Friday, October 19, 2018

A Big Second-To-Last Weekend Of October

If you want to sum up the whole idea behind Princeton Athletics, let Jim Barlow do it for you.

The Princeton men's soccer coach had this to say on the most recent episode of "Beyond the Stripes," which features Tiger senior Jeremy Colvin.

"We feel like one of the strengths of Princeton is the ability to pursue your academic goals and athletic goals with equal passion," Barlow says in the video. "Princeton allows you to pursue both at the highest levels without their getting in each others ways."

That pretty much captures the whole spirit here. If you want to see the whole video, you can watch it HERE.

Colvin talks about his academic pursuits at Princeton and how he's managed to tie them all together. He doesn't mention that in addition to that, he has scored four game-winning goals this year, including two in overtimes.

Most recently he had the winner last week at Columbia, which improved Princeton to 2-0-1 in the Ivy League. The Tigers have a huge game tomorrow against Harvard, though just not necessarily where and when you might have originally suspected.

The revamped soccer schedule has the men's game first at 3, followed by the women's game at 6. Both games will be played on Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium.

Originally, the women's game was supposed to be first, so take notice of that if you're planning on attending.

And why wouldn't you come to Class of 1952 Stadium tomorrow? In fact, you can spend the whole day there and see three Princeton-Harvard games, all for free, all of which will have a huge impact on Ivy League championships.

There are seven Ivy League fall championships at stake, and as the second-to-last weekend of October arrives, Princeton teams are in the hunt for all seven. In fact, the five teams who are playing round-robin or double-round-robin would have no worse than a share of the championship simply by winning out.

The other two are men's and women's cross country, both of whom are nationally ranked as the Ivy League Heps championship is just a week away. Those races, by the way, will both be held at Princeton.

That's for next weekend though.

This weekend features all kinds of events, including the opening of the women's hockey season at No. 2 Wisconsin with games today and Sunday. There's also men's water polo at Iona.

As for the current Ivy races, all five teams who are chasing titles have important dates, including four of which are against Harvard.

It starts tonight with the non-Harvard game, as Princeton hosts Penn in women's volleyball. The Tigers are tied for first with Yale at 6-1 as they've reached the mid-point of the double-round-robin league format.

Up next for Princeton will be a big weekend that starts with the second match against Yale. The Tigers won the first one in four games in Dillon Gym.

Princeton has won three straight league titles, including one last year that included a three-game sweep in the playoff match at Yale to get to the NCAA tournament. This year's race isn't quite a two-team race, but Princeton and Yale are both two games up on third-place Cornell (4-3), and no other team is over .500 in the league.

As for the Princeton-Harvard games at Princeton, you can read THIS, which TB wrote earlier this week.

To sum up, it goes like this:

* field hockey at noon on Bedford Field, featuring two Top 10 teams, both of whom are unbeaten in the Ivy League

* men's soccer at 3 on Sherrerd Field, featuring one of the two Ivy unbeatens - Princeton. The Tigers are at the top of a crowded field at the midpoint

* women's soccer at 6 on Sherrerd Field, where 2-1-1 Princeton will be playing to get right back into the thick of the race against a Harvard team that is 3-0-1 and tied for first with Penn, whom Princeton still has to play

So that's what's going on in Princeton.

The other game is at Harvard, and it's the football game between unbeaten Princeton and a Harvard team that is looking to do in football what Princeton is looking to do in women's soccer. Kickoff in this one, by the way, is at noon, and it can be seen on ESPN+.

The Princeton-Harvard game in recent years has been pretty much hit or miss. The teams have split the last six meetings, but that doesn't exactly cover things.

Of those last six games, three have been decided by an average of 37.3 points, including Princeton's 52-17 win last year at Harvard Stadium.

The other three? Epics. Two overtime games and that game back in 2012, when Princeton won 39-34 after trailing 34-10 in the fourth quarter.

Princeton and Dartmouth are both 2-0. Harvard is one of four teams who are 1-1. It makes the math easy.

In fact, it's an easy mathematical weekend.

Five Ivy League matchups, all five of which are huge.


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