Higginson. That's another great accomplishment.