Thursday, January 20, 2022

Field Hockey In Chile, Lacrosse Here

When TigerBlog tells you the score was 14-0, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

The end of the first quarter of a football game maybe? Certainly not field hockey, right? 

Well, yesterday in Santiago, Chile, that was the score of Game 1 of the Pan American Cup field hockey tournament, as Canada took down Peru 14-0. It was also almost the score of the second game, in which the United States defeated Trinidad and Tobago 16-0.

If you're wondering, the weather forecast for Santiago for the foreseeable future is sunny skies and temps in the 80s. That's Chile, not chilly, and TigerBlog assumes that line has been used about a million times.

It was a big day for Princeton at the field hockey tournament yesterday. Elise Wong scored twice for Canada in its win, and Beth Yeager had three goals - including the first of the game in the first minute - for the United States team.

Both Yeager and Wong earned first-team All-American honors at Princeton, Yeager this past year and Wong in 2018. Yeager, in fact, became Princeton's first freshman to be a first-team All-American this past fall after she set the program record for goals by a freshman with 16. She was also the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. 

There's a third Princetonian at the tournament, Julianna Tornetta, who was a two-time All-American at Princeton. 

Up next in the round robin part of the event is a game Friday between the U.S. and Canada in Pool B. Goal differential, by the way, could come into play when it comes to tiebreakers. At stake for the top three finishers is a spot in the World Cup this coming summer. 

In other Princeton athletic news, there will be 14 Princeton teams who will compete in 25 different events this weekend. It's already the start of men's volleyball season and women's water polo season, and the spring sports will be here soon enough, even if that Santiago weather doesn't figure to be here for awhile.

Yesterday marked one month until the start of lacrosse season, as the men will host Monmouth on Feb. 19. As of yesterday, you can see the game times on the men's schedule page of the website. 

If you don't feel like clicking on the link HERE, Princeton begins the men's season with the game against the Hawks and then a game the following Tuesday at 5 against Binghamton. From there Princeton has back-to-back games at Maryland and Georgetown, followed by a home game against Rutgers. That is certainly a challenge.

The women don't play until one day after the men, which means that their opener is one month from today, a noon start at Virginia. This season, of course, is the last one as head coach at Princeton for Chris Sailer, whose resume already includes three NCAA championships and a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Sailer's final season at Princeton begins with that game at UVa, and it will be followed by the home opener against Temple on Saturday, Feb. 26. The Ivy opener is against Cornell on March 5. There is also a spring break trip to California to take on USC and San Diego State.

It's been awhile since the Princeton lacrosse teams have played. TB is pretty excited at the idea that it's just a month away.

The women are ranked 13th in the preseason. The men are unranked. Then again, they were unranked in 2020, and it took five games to reach No. 2 in the country. 

TB is okay with the fact that Princeton's men have gotten very little attention in the preseason. Just as in 2020, the opportunity is there to get into the rankings when it starts to count.

On the women's side, Kyla Sears enters her senior year with 139 career goals and 221 career points. She is 59 goals and 64 points away from the school records for both, held by Olivia Hompe.

And all of that starts in another month. Yes, it'll be peak crossover season, and yes, it'll be really busy and a lot of work. 

Still, TB is looking forward to it.

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