Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year In Review Part 1

Well, this is just about it for 2015.

Another year come and gone. And now it's almost time for next New Year's Eve.

Is it a big party night for you?

TigerBlog wrote about the evolution of New Year's Eve a year ago. He quotes himself directly:
The evolution of New Year's Eve goes like this: 1) try to stay up til midnight, 2) desperately try to find something fun to do at midnight, 3) pretend you don't care if you have something fun to do at midnight even though you do, 4) don't do anything other than stay up to watch the ball drop at midnight while sneering at those who are in steps 2 and 3, and finally 5) not care that it's New Year's Eve.

TigerBlog ran into assistant women's basketball coach Milena Flores before the team left for Marist the other day. When the subject turned to New Year's Eve, TigerBlog mentioned that he's not interested in going to Times Square on the moment of the year that it's the least crowded, let alone on New Year's Eve.

Up next is 2016. You might have heard that there's a Presidential election in the coming year. And that there will be the next Summer Olympics.

There will also be another calendar year of Princeton Athletics.

First, though, it's the top 15 stories in Princeton Athletics from 2015. Keep in mind, this is TigerBlog's list, so direct all complaints to him.

Also, TigerBlog is limiting this only to events that happened at Princeton this year. If he had an alumni division, then Chris Young's performance in helping the Kansas City Royals to the World Series title would have vaulted to either No. 1 or No. 2. 

TigerBlog will offer up Nos. 15 through 8 today, with the top seven left for tomorrow. This isn't as easy as you'd think, since 2015 was another ultra-successful year at Princeton.

No. 15 - Men's water polo gets to the NCAA tournament
Thomas Nelson scored four goals to lead Princeton to a 7-6 win over Johns Hopkins in the championship game of the Collegiate Water Polo Association to advance to the NCAA tournament. Princeton, who had won the CWPA Southern Division title, lost the NCAA play-in game to UC-San Diego to finish the season at 22-5.

No. 14 - Quinn Prchal wins the Ivy golf title
Quinn Prchal had a record-setting run at the Ivy League championships. His three-day total of 210 won the individual title by three strokes and tied the league record for three rounds, and his final round 67 also tied the Ivy record for a single round. Prchal shot another 67 in his final round at the NCAA regional, where he finished 37th.

No. 13 - A Swimming and Diving sweep
The men led wire-to-wire to win the 30th Ivy title in program history. This one was over from Day 1, when the Tigers built a triple (not double)-figure lead after the first session. The women? They had a little more drama than the men. The women had to rally from 92 points down with six events to go, but they did it, winning the final two events to zoom past Harvard to win the 22nd Ivy title in program history.

No. 12 - Both tennis teams play in NCAAs at Virginia
The women's tennis team made its second-straight NCAA tournament appearance and fourth in seven years after winning the 12th Ivy League title in program history. The big wins along the way were a pair of 4-3 matches, indoors at Dartmouth and outdoors on a beautiful spring Sunday at home in the clincher against Cornell. The men didn't win the league title, but they still advanced to the NCAA tournament, earning an at-large bid that put the Tigers in the field for the first time since 1988. Both teams would play at the same site, Charlottesville, Va., in the NCAAs.

No. 11 - Field hockey team wins another Ivy title and gets an NCAA win
Princeton went 7-0 in the Ivy League to win its 21st championship 22 years. It got pretty dramatic at the end, as Princeton played Penn in the regular season finale, with an NCAA spot to the winner and the game headed to overtime after the Quakers tied it with three minutes left. Ryan McCarthy's goal 2:35 into overtime, though, made the Tigers winners and sent them off to the NCAA tournament, where they kept the season going with a 3-1 win over No. 5 Maryland, behind two goals by Sophia Tornetta, before falling to eventual-champion Syracuse.

No. 10 - Orban and MacDonald have monster senior years
Kip Orban and Mike MacDonald destroyed the Princeton record book while leading the men's lacrosse team to a share of the Ivy League title. Destroyed, actually, might not be a strong enough way to describe it. MacDonald, the Ivy League Player of the Year, set the program record with 78 points (48G, 30A), and he became the first Princeton player ever with at least 40 goals and 30 assists in a season. MacDonald finished his career as the third-leading goal-scorer in Princeton history with 132, and his 208 points are fifth all-time. Orban annihilated the record for goals in a season by a middie as he finished his senior year with 45. He also had 101 for his career, making him the third middie at Princeton to reach 100.

No. 9 - men's track and field wins the "Triple Crown"
The men's track and field team put the finishing touches on a seventh "Triple Crown," a sweep of the Heps titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, as the Tigers continued to be the only Ivy men's team ever to accomplish the feat. The Princeton women, who have done it twice, are the only ones on the women's side who have done it. The 2015 Princeton men did it in two varying ways, setting the record for the largest margin of victory in the 67-year history of the indoor event and then having to rally for a 3.5-point win in the outdoor event. The "Triple Crown" wasn't secure until Stephen Soerens won the decathlon in the final event of the day.

No. 8 - Women's lacrosse runs through the Ivy League and to NCAA quarterfinals
The Princeton women's lacrosse team went 7-0 in the league and then charged through the Ivy tournament. The Tigers outscored their league opponents by a combined 80-54, with the closest game a 9-7 win at Penn against the second-best team in the league on a night when Olive Hompe scored three times and Erin McMunn became the sixth player in program history to reach 200 points. Princeton then won twice in the NCAA tournament, including an 8-4 win over sixth-ranked Stony Brook as Abby Finkelston scored four goals, before falling to Duke in the quarterfinals.

TOMORROW - The top seven

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