Around the Water Cooler: It's Good to Be From Philly

Published by Robert S Samuels on November 10, 2010 at 3:11AM

In this week's Around the Water Cooler, Penn's ruling the roost, but Yale's men's hockey team is off to a quick start too.

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, meaning the end of fall sports. While we look ahead to the winter season, there are still some loose ends that need to be tied. The men’s soccer title will be decided this weekend, and we’ll have a pretty good idea of who will win the Ivy League football crown after Saturday’s games. And as we’ll show you in a little tour around the water cooler, it’s a good time to be a Quaker.

To take the league crown in women’s soccer, all Penn needed to do was tie Princeton on Saturday in the de facto Ivy League Championship.  When after 110 minutes of play neither side ceded a goal, the Quakers took their second league crown in four years and earned their fourth NCAA championship berth in school history. In its first round contest on Friday, Penn will square off against cross-state rival Penn State. Though the Nittany Lions have a wealth of experience in NCAA play, with 13 straight Big Ten championships, the Quakers have a shot at advancing: Penn State lost to Yale and Dartmouth, teams that Penn beat and tied, respectively.

On the men’s side, it’s also going to come down to the Tigers and the Quakers for the league title. But this time, Princeton holds the edge: only a Penn win over Harvard and a Tiger loss to Yale would give the Quakers a share of the league title.

In football, things also look promising for the boys of Philadelphia. Undefeated in Ancient Eight play, Penn faces Harvard this weekend in a home game that has big league title implications. If the Quakers manage to beat the Crimson, Penn would all but have the league title locked up, needing only a victory over lowly Cornell to clinch. The Quakers have got to feel pretty good about themselves right now. After dismantling Princeton 52-10 last week, Penn players won Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week (quarterback Billy Ragone), Defensive Player of the Week (safety Matt Hamscher), and Rookie of the Week (wide receiver Aaron Bailey).

If the Quakers lose, though, it gets a bit more interesting. Combined with a Yale victory this weekend (which over the winless Tigers seems all but inevitable), we would have three teams (Penn, Harvard, and Yale) all tied for the first slot in the Ivy League Standings coming into the final weekend. That means “The Game” would also be “The Championship.” The only thing that could ruin that game is 1,000 blaring vuvuzelas.

Speaking of Yale, the Bulldogs have been ripping it up on the ice. The men’s hockey team, which the ECAC men’s hockey coaches picked to win the league title, has not disappointed so far, scoring 24 goals in just four games. In fact, the back-to-back ECAC champions already have three players who have scored five goals. Good thing Harvard doesn’t have to face its archrival until Jan. 8.