Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Amazing Comeback And Princeton

TigerBlog felt badly about not starting out yesterday with the women's soccer team.

After all, the Tigers are off to an amazing start.

Still, TB wanted to talk college football yesterday, so he figured he'd start out today with women's soccer. And while technically he has, he'll get back to that in a second.

First, there's the little matter of someone named "Nassau83." Well, that's not exactly the person's actual name. It's the name that TigerBlog has seen on message boards before. The assumption, of course, is that it's a Princeton grad, Class of 1983. Or possibly someone who wore the No. 83 at Princeton, but that's more of a longshot.

Actually, TigerBlog wonders if he's ever met "Nassau83." Ah, but that's not the point.

"Nassau83" is the author of a comment yesterday that mentions something that TigerBlog never knew to be true. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who engineered one of the greatest comebacks football has ever seen the other night with his four-TD fourth-quarter against Texas A&M, is the son of Princeton women's lacrosse player?

Who knew this?

Rosen's bio on the UCLA website says that his mother, Elizabeth Lippincott, was an all-league lacrosse player at Princeton.

It's true. Lippincott, known as "Wiz," was a 1981 and 1982 first-team All-Ivy League selection. She also won the, as "Nassau83" said, the Emily Goodfellow and Women's Lacrosse Awards, two major Princeton team awards, her senior year of 1982. She was also the captain of the 1982 Tigers, the only captain that year.

 The first year that there was a women's lacrosse team at Princeton was 1973. The first year of an All-Ivy League team for women's lacrosse was 1980.

Think of all the great early women's lacrosse players in the league who never had a chance to be recognized with something so simple as "all-league." TigerBlog wonders what it was like administratively back then, when it was simply understood, it seems, that men's sports would take priority over women's.

He has no way of knowing this, but he assumes that it was the women's coaches who drove the league to start down the path of equality on something as basic as having an all-league team. Or were it the earliest women's administrators? What they had to fight for was extraordinary.

Really, it's hard to picture it. TigerBlog has spent decades working in Ivy sports, and he has spent way more time than he could possibly guess in meetings of all kinds, discussing every possible aspect of Princeton sports. At no point in any of those meetings has TB ever found himself in a situation where someone even remotely suggested that something be done for the men but not the women based simply on gender.

Not once.

It's hard to imagine that not even 10 years before he started covering Princeton sports, such decisions were still in effect. Maybe he can ask one of the players on the first All-Ivy women's lacrosse team what she remembers about. There was a player from Harvard named Chris Sailer who was first-team in 1980 and 1981. Maybe she knows something.

Speaking of Sailer, she's been the women's lacrosse coach here for 31 years. Did you realize that Princeton has had only three women's lacrosse coaches in its history - Penny Hinckley for five years, Betty Logan for nine and now Sailer. That's fairly amazing.

Perhaps TB should track her down.

The comment from "Nassau83" mentions that Lippincott was an outstanding figure skater, along with Treby Williams, the University's Executive Vice President. Rosen's UCLA bio goes one further, mentioning that his parents - his father is a Penn grad and orthopedic surgeon - were actually U.S. national champions in ice dancing, which, by the way, TB thinks is more entertaining than pairs figure skating.

Lippincott's son put on quite a show the other night, especially in the second half, and really in the fourth quarter. He spent the entire first half getting beaten up and then in the second half was incredible.

It doesn't matter what he does the rest of the year. All people will remember is what happened on opening night, especially Jets fans, who were drooling over USC quarterback Sam Darnold, until they saw Rosen.

And his mother is a Princetonian. Even better. Darnold's mother went to Long Beach City College, where she played volleyball, by the way.

And that's it for today.

What? Oh year. Women's soccer.

Well, apologies again to the Tigers. They had a great weekend, beating two top 20 schools on the road.

But tomorrow they have a home game, against Rider, on the back end of a doubleheader, after the men play Seton Hall at 4.

TigerBlog promises to talk women's soccer tomorrow. And hopefully many other times as the year goes along.

It's certainly been a great start.

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