Thursday, September 3, 2015


If you pull into the Jadwin Gym parking lot around 9 am on an average July or early August morning, you'll notice it's pretty much empty.

As August goes along, it starts to get more and more crowded. Now, in early September, there's the chance that Lot 21A, the small part where athletics staff parks, might be filled.

The entrance to Lot 21A has two signs that say "NO" and that you must have an athletics hang tag to park there. TigerBlog always chuckles when he sees people drive in, slow down to look at the sign and then keep going into Lot 21A anyway.

If Lot 21A is filled, then athletics staff has to park someplace else in Lot 21. Often this means going most of the way down towards the far end of the lot, especially when school is in session.

It's always a pain when the entire smaller lot is filled, and yet even if you went all the way to the far end of the parking lot, it's not that long of a walk into the building. This dynamic also makes TigerBlog laugh, since it makes him feel incredibly lazy.

When TigerBlog arrived yesterday, Lot 21A was about half full. He pulled in at the same time as Jess Gurriero, Assistant Manager of Business Relations. Jess is funny and very good at her job, which is a great combination.

As TB and Jess started to walk into the building, they ran into Frank Sowinski, the 1978 Ivy League men's basketball Player of the Year and a member of the Princeton Varsity Club Board. As they walked towards Jadwin, Sowinski asked TB if he has each day's story planned out or if they just come to him.

The answer, TB said, was that they just come to him. And he never knows where they'll come to him. Sometimes, he said, he thinks of a good idea but then can't remember it later.

And sometimes, he gets them when he's walking into the building in the morning.

Anyway, eventually, and by eventually TigerBlog means tomorrow, someone else besides the women's soccer team will play this academic year.

In fact, tomorrow will be opening day for women's volleyball, men's soccer and field hockey. Of the three, only field hockey will be home, at 4, against second-ranked North Carolina. Remember, it was North Carolina that Princeton beat in the 2012 NCAA championship game.

The men's water polo team has to wait one more day to get going, as Luis Nicolao's team opens Saturday in an invitational at the Naval Academy.

As for today, though, it's Game 3 for the women's soccer team. And it's a good one.

Princeton is 2-0-0 on the young season, with wins over Howard and Fordham last weekend. Tonight's opponent is Rutgers, 4-0-0, and ranked 22nd nationally on top of that.

Oh, and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.

Rutgers has done more than win all four of its games. It has yet to give up a goal, let alone lose.

Rutgers opened with a 2-0 win over Loyola Marymount, and that was followed by 1-0 wins over Hofstra, Villanova and UMass. RU has won the last four meetings against Princeton.

The women's soccer team has three straight home games, all in a week. Duquesne is on Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium Sunday, followed by Delaware a week from today.

The Rutgers game is Princeton's first ESPN game of the year. Princeton Athletics, as part of a long-time arrangement with ESPN, gets at least seven home events per year on an ESPN, which is an extraordinary opportunity for the athletic program.

This year, ESPN is televising two women's events, first the soccer game today and then the women's basketball game against Michigan on Dec. 6.

Of the seven events, three will be televised this month.

ESPN has done a great job getting water polo on television, and this year will be no different. Princeton's game against Pacific a week from Sunday from DeNunzio Pool is on the schedule. That one will be Tigers versus Tigers.

Another benefit of the arrangement with ESPN has been the opportunity it has given the Department of Athletics to showcase Roberts Stadium. This is the second straight year that ESPN has a women's and men's soccer game on its schedule, with the men's game against American on Sept. 29 to be shown on ESPNU as well.

The men's basketball game from Jadwin Gym against Harvard is also locked in. That's five, and it leaves two more for the academic year. Those games haven't been scheduled yet, but TigerBlog's guess is that they'll originate from Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium.

The deal with ESPN has been great for Princeton. The current arrangement runs through 2019, or three more academic years after this one.

TigerBlog figures he'll still be going strong then. After all, there's always another idea out there for another day.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Frank Sowinski was Ivy POY in 1977 but not in 1978 when Keven McDonald of Penn won the award.