Friday, April 5, 2019

How Do You Pronounce That Award That I Won?

The Princeton women's lacrosse team has two different former players who are serving as the ESPN+ color commentators for the team's home games.

Jeff O'Connor, by the way, is the regular play-by-play guy. You've heard him on Princeton men's and women's hockey as well. He's very, very good.

The two former players are Christa Samaras and Rachael Becker DeCecco, and they are also really good. They know the game inside and out, and they explain it easily, in a friendly style that works really well for both of them.

It's not easy to just pop someone who used to play a sport into the announcer's chair. There have been many more times than it hasn't worked than it has. In the case of these two, they're just naturals. 

They also happen to be two of the most accomplished players in women's lacrosse history, which doesn't hurt their credibility as announcers.

Samaras spent nearly 20 years as the all-time leading scorer in Princeton history. DeCecco doesn't have stats approaching that, but then again she played defense.

Between them they have six first-team All-America honors. Six. That's insane.

DeCecco was with O'Connor for the call of Princeton's 15-6 win over Villanova Tuesday night. Before the game, DeCecco asked TigerBlog a simply question: How do you pronounce "Tewaaraton," the award given to the top player in men's and women's lacrosse each year?

"You should know," TB responded.

And she should, considering she is Princeton's only winner of the award and the only defender, male or female, ever to win it.
The women's lacrosse team will be on ESPN+ again tomorrow, though it won't be the Princeton announcers. This time, the Tigers are on the road, heading to Dartmouth for a big Ivy League game.

Princeton is 1-1 in the league, with a win over Columbia and a loss to Brown. Dartmouth is 3-0 in the Ivy League and the winner of six straight games overall, so this is clearly a big one for the Tigers, winners of five straight Ivy League titles.

Princeton and Dartmouth, by the way, are the two highest scoring teams in Ivy League women's lacrosse. And Princeton's Kathryn Hallett enters the game with 99 career points as she looks to become the fourth current player to reach 100.

The first Saturday in April features 26 Princeton Athletic events, many of which are going to help shape league races, Ivy and otherwise.

For instance, the men's volleyball team is home against Harvard tonight (7) and then Sacred Heart tomorrow afternoon (5). TigerBlog wonders if he is the only person who has Princeton gear and Sacred Heart gear, by the way.

Right now, Princeton is alone in first place in the EIVA standings, which means that the Tigers could end up hosting the league playoffs in two weeks, something that has never happened before. Before that, of course, there's the matter of this weekend and then another home weekend, against St. Francis (Pa.) and Penn State.

Princeton is 9-1 (its lone loss is to St. Francis), followed by 8-2 Penn State and 7-3 St. Francis and George Mason. Harvard is 5-5 and desperately looking to get into the top four.

Volleyball matches are held in Dillon Gym, and all regular-season volleyball is free.

Who else is home this weekend?

There's track and field (Sam Howell Invitational), baseball (three games against Columbia), men's tennis (Dartmouth), men's golf (Princeton Invitational) and men's heavyweight and lightweight rowing. Princeton by the way is ranked No. 1 in lightweight rowing now after defeating defending national champion Columbia.

Admission to all those events is also free. And the weather is supposed to be perfect.

TigerBlog will be out on Long Island for the men's lacrosse game at Stony Brook, which faces off at 7 tomorrow night. Princeton is then home Tuesday at 6 against Siena.

Princeton is in a very similar situation to a year ago, when the Tigers were 3-5 and then won five straight to tie for third in the league. This year, should Princeton be able to do the same, then unlike last year they almost surely would be in the Ivy League tournament.

And that's your spring weekend for Tiger sports. There's something for everyone, and all of the ones at Princeton are free.

How can you beat that?

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