Friday, October 6, 2017

Another Busy Weekend

The monthly Princeton Department of Athletics staff meeting was held yesterday.

When it ended, TigerBlog found himself standing between two coworkers. To his left was an assistant men's swimming coach. To his right was a Friends' group coordinator.

The cool part is that they're both former Olympians. The swimming coach is Doug Lennox. The Friends' group coordinator is Caroline Lind. For good measure, Lind is a two-time gold medalist in rowing.

As TB said, there's something cool about that. And that's a good starting spot for today.

Up next is the first collegiate goal for men's soccer player Kevin O'Toole, a pretty impressive individual effort. You can see that goal, and the relatively fluky play that resulted in the other Princeton goal as the Tigers defeated Villanova 2-0 Wednesday night, here:

O'Toole is a freshman from Montclair, in North Jersey. His mother Nancy was Nancy Reinisch back when she played soccer at William & Mary, where she became great friends with another Tribe player, former Princeton women's coach Julie Shackford.

Nancy also grew up in the same town as TigerBlog, around the corner from his friend Corey.

The win over Villanova came after the Tigers dropped their Ivy opener to Dartmouth 2-1. This weekend Princeton is at Brown, and with six league games remaining, there's still time to turn the season around.

Another team hoping not to turn its season around is the women's soccer team.

Princeton is putting together an amazing season, what with a record of 10-1, a national ranking climbing towards the Top 10 and an RPI that was sixth this week. That's sixth in all of Division I.

Princeton is 2-0 in the Ivy League, with wins over Yale and Dartmouth. Up next is Brown, who is 8-3 overall and 1-1 in the league.

If you recall one year ago, Princeton was 8-1-1 and similarly rolling, though not as highly ranked, entering the Brown game. Then the Tigers lost three straight Ivy games to essentially fall out of postseason contention.

Princeton has and will have spent a lot of time on the bus this week, after a trip to Dartmouth, followed by a midweek trip to Bucknell (4-0 Tigers, with four different goal scorers) and now the trip to Brown.

TigerBlog mentioned that the women's volleyball team is home this weekend, with a potential matchup between Ivy unbeatens tomorrow if Princeton (against Dartmouth) and Harvard (against Penn) can get through tonight.

The field hockey team is home this weekend, and it knows it will have a matchup between league unbeatens tonight when it takes on Columbia at 6. After that, it'll be another game Sunday at noon against No. 1-ranked UConn.

Again, it might seem like July with the temperatures in the 80s, but it's getting to be mid-October and the heart of Ivy League races.

The football team is home as well this week, with a game tomorrow at 1 against Georgetown. It's the final non-league game of the year for Princeton, and it will be followed by six straight Ivy games.

Princeton has played three games, and Jesper Horsted has caught 26 passes. At this pace, he'd finish the season with 87 (actually 86.7), and the school single-season record is ...?

That would be 88, set in 1983 by the great Kevin Guthrie. In other words that's a record that has stood for 34 seasons now.

Chad Kanoff has thrown for 920 yards so far this season. He needs six yards - just 18 feet - to become the third Princeton quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 in a career, along with Doug Butler (7,291) and Matt Verbit (5,202).

Kanoff also, then, needs 208 yards to tie Verbit for second place all time at Princeton. Can he make a run at Butler? He'd need to average 328 yards per game for the next seven to get there.

Kanoff has thrown nine touchdown passes this season. Horsted and Stephen Carlson have four of those apiece.

The record for touchdown receptions in a season at Princeton is 11, by Derek Graham in 1983 and matched by Roman Wilson in 2013. Until Wilson caught 86 in 2013, by the way, Guthrie (88) and Graham (84) ranked 1-2 on the season list, and both in the same season. That's impressive.

Anyway, those are a few individual numbers to keep an eye on. With the loss last week to Columbia, Princeton will be ready to get back at it tomorrow and then dive into the rest of the league race.

The next two weekends will be on the road, at Brown and at Harvard. Shockingly, Princeton has only two more home games after this weekend.

It's another busy one for Princeton. That's how weekends are around here, especially ones with:
* the No. 1 team in the country on campus
* at least one and possibly two games matching Ivy unbeatens
* a top 10 RPI team trying to keep it going
* one team trying to build on a midweek win
* another team wanting to get the bad taste of last weekend out of its mouth

Yeah. Busy.

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