Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 13
 
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
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HIGH PRICE: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse star Liz Price looks for an opening in action last season. Penn-bound senior midfielder Price figures to be a key catalyst for PHS as it looks to get off to a big start under new head coach Christie Cooper. PHS opens the season by playing at 4-time Prep B champion Stuart Country Day on April 2 and then hosting defending county champion Hopewell Valley a day later.

With Cooper Taking Helm for Jones, New Era Dawning for PHS Girls’ Lax

Bill Alden

It won’t be the same on the sidelines for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team this spring without longtime head coach Joyce Jones running the show.

After a legendary career that started in the 1970s and included several titles along the way, Jones hung up her whistle last June after guiding the Little Tigers to an 8-7 season.

But while Jones won’t be guiding PHS, her voice won’t be forgotten as new PHS head coach Christie Cooper plans to incorporate the knowledge she gained from assisting Jones the last three seasons.

“I won’t make exact changes; I learned a lot from Joyce,” said Cooper, a former lacrosse All-American at The College of New Jersey who also gained some valuable lessons from playing under TCNJ coach Sharon Pfluger.

“She taught me that you need to keep the players happy because they will play better if they are happy. I couldn’t ask for a better team, better parents, or a better program to start with. It was good to get to build things with Joyce.”

Cooper has two key building blocks for success in senior midfielders Mie Graham and Lizzy Price.

“They were freshmen my first year and I have watched them develop,” said Cooper of Duke-bound Graham and Penn-recruit Price. “They are great athletes, great players and great leaders.”

The senior standouts complement each other when it comes to temperament.

“Mie is very determined; if you make her angry, watch out,” said Cooper with a laugh.

“Lizzy is one of those athletes you pray to have. She can do anything; she is concerned about the team. She would rather have an assist than a goal but will go to goal when you need her to.”

Graham and Price will be assisted in the midfield by senior Carly Edgcomb and sophomore Alyssa Torske.

“Carly Edgcomb is back; she didn’t play last year to concentrate on soccer,” said Cooper of Edgcomb who will be playing soccer for
Villanova next fall.

“She is so fast. Torske has earned her opportunity; she has really gotten better.”

On attack, PHS will feature two sophomores, Taylor Blair and McKenzie Henderson, who are getting better and better.

“Blair and Henderson are communicating better on the field,” said Cooper, who also plans to use senior Meg Reilly and freshman Margaret Haughton up front. “They got good experience last year; they are not afraid to go to the goal.”

On defense, Cooper will not be afraid to do a lot of mixing and matching with a unit that includes seniors Morgan Slade, Elizabeth Annis, junior Corey Henderson, and sophomore Jen Barone together with freshmen Kate Reilly and Anna Brunner.

“We have a lot of depth; we have six girls who can rotate,” asserted Cooper.

“We can send fresh people in depending on the situation and the team we are playing.”

The Little Tigers may have a bit of a rotation at goalie with senior Maddie O’Meara and sophomore Devin Chambers.

“Maddie is a senior so she will be our go-to goalie; it is her year,” said Cooper. “But we will try to ease both in there. They work together and Chambers will get in. The team and Maddie have confidence in her.”

Cooper, for her part, has confidence that the team can improve on last spring which saw the Little Tigers end strongly, going 5-2 in their last seven games and earning wins in both the county and state tournaments.

“I think they believe that they can turn a couple of games they lost last year into wins,” maintained Cooper, whose team starts the season by playing at 4-time Prep B champion Stuart Country Day on April 2 and then hosting defending county champion Hopewell Valley a day later.

“They have shown well in scrimmages. We are starting with Stuart and HoVal; those are big challenges. The players need to communicate on the field. The younger players can’t play like freshmen; they need to show composure.”

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