Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Record Chasers

TigerBlog received several emails yesterday that pointed out his math errors regarding the women's basketball team, and to those who corrected him, he says "thank you."

Seriously. If there are errors, they should be corrected.

TB also received some emails yesterday about one of the four goals that Alexander Vardaro scored in the men's lacrosse team's 18-11 win over Johns Hopkins Saturday afternoon. The basic premise of those emails was that Vardaro's goal should not have had an assist on the play.

You can see the goal here:

The play starts with Michael Sowers behind the goal trying to feed the crease, or possibly even Vardaro up top. The ball is tipped, though, and it rolls to Vardaro, who picks it up, splits two defenders and rips it into the cage.

For the record, TigerBlog did NOT give Sowers as an assist on the play. Sowers still had seven other assists on the day, along with two goals, but he did not get an assist on that play.

TB just wanted to clear that little misinformation up. Nobody is padding anyone's stats around here.

As for Sowers, here are two more notes about his amazing start to his senior year, and his career in general:

1) Sowers is averaging 6.46 points per game for his career; the NCAA career record is 6.47, set by Tony Asterino of Siena, who played from 1978-81.
2) Sowers tied the school career record for points with 247 at the end of the second-to-last game a year ago. Since then, he has played five games - and he now has 50 more points than the old record. That's 50 points in five games.

It became clear early on that Sowers was going to destroy the Princeton record book. It's always fun to see athletes who identify themselves from the start as ones who have a shot at all-time records.

As you probably know, Bella Alarie is three points away from the school's 30-year-old career record for points by a women's basketball player. Alarie has 1,680, three away from Sandi Bittler Leland, with a minimum of four more games to go.

TB likes her chances.

Then there are two other Princeton women.

Before that, though, the women's hockey team played an epic series with Quinnipiac in the ECAC playoffs this weekend. Princeton scored four goals in the first 10:53 of the best-of-three quarterfinal. Would this be easy? Hardly. Princeton then scored six more the rest of the weekend, which went more than just three full games.

The Tigers took Game 1 by a 5-1 score, and the Bobcats evened things with a 3-2 win in Game 2 on a goal less than two minutes into overtime.

That set the stage for a winner-take-all Game 3, and that one also went longer than 60 minutes. And longer than 80 minutes.

Princeton actually looked to be in good shape up 2-0 in the third period before Quinnipiac rallied dramatically, making it 2-1 with 3:50 to go and then tying it 2-2 with 1:27 to go.

Then the teams, playing to get to the ECAC final four and the NCAA tournament beyond that, went through all of one overtime and more than halfway through a second before Sarah Fillier ended it on a rebound after a three-on-one break for Princeton.

The series was a bit reminiscent of the one the men's team played against Colgate in 2017, when the Tigers won their opening round series in three dramatic games with each team's getting an OT win along the way.

The details weren't exactly the same - Princeton lost Game 1 in OT and then won Game 2 after tying it with one second in regulation and winning it in OT - but the common denominator was serious drama.

The game-winning goal by Fillier advanced Princeton to the league semifinals against Clarkson at Cornell Saturday at 4. Cornell plays Harvard in the other semi, and the final is at Cornell Sunday at 2.

Fillier now has 111 career points, which leaves her more than halfway to the school's career record of 218, which Kathy Issel set 25 years ago. Extra credit if you know whose record Issel broke, by the way.

Another record-chaser is Kyla Sears of the women's lacrosse team, who went over the 200-point mark for her career this past weekend at Columbia. Sears was the Ivy League's Offensive Player of the Week after her nine-goal, 13-point week in wins over Villanova and Columbia.

Sears now has 202 career points, making her the eighth Princeton women's lacrosse player to reach 200. She is 83 points away from Olivia Hompe's career record of 285, and at her current scoring pace of the first four games, Sears would get to the end of the regular season with 274 - with any possible postseason and then her whole senior season to go.

Oh, and the one whose record Issel broke? That would have been Mollie Marcoux Samaan.

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