Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Two Degrees For Every Goal

TigerBlog promises that this will be the last time he talks about the weather this month.

Okay, if there's more snow he'll bring it up, but hey, what are the chances of that?

With the way this month has gone, it can't be more than 50-50.

Look at the last two weeks or so. There's been any kind of weather you might want - snow, ice, torrential rain, sun, wind, heat. Heck, most of those have been in the last three days alone around here.

The temperature Saturday around 9 at night was 38 degrees. About four hours earlier, it was around 80, with sunshine. It was summertime, if only briefly.

The high Saturday, in fact, was 84. That would be two degrees for every goal scored by Princeton's men's and women's lacrosse teams in their doubleheader.

The men defeated Dartmouth 24-13. The women defeated Yale 18-4. That's a combined 42-17.

That's a pretty good day on a pretty nice day.

The men's team had three players reach pretty significant milestones. Actually, Michael Sowers reached more than one.

Sowers had a 10-point game (3G, 7A), making him the ninth player in program history to reach double figures in a game. To give you a sense of how extraordinary he is, Sowers now has five games of at least nine points, in 26 career games. The rest of Princeton men's lacrosse combined for its entire history has 17 such games.

Anyway, the milestone TigerBlog was originally referring to was the 48 assists that Sowers now has, a number that ties the school single-season record, set in 1997 by Jon Hess and equaled in 2003 by Ryan Boyle.

If you'd like a little perspective, then 1) Hess and Boyle both played 15 games those years, while Sowers has gotten there in 11 and 2) Hess and Boyle are two of the greatest feeders in college lacrosse history.

Sowers, named the Ivy League Player of the Week, now has 72 points for the season, which ties him for fourth-best in program history, with Jesse Hubbard in 1996. Ahead are only Hess (74 in 1997), Mike MacDonald (78 in 2015) and Sowers himself (82 last year as a freshman).

The other two players who had major milestones? Riley Thompson and Austin Sims, seniors who both reached 100 career points Saturday. It reminded TigerBlog of the two times that the women's basketball team has had two players reach 1,000 career points in the same game.

TigerBlog was rooting for Thompson and Sims to get there on the same goal. Instead, they had to settle for the same quarter - the third - when Sims fed Phillip Robertson for one his 13 goals in the two games last week and then Thompson fed Dawson McKenzie (his fellow Canadian and high school teammate at Culver Military Academy).

Princeton is at Harvard Saturday and then home against Cornell April 28. Both games are a must to even think about getting into the Ivy League tournament.

As for the women, the game against Yale was 8-1 at halftime. Kyla Sears continued her amazing freshman year with four more goals and an assist, running her season totals to 35 goals and 13 assists.

Princeton had great balance in the game, getting goals from eight different players. Even beyond that, there was great balance between classes, as each one produced a player who had at least three goals: Sears, sophomore Tess D'Orsi, junior Allie Rogers and senior Ellie McNulty.

Seriously, how often has that ever happened, anywhere, in any sport? One player from each class with at least three goals? TigerBlog wishes he had a way to look that up.

In the league race, every team except for Princeton and Penn has played five league games. The Tigers and Quakers will finish the regular season with three games in eight days, including a matchup between the two a week from tonight on Sherrerd Field.

Before that, Princeton hosts Cornell Saturday at 1. A year ago, Princeton went 3-0 against the Big Red, the last two in the final of the Ivy tournament and then in the NCAA tournament second round.

This year, Penn is unbeaten, and Princeton and Dartmouth have one loss each. Should Princeton win out, it would have no worse than a share of the league title.

Princeton has not clinched a spot in the Ivy tournament yet, but a win over Cornell would take care of that. At least TigerBlog thinks so.

Hey, it's also possible that Princeton could host the women's tournament.

For now, there are two huge home games coming up, Cornell Saturday and Penn in a week.

The weather for those games should be, well, TigerBlog has no idea. He refuses to look.

Whatever it is, he won't be shocked.

And that's it for the weather talk for this month.

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