Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Picture Perfect

TigerBlog would like to start out today with a long overdue thank you to Robert Goldstein.

If you are a Princeton men's lacrosse fan, then you've seen Robert's work, even if you don't know that you have. Robert has taken pictures at every Princeton men's lacrosse game for the last four years, home and away, and given them to TB to let him use on the webpage and social media.

He's a really good, creative photographer. In fact, TigerBlog has often advised him to quit his day job. Anyone can be a transplant surgeon, TB would tell him. Not just anyone can take great lacrosse pictures.

Anyway, TigerBlog will miss Robert, who will not be back for every game this coming season. TigerBlog wants to thank him for everything he did the last four years, how easy he was to work with, how supportive he's been of the program and his friendship during his time here.

While TigerBlog is on the subject of photographers, did you see the picture that Princeton's regular photographer, Beverly Schaefer, took after Princeton's win over Yale in field hockey the other night?

If you didn't, here it is:
There's a lot going on in that picture, and yet it is also very simple. You look at that picture, and you immediately know two things: 1) Princeton won and 2) it wasn't an easy win.

That's what the very, very best sports pictures do. They show you a lot while telling a simple story. Sometimes things are complex. Sometimes they're simple. Sometimes they're both at once.

In the picture, you can see the three leaping Princeton players. You can see the ball behind the Yale goalie. You can see the frustration on the part of the Bulldog players who desperately were trying to keep the ball out of the goal a split second earlier.

As for the Princeton players, you can tell that this isn't an ordinary goal. You can tell that this was the game-winner, which it was, and the level of their joy says that maybe this was one that they thought had gotten away, only to reel it back in at the end.

And that's exactly what happened.

Before TB gets into the particulars of the game, the picture itself is one of Beverly's best. In fact, it definitely opens up the competition for the best picture of the year, which TB thought Bev had salted away with this one after the women's lacrosse team took the lead in the NCAA tournament win over Cornell on Sherrerd Field:

That one tells you a lot also.

Anyway, back at the field hockey game against Yale Friday, TigerBlog wasn't at it. Instead, he was following the game on Twitter, and Princeton seemed to be down 2-1 the entire time. TB checked back one last time, and, just like that, it was 3-2 Princeton, final.

The Tigers won as Ryan McCarthy scored two goals in the final three minutes, including the game-winner after time had expired, on a penalty corner. In field hockey, corners that are called before time expires are played out until there is a goal or a violation on the offense or the defense clears the ball out of the circle.

This is in contrast to college soccer, where a team awarded a corner kick as the clock winds down has to play it out before it reaches all zeroes, which is why you'll see soccer players who sprint to get a corner kick off in the final seconds of a half. In professional and international soccer, of course, the ref is the only one who actually knows how much time is left.

If you want to see McCarthy's goals, by the way, you can click HERE to the recap on goprincetontigers.com

It was a huge win for Princeton, who has played through a brutal non-league schedule and now is heading into the thick of the Ivy League race. If you remember last season, you're more likely to remember that the Tigers reached the NCAA Final Four than you are to remember that the team actually didn't win the Ivy League championship.

Right now, Princeton, Columbia and Harvard are the three unbeaten teams in Ivy field hockey. They won't all be unbeaten in another week, as Princeton hosts Columbia Friday at 6:30. It'll be another Friday-Ivy/Sunday-Top 10 team weekend for Princeton, who then will be home Sunday at 1 against UConn, who is ranked, what is it, oh yeah. No. 1.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beverly Schaefer's picture of the women's lacrosse game against Cornell is great because she captures a moment three or four seconds after the winning goal has been scored, with the whole happy scene framed by the driving rain.

But Beverly's photo of the field hockey win over Yale is even better. The whole scene is artistic, like a painting to be studied in an Art History course. The positioning of the players makes this one of the best "moment of victory" shots of all time.

All three Princeton players are caught at the height of their jubilant jumps into the air. Aesthetically, each of the three has adopted different pose: the straight up and down number one pose, the splayed spread eagle pose and the pure get as high off the ground as possible pose. Meanwhile, two Yale defenders are still fully engaged in trying to block the winning shot, while the goaltender is still frozen looking forward.

As far as timing goes, the field hockey picture is transcendent.