Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 27
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
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LEADERSHIP POSITION: Tyler Moni heads to goal this spring for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team. Moni, a former Princeton High star lax and football player, was recently named as one of the tri-captains for the 2011 Tiger squad. Moni, a rising senior, scored eight goals for Princeton this season as he played both offensive and defensive midfield.

Taking Leadership Role for PU Men’s Lax, Former PHS Star Moni Named Tri-Captain

Bill Alden

Tyler Moni got off to a hot start this spring in his junior season playing at offensive midfielder for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team.

The former Princeton High standout posted consecutive two-goal performances as the Tigers began the season with wins over Hofstra and Johns Hopkins.

But midway through the season, Moni was asked by new Princeton head coach Chris Bates to make a sacrifice for the team.

“Coach Bates had told me that he would put me in places where I could be successful,” said Moni.

“He said we needed guys to play defensive middie and I was confident that he was putting me in a place where I could succeed. I was surprised because I have always played offense.”

Displaying the athleticism and toughness that saw Moni set records as a receiver for the PHS football team, he adjusted to his new role.

The 5’11, 180-pound Moni scooped up 30 ground balls and had four caused turnovers as Princeton posted an 11-5 record on the way to winning the Ivy League championship and making the NCAA tournament.

“It was a good way to get on the field,” said Moni, who kept contributing offensively, ending the season with eight goals and one assist.

“Defense is a team-oriented position. You are really playing with a unit and you have to play together. They did give me some opportunities on offense; it was nice to get those chances.”

The team recognized the character and skill that Moni showed in making the transition to defense as he has been named as one of the tri-captains for the 2011 Princeton squad.

Noting that the Princeton lacrosse captains are chosen by a vote of the players after the season, Moni said that getting the nod is that much more special.

“It is a great honor, it is nice to know that the team is behind you,” said Moni, who will serve as captain along with classmate Jack McBride and rising junior John Cunningham.

“I found out last week when we got a letter from coach Bates. I was excited but at the same time I knew it was time to get to work.”

Moni is looking forward to working with close friend McBride and Cunningham as the leaders of the Tigers.

“Jack and I have roomed together the last two years and we will be rooming together this year,” said Moni.

“It is awesome to have him there to run ideas past and bounce things off of. It isn’t easy to be a captain as a junior but John can handle it. He works so hard and is in touch with everyone. He doesn’t say much; he leads by example.”

In serving as captain, Moni is determined to set a good example. “I am going to do what I have been doing, working hard in the spring and the summer,” vowed Moni, who is known around the team for his physical conditioning regimen and intense film study.

Moni utilized his work ethic to catch the eye of the new coaching staff which came in last summer after longtime head coach Bill Tierney left to take over the Denver program.

“As a sophomore, I was playing a good amount for a young player,” said Moni, who appeared in every game in 2009, playing on the second midfield group and tallying two goals and an assist.

“I had to prove that I deserved what I was getting. I also wanted to impress the coaches to get more playing time. There was a lot of excitement around the program when coach Bates came in. Practice was up tempo and everything was go, go, go.”

This summer, Moni is immersing himself in the fast-paced world of Wall Street.

“I am working as an intern for JP Morgan in their investment banking operations,” said Moni.

“I am majoring in politics but I have been interested in finance. I am taking this summer to see what it is like.”

Befitting his leadership position, though, Moni is still making time this summer for lacrosse and his teammates.

“A bunch of us have joined the same gym and are working out together,” said Moni.

“We are getting together to work on our stick skills and we are playing in the Gotham League. I will be playing in two weekend tournaments and I may be doing some camps when I am finished with my internship.”

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