Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 16
 
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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PAYING THE PRICE: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse star Lizzy Price looks for room in a game last season. With senior star Price triggering the offense, PHS is off to a superb 4-0 start. The Little Tigers will look to keep on the winning track when they play at Lawrence on April 24 and at two-time defending county champion Hopewell Valley on April 25.

With Unselfish Price Triggering the Offense, PHS Girls’ Lacrosse Produces Sizzling Start

Bill Alden

Lizzy Price is typically at the top of the scoring sheet for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team.

But even though Price had just one goal last Wednesday in a 10-0 win over Hamilton, she was happy to take a backseat statistically.

“That was so much fun because we had everyone scoring,” said Price, reflecting on the victory which saw nine different PHS players find the back of the net as the team improved to 3-0 on the season.

“I like to see other people get their game better. It was really great to see everyone going to goal. I never want anyone on the team to be afraid to go to goal so it is nice when everyone on the team feels confidence.”

The Little Tigers got a major jolt of confidence when they opened their season earlier this month with a hard-earned 10-8 win over recent nemesis Stuart Country day.

“That was really good because we were coming off a tough loss to them last year in the county tournament,” said the Penn-bound Price.

“We went out and worked hard. We ran our stuff well and it came together for us.”

A key factor in things coming together for PHS has been the partnership between Price and classmate Mie Graham.

Last Friday, Price scored three goals while Graham fired in nine as PHS topped Hightstown 18-14 to improve to 4-0 on the season.

“We have been playing together for a long time so it is just natural,” said Price of Graham, who will be playing at Duke next season. “We play on summer teams together.”

For Price, continuing her lacrosse career at Penn is a natural fit. “It is such a competitive and high level team,” said Price. “It is such a great school academically. It is a perfect balance in terms of academics and athletics.”

Price likes the balance PHS is showing as it has gotten on the same page offensively.

“I think in terms of chemistry, we just work well together,” said Price. “Things that we needed to shape up last year have been fine-tuned. We can work more on things than just how the play runs.”

The team is also working well with new head coach Christy Cooper, a former All-American for the College of New Jersey, who was an assistant coach the last three seasons at PHS.

“It is so much fun, everyone has a great relationship with her,” asserted Price.

“We come to practice and everyone is working hard and having fun. I have known her since I was in sixth grade so it’s been really fun to develop my game with her.”

Cooper, for her part, liked the way PHS worked on its game in the win over outclassed Hamilton.

“We wanted to work on plays because they played a man-to-man defense,” said Cooper.

“We couldn’t set up our plays as much as I would’ve liked but it was good because the girls got a lot of pressure. They moved the ball with pressure. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be but it turned out pretty good.”

For Cooper, seeing the way Price has turned out is heartening. “We were just talking about it at the end of the game, we wish we could clone Lizzy and have a whole team full of players like Lizzy,” said Cooper.

In Cooper’s view, players like Price and Graham bring a lot more to the table than just goals and assists.

“It’s the positive attitude, they are such good role models,” added Cooper.

“They do well in school. They are just all around good kids. They have good parents and they have been brought up well to be respectful and good sports. You couldn’t really ask for more than that.”

Cooper couldn’t ask for more than the way the Little Tigers started their season in the win over Stuart.

“I was really nervous for that game, as our opener it was going to set the tone for the rest of the year,’ said Cooper.

“We lost to them twice last year. It was a big deal for these guys, they really wanted to beat them. They were fired up throughout the whole game. It is playing into every game we have had so far and I hope it carries into next week.”

The Little Tigers face a big week as they were slated to host WW/P-S on April 21 before playing at Lawrence on April 24 and at two-time defending county champion Hopewell Valley on April 25.

“Next week is going to be a tough week; it is interesting to see how they get through,” said Cooper.

“We need to just continue to work hard in practice and put what we learn in practice into play on the field. They need to just respond and be coachable; those are really important factors in winning a game.”

Based on the response she has gotten so far, Cooper is optimistic about the team’s prospects the rest of the spring.

“I’d like them to win games that they lost last year, Stuart was one of them and there were a good handful of them, added Cooper.

“I’d like to see them make it into states and take it a step further than they have ever gone. Last year, we didn’t make it to the county finals and I would like them to get there this year. We don’t have to win; I just want them to get there and feel what it is like to be in that position.”

Price, for her part, thinks that PHS can get in the position to win some big games.

“I think this team can accomplish anything we want,” said Price. “I think this team has more of a chance to go further in the county tournament and the state tournament. I think we are a much stronger team and we will give a much better showing in the tournaments.”

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