Monday, November 10, 2008

Tigers Of All Stripes To Play This Week

One of the best parts about Princeton athletics, and in fairness all of Ivy League athletics, is the commitment to broad-based participation. No one sport ever is considered the dominant one on campus, the one to which all the resources are directed. In an intercollegiate environment where Division I schools average 14-18 varsity sports, Ivy League schools easily double those numbers.

This week, more than most, shows just how unique Ivy League numbers are.

Princeton has 13 teams who will definitely be playing this week and another one who hopefully (and probably) will be playing. There are three additional teams who are off this week but play next week, meaning 17 different Princeton teams will be playing in an 11-day span beginning with tomorrow's NCAA field hockey play-in game between the Tigers and Stanford.

The team that is unsure if it will be playing is the women's soccer team, which finds out the answer to that question tonight at 8 on ESPNEWS with the announcement of the NCAA tournament pairings. Princeton is the Ivy League co-champ along with Harvard, but it is the Crimson who have the league's automatic bid. Princeton does have a high RPI, a 12-2-2 record and wins over NCAA-bound Fairfield and Boston University.

The men's and women's cross country teams host the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Saturday beginning at 11 at the Washington Road course, and women's volleyball plays its final three regular season matches, including a probable showdown with Yale f0r the Ivy title Saturday night.

The football team and men's soccer team also play, while the winter season continues with men's and women's hockey, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving and wrestling. Next weekend features men's water polo and men's and women's squash.

That adds up to 17 teams and nearly 400 athletes who will be competing in an 11-day stretch.

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