After college, Meg Reilly knew she’d like to get into coaching.
She also wanted to teach.
She can’t believe how fortunate she is to be able to do both right in her home town.
“I never expected that been so lucky to get a teaching job in Princeton that led to a coaching job,” said Reilly, a 2010 Princeton High graduate. “I feel lucky to be supported and encouraged by lot of the coaches and people I have known at Princeton, like Heather Serverson, Shannon Koch and Kathy Herzog. It’s awesome to come back and know all the people giving me advice and helping me. I’ve looked up to Heather and Joyce Jones and they are both still at the high school and are encouraging me.”
After a standout scholastic career at Princeton, Reilly played lacrosse in college at Muhlenberg and has been an assistant with the Little Tigers for the past few seasons.
She was named the Princeton girls’ lacrosse program’s head coach for the 2019 spring season.
“I came right back to Princeton as an assistant in 2016 and then shortly after that I started teaching at Riverside,” said Reilly, who teaches third grade at the school. “I feel like I have come full circle with a lot of the current players because I got to coach them when they first started playing with PG Lax. I helped coach as a high school player. So I coached players like Mariana (Lopez-Ona) and Shayla (Marciano) when they were little and I have watched them grow up and become outstanding players.”
The Little Tigers opened their season on Wednesday with a 19-6 victory over West Windsor-Plainsboro South. Lopez-Ona scored six goals, while Eva Petrone and Marciano produced four apiece. Soshana Henderson recorded two goals and five assists.
“I have always loved working with kids through sports which is what got me into coaching,” Reilly said. “I have coached a good amount of them before. We have some very good athletes who do multiple sports. Shayla does basketball and soccer. Eva does soccer and basketball.
“It’s been fun. Tryouts were great. We had a lot of girls come out and I get to work with Katie Federico as my assistant coach. She’s been great and I am taking pointers from her with what the varsity has done before that i hadn’t done as JV coach. The three scrimmages we had were helpful.”
Reilly comes into a situation where the Little Tigers have been successful for the last few years, so it is certainly not a rebuilding situation.
“We got the sectional title last year so we’re chasing after that again,” Reilly said. “We didn’t lose too many players from last year and we gained a strong freshman goal, Gigi Peloso. We have six strong seniors and they are all being given captain leadership opportunities.”
In 2018, Princeton went 13-11 and won the Central Jersey, Group 4 state sectional title with a 9-8 victory over Rancocas Valley before falling to Clearview in the Group 4 state semifinals, 20-7. With a bulk of the roster back, the Little Tigers are hoping for similar results this year.
“It’s a great group of girls and they have worked hard,” Reilly said. “It’s a fun team to coach and we’re looking forward to the season.”