PRINCETON: PHS girls soccer seeking consistency


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By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Whether the Princeton High girls’ soccer team is winning or losing, the message stays the same for head coach Val Rodriguez.
The Little Tigers win and lose as a team. And chemistry and team bonding will always be at the forefront of the program.
“We have had a big focus on that and they have kept together,” said Rodriguez, whose team fell to 2-3-1 on the season with a 4-3 loss to Lawrence on Tuesday. “The team chemistry and friendships that are formed along with the relationships are all so positive this year. Those are things we are focused on daily.”
The results have been up and down on the field so far this season. Princeton opened with a 2-1 victory over Manalapan before dropping back to back 2-1 decisions to Steinert and Notre Dame. A 3-0 triumph over West Windsor-Plainsboro South was followed by a scoreless tie against Robbinsville before the defeat to Lawrence.
“We have been learning a lot,” Rodriguez said. “Colette Marciano has been on the bench and will be returning next week from an injury. We’ve missed her on the field. We are scoring goals from a variety of people, (Against Lawrence) Abaigeal Ryan had two goal and Grace DiBianco had one. Devon (Lis) has been showing well and possessing the ball well and has several assists.”
Ryan and DiBianco are both defenders for the Little Tigers. With Marciano out of the lineup, Princeton is still searching for some consistency on the offensive end.
“We have to see how we are going to start to generate some goals,” Rodriguez said. “Camille Franklin is a new girl from Tennessee and she is doing well trying to fit in and make connections. I think Colette coming back will make a good impact as well.
“It is still early in the season. Shayla (Marciano) has been tremendous in goal for us, making saves and trying to keep us in games. We have nice security with her. We are in the mix ever game. They are all close. We’re coming along and the senior leadership is very apparent and strong.”
Princeton’s three losses have all come by just one goal. So even though the Little Tigers have just two wins to show for their first six games, they’re not that far away from having four or five wins.
“The season goes so fast,” Rodriguez said. “This is where we are at right now. It will be a gut check. They know they have it in them. My job is to pull it out of them. We have some time off before our next game (Tuesday against Nottingham). The next week will just be practices and getting ready to play. We’ll hopefully get Colette back soon. She wins balls in the air and is so smart and has great footwork. All that will be a big factor for us.”

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