October 11, 2017

Sparked by Marciano’s Return from Injury, PHS Girls’ Soccer Piling Up Goals, Wins

IN CONTROL: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Colette Marciano controls the ball in a game last season. Last Friday, senior midfielder and Columbia-bound Marciano tallied two goals to help PHS defeat Ewing 5-2 for its fifth straight victory as it improved to 7-3-1. The Little Tigers host Trenton High on October 12 and Hopewell Valley on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Colette Marciano is making up for lost time after being sidelined for the first few weeks this fall in her senior season with the Princeton High girls’ soccer team.

“I had an injury with my hamstring and I missed the first four or five games,” said Marciano. “It was killing me; I am glad I am back now and we are on a roll.”

Last Friday against visiting Ewing, Marciano helped PHS get on a roll, giving PHS a 1-0 lead with a brilliant volley some 10 minutes into the contest.

“I think when we started the game, we were a little shaky,” said Marciano.

“I went for it. I saw the goalie come out a little bit. I chipped it over her head.”

After Ewing responded with a goal to knot the contest at 1-1, Marciano and fellow senior and co-captain Devon Lis both found the back of the net to give the Little Tigers a 3-1 lead at halftime as PHS went on to a 5-2 victory for its fifth straight win and improved to 7-3-1.

The duo of Marciano and Lis has been in synch for a long time. “I put one in again and Devon put one in; we took control,” said Marciano.

“We have been playing together since we were eight. We have always been pretty close. We know were we are going to be; it has come from that time together and the bond we have formed. We always read where the other one is going to run and find each other, so that is always good. We always find a way to get the job done, one of us. We are always on the same page.”

In reflecting on the team’s hot streak, Marciano believes that PHS’s patience in setting up its attack has led to the good run of form.

“I think we were playing a little frantic; kick and run is a style a lot of teams play in the CVC but that is not what we aspire to play,” said Marciano. “We aspire to play possession and once we clicked into that, we started winning.”

PHS head coach Val Rodriguez likes the way her team has been playing over the last few weeks.

“Things are starting to click; it is that point in the season,” said Rodriguez.

“We have got everybody healthy. We are playing in the formation that we want. We are possessing the way we want to; we are building attacks from the back up.”

The return of Marciano and the renewal of her partnership with Lis helped get PHS clicking.

“Having Colette back is a huge, huge change in the dynamics of the team,” said Rodriguez.

“It is not only her scoring but her possession game and her team play. She looks to distribute that ball and does that really well. She has great chemistry with Devon. They get each other, they work hard. It is a good mix.”

On defense, senior Abaigeal Ryan has been scoring as well as helping to fortify the back line.

“Ryan is a rock; she is smart,” said Rodriguez of Ryan, who tallied a goal in the win over Ewing. “She is not really a soccer player, she calls herself a lacrosse player. She understands when to go forward and when to hold that space for us. She puts herself in the right spots; she finishes it with composure.”

In Rodriguez’s view, her team’s effort in the win over a feisty Ewing is a good sign with tournament time on the horizon.

“Ewing has some tough players and talented players,” said Rodriguez, whose team hosts Trenton High on October 12 and Hopewell Valley on October 16.

“That shows a lot about our character, our heart, and our talent on the field to get the job done.”

Marciano, who declined an offer to play for a development academy that would have caused her to forego her senior season at PHS, is ready to play her heart out this fall for the Little Tigers.

“I wanted to make sure that I was here,” said Marciano, who has committed to attend Columbia University and will play for its women’s soccer team. “It is important to me; it is my last season and my sister [Shaylah] is playing goalie. It is good.”