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Princeton Practices With Costa Rican National Team And Then Ziplines
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Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Release: 06/10/2012

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The Princeton men's lacrosse team relied heavily on the translating skills of players Brian Reilly and Oscar Loynaz, both of whom are fluent in Spanish, for its morning work in San Jose, Costa Rica.

In the afternoon, the sounds from the Princeton contingent were more universal.

The Tigers spent the morning practicing with the Costa Rican national men's lacrosse team on a grass field in the shadow of National Stadium, where many members of the team had watched the World Cup qualifier between their host country and El Salvador the night before.

During the course of about two hours of drills and scrimmaging, Reilly and Loynaz were the ones who were able to relay messages from the Tiger coaches to the Costa Rican players. Eventually, the Costa Ricans were able to participate in some offensive and defensive sessions and then in a full-field scrimmage.

The practice field was huge, with activities as varied as youth and pickup soccer games (to be expected) going on on four different adjacent fields and a flag football game (American football, completely unexpected) going on on a fifth.

As the Tigers and the Costa Ricans played lacrosse, a few of the heads turned, and several children wandered over to see what it was all about.

One of the young Costa Rican kids turned out to be 10 years old, the same as Princeton head coach Chris Bates' son Nick. In a matter of seconds, the two were having a catch, alternating using the longstick that was way taller than either one of them.

Princeton and Costa Rica will play an actual game Sunday morning.

As for the afternoon, well, that was a far different scene from the dusty practice field.

After the morning lacrosse, Princeton headed on its three mini-buses for about an hour essentially straight up, to partake in one of Costa Rica's main attractions - ziplining.

Set against a backdrop of green mountains and green valleys, with a perfect touch of fog drifting in an out, the location of the ziplining was something out of a painting.

After lunch in the dining room, Princeton got a quick lesson and equipment hookup, and then it was off to the 12 different lines that made up the course.

The first one was the length of three football fields. The next 10 took the team threw the forest, leading to the last one, a 650-meter drop from the top of the canopy all the way down.

The only sounds heard were screams, which could have been English or Spanish or any other language on Earth.

For good measure, the rain forest turned into exactly that about 10 minutes into the 90 minutes the Princetonians were out, and eventually it was simply pouring. The result? The wires became slippery, which made those participating move faster.

When it was over, all of the zipliners were completely caked in mud.

After ziplining, it was back for the final night in San Jose. After the game Sunday, the mini-buses will make the five-plus hour drive to Samara, on the Pacific Coast, where Princeton will spend the next two nights.

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