Friday, March 6, 2020

Feel Good Stories

The Princeton men's lacrosse team is now filled with guys who have no hair.

Why? The Tigers were part of an initiative started by three Brown men's lacrosse players where $1,000 would be donated to the Boston Children's Hospital for every player who shaved his head before March 1. The initiative, called "Lacrosse For Life," was funded by a pool of anonymous donors and ended up raising more than $2 million for cancer research.

It's the kind of feel-good story that college athletics can, and often does, inspire. You can read more about it HERE.

While the subject is "men's lacrosse human interest stories," you can read TigerBlog's feature story on senior  midfielder Connor McCarthy HERE.

If you read it, you'll know that McCarthy has battled back from four surgeries to get off to a great start in his senior year, one that has seen the Tigers go 4-0 and McCarthy score 10 goals, including five last week in an 18-11 win over Johns Hopkins.

You'll also know that McCarthy was in the same second grade class as Princeton women's lacrosse captain Tess D'Orsi in Sudbury, Mass.

McCarthy and D'Orsi grew up less than a mile from each other and went to elementary and middle school together before McCarthy went to Lincoln-Sudbury High School and D'Orsi went to St. Mark's School.

Are there currently in some second grade classroom somewhere two seven year olds who will grow up and play the same sport at Princeton?

The men's and women's lacrosse teams are also connected by two senior captains who attended the same high school in Virginia, St. Anne's-Belfield. Those two captains would be Annie Cory of the women's team and Phillip Robertson of the men's team.

There have probably been a bunch of similar stories like these two through the years here. TigerBlog is just struggling to think of any off the top of his head.

St. Anne's-Belfield, by the way, is a very, very short walk from Klockner Stadium, the home of lacrosse at the University of Virginia. Like a five-minute walk.

It was there just two weeks ago today that the men's lacrosse team went, unranked and somewhat out of the national consciousness in men's lacrosse. Now, after a 16-12 win over defending NCAA champ UVa and the Hopkins win, Princeton is suddenly ranked third in the media poll and sixth in the coaches' poll.

This weekend offers another huge hurdle to climb, as the Tigers host Rutgers in the 98th meeting with their in-state rival for the Meistrell Cup.

The Ivy League season begins next weekend, when Princeton hosts Penn and then travels to Yale. Those two teams, along with Cornell, are also ranked in the top nine in the country.

But first there is Rutgers of the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights are 2-3 on the year and looking for a big win to turn their season back around. Face-off is at 1.

The women's team is at Stony Brook Sunday, with the opening draw at noon between the sixth-ranked Seawolves and 11th-ranked Tigers. This is the weekend where the clocks "spring ahead," by the way, so if you don't remember to move your clock ahead an hour Saturday night, you'll miss the start of that game.

The women are off to Jacksonville for a spring break game and then back to the Ivy League at Brown on March 21. Then they finally get another home game on Tuesday the 24th, when Florida comes to Sherrerd Field. Florida is another Top 10 team, though one that just lost to Dartmouth this week. The Big Green and Penn are also in the top 15, so Ivy League lacrosse for both the men and women looks absolutely loaded.

TigerBlog spent a lot of time this week talking about Ivy League basketball. Just as a reminder, the men are home against Columbia tonight (7) and tomorrow against Cornell (6), while the women are on the road. Both are headed to Harvard next weekend for the Ivy League tournament, the women as the No. 1 seed and outright champ and the men as either the two or three seed, though possibly with a share of the league title if everything goes well this weekend.

The women's hockey team is at Cornell for the ECAC semifinals, where the Tigers will take on Clarkson tomorrow at 4, after the Cornell-Harvard game. The winners play Sunday at 2.

The men are at Dartmouth in the best-of-three opening round of the ECAC playoffs.

What else is there this weekend?

TB told you yesterday about the EIWA wrestling championships at Lehigh that start today and end tomorrow. There is a wrestling update for you: Patrick Glory was named the Ivy League's Wrestler of the Year, Princeton's first since 1986.

There are also the national individual squash championships and the NCAA fencing regionals, along with baseball (at Ole Miss), tennis (home) and men's volleyball (also home).

In other words, it's just another normal weekend around here.

The complete schedule, by the way, is HERE.

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