Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Happy Faces

If you happened to visit goprincetontigers.com between Sunday evening and yesterday afternoon, you probably noticed the same thing TigerBlog did.

There were lots of happy faces belonging to Princeton athletes.

The first three stories featured the best kinds of pictures that GPT has. Championship celebration ones.

Those are the best ones. The team has just won a championship, and now they're all together celebrating. It's just raw happiness on the task that has been accomplished, and it comes across very clearly in the photos.

Fortunately, TigerBlog has worked at a place all these years that has earned a lot of these pictures. And every single one of them has been great.

And there they were Sunday, three in a row - women's lightweight rowing, women's lacrosse and men's track and field.

TB wrote about the men's track and field championship yesterday. You can read about it HERE, with way more HERE.

The women's lightweight rowing team won its first Eastern Sprints title since 2011 and seventh overall. The Tigers have now improved from third two years ago to second last year to first this year.

Princeton won by 1.5 seconds over Boston University, who won the championship in two of the last three years and was the defending champion. Next up for the Tigers are the national championships in California June 1.

As for women's lacrosse, the Tigers followed up their Ivy League regular season championship with another Ivy tournament title to earn another photo of happy players.

The Tigers lost to Brown 12-11 in their second Ivy League game back in March, and they followed that with a loss to Maryland in its next game. At that point, TB looked up when Princeton's last three-game losing streak was, and you had to go back to 2010 to find the only three-game losing streak Princeton has had in the last 16 years.

Maybe instead of that, he should have looked up when Princeton's last nine-game winning streak was, because that's how many straight Princeton has now won.

The Tigers ran the Ivy League table, getting a share of their sixth straight league championship and then sweeping past Cornell 11-6 and Penn 13-9 in the Ivy tournament. TB went to look up the last time a team won both of its ILT games by at least four goals, and it turns out that 1) nobody ever had before this weekend and 2) the four-goal win over Penn in the final was the largest margin of victory of any team in an ILT women's final.

Princeton, by the way, has now won two straight and four of six Ivy tournaments. The five won by the Tigers are the most of any program, two better than Penn with three (nobody else has more than one).

Kyla Sears was the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, and it was really well-deserved. Sears was off-the-charts great in the final, with two goals and five assists and one highlight reel play after another.

She scored one goal where she drew two defenders to her with a stick fake and then split them to get above goal line extended, and she later looked off Penn's entire defense and then made a simple feed on the backside to Julia Haney.

The first one, by the way, ended up as the No. 9 play of the day on SportsCenter.


Princeton, though, got huge performances from basically every player in the game. It was everything a team championship is supposed to be, from the goalie and entire defense that held Penn to just three second-half goals to another dominant performance by Elizabeth George and to freshman Lillian Stout, who come on in the second half to take the draws, finishing with three draw controls and allowing Princeton to win 7 of 11 after the break after winning 3 of 13 in the first half.

The reward for Princeton is a home game, or possibly two, in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers earned the seventh seed, which means the first two rounds will be on Sherrerd Field.

Before the first two rounds will be the opening round, which will be held today. Wagner, the Northeast Conference champ, is at Fairfield, the MAAC winner.

The winner of that game takes on Princeton in the second game of the doubleheader Friday, which starts at 4 as Loyola faces Richmond. Then it's the Princeton game at 7.

The winners of those two will play Sunday for a spot in the quarterfinals, which almost surely will mean a date with No. 2 Boston College, the team that knocked Princeton out a year ago.

In other words, there's not a lot of time for Princeton to celebrate its Ivy League tournament championship.

On the bright side, the pictures will last forever.

No comments: