Vol. LXIII, No. 48
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
(Photo Courtesy of Princetons Office of Athletic Communications))
HOMEBODIES: Princeton University mens water polo head coach Luis Nicolao makes a point to his players in a match earlier this fall. This weekend, the Tigers will enjoy a home pool advantage as they host the NCAA Championships. This Saturday at DeNunzio Pool, the fourth-seeded Tigers (15-11) will host No. 1 USC (24-2) in one national semifinal with second-seeded UCLA (22-6) and No 3 Loyola Marymount (19-7) battling in the other semi.
It was an idea that came into Luis Nicolaos head four years ago.
As Princeton University mens water polo head coach Nicolao watched the NCAA Mens Water Polo Championships at Bucknell, he had a vision.
When Bucknell hosted it four years ago, I thought we should do that too, recalled Nicolao.
It is a great opportunity to get kids on campus and showcase the facilities and program.
Nicolao acted on his dream and convinced DeNunzio Pool Aquatics Coordinator Greg Paczkowski to put together the application to host the 2009 event.
The numbers dont lie when it comes to the brilliant season produced this fall by Princeton High boys soccer goalie Steve Hellstern.
The Penn-bound senior posted 18 shutouts and yielded just seven goals in 25 games to help PHS go 21-0-4 and win its first state title since 1995 and the programs third consecutive Mercer County Tournament (MCT) crown.
But PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe will tell you that the numbers didnt come close to explaining what Hellstern meant to the Little Tigers this fall.
On the one hand, the Princeton High boys ice hockey team made plenty of progress last season.
PHS posted a 7-10-2 record last winter, a marked improvement on the 4-17 mark posted in 2007-08.
Yet, while the improvement was heartening, the Little Tigers were heartbroken to narrowly miss out on qualifying for the state Public tournament.
A core of seniors formed the backbone for the Hun School girls basketball team last winter as the program produced another superb campaign.
The Raiders reached the championship game in both the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) and state Prep A tournaments led by battle-tested veterans Megan Rigous, Cara Fiori, Cyndra Couch, Jah-Leah Ellis, and post-graduate transfer Arielle Collins.
With those players having been lost to graduation, Hun head coach Bill Holup acknowledges that the team has some rebuilding to do.
Scott Bertoli will enjoy a luxury this winter that he hasnt had in his first two seasons at the helm of the Princeton Day School boys ice hockey program.
With an infusion of freshman talent and a key transfer, Bertoli will have the opportunity to run three lines of forwards and three pairs of defensemen.
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