Vol. LXIV, No. 36
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
HALE AND HEARTY: Princeton University mens water polo star Matt Hale prepares to fire the ball in action last season. Senior Hale figures to be a key performer as the Tigers look to make a second straight trip to the NCAA Final Four this fall.
As last fall came to a close, the Princeton University mens water polo team played before a national TV audience, advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 2004.
Playing at home in the friendly confines of DeNunzio Pool, the Tigers put on a good show, ending up taking third in the country by virtue of winning a 6-5 nailbiter over Loyola Marymount in the national consolation game.
This weekend, 14th-ranked Princeton will start its 2010 season with another TV appearance as ESPNU will broadcast its clash against No. 13 Santa Clara this Friday evening in the first day of action at the annual Princeton Invitational.
Longtime Princeton head coach Luis Nicolao is pumped up to be back on the air.
It was sweltering on the Princeton University football teams field turf practice complex last Wednesday and the players were dripping with sweat and the fluids they gulped down to stay hydrated as they trudged wearily away from the morning session.
But senior tailback Jordan Culbreath had a bounce in his step and couldnt stop smiling as he greeted the media in a corner of the field in the shadow of Princeton Stadium.
After missing nearly all of last season as he battled aplastic anemia, Culbreath figured he would never get the chance to go through the rigors of preseason camp.
After producing a season for the ages last fall as it went 21-0-4 and won the Group III state championship, the Princeton High boys soccer will have a bulls eye on its back when it hits the pitch for the 2010 campaign.
While longtime PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe knows that foes will be intent on knocking off his team, he isnt overly concerned with that scenario considering the programs tradition of success.
Joe Gargione started his first practice as the new head coach of the Princeton High football team by greeting his players with an inspirational message.
The first quote I put on the board was the harder you work, the harder it is to quit; I wanted to make them realize that as long as they push and give 100 percent, they arent going to want to quit, said Gargione, who moved up to head coach from assistant when Steve Everette stepped down last spring after leading the program for the past eight seasons.
For Marie-Claire Heller, playing field hockey at the University of Louisville changed the direction of her life.
I encourage everyone to be a student athlete, asserted Heller, a 2007 Louisville grad who was a star goalie for the Cardinals and posted a 1.88 goals against average as a four-year starter.
It builds character; it puts you in different life situations. You see the results of your work on the field through wins or losses. I gained so much from the experience. I wanted to help others have that experience.
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