Watch & learn: Sophomore goalie Nic Porter studies the play of his goalkeeping predecessors

first_img“I was just in awe of how the players were playing,” he said. “I was like, wow, this would be an amazing thing to do.” Growing up along the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Porter was constantly near the water and in the sun. With a push from a school mentor, he was convinced that water polo was just a natural extension of his upbringing.  He describes a marked difference in intensity when he transitioned to his senior club team, the Queensland Breakers, at 16 years old.  Now that the time has come to prove themselves after a rocky start to the season against solid opponents on all sides, Porter sees the Trojans making a strong statement at their 15th consecutive trip to the NCAAs and in future campaigns. Porter began as a goalie for the club Sunshine Coast, playing with teammates his own age and getting used to the different facets of the game. He laughs when he remembers one of his favorite memories from that team when he was 12, playing in the state championship and losing every game by about 20 points. It’s not exactly the picture-perfect victory he may have hoped for, but after being chosen for the state representative team following this tournament performance, he was inspired to see what avenues hard work could lead him toward. And it’s not a dynamic that is exclusive to the goalies. Porter can be seen in the cage cheering for his teammates after a great shot or block, demonstrating his positivity and unique ability to balance his goals with the rest of the team’s.  Sophomore goalie Nic Porter had some impressive games this year, including a 20-save effort against Stanford. (Photo courtesy of Katie Chin/USC Athletics) Before sophomore goalie Nic Porter made the life-upending decision to travel around the world to play water polo, he found himself watching dozens of games — regardless of level — to build the intelligence he believes is vital to the success of a goalie.  “I was playing with men, with the best players in Australia week in, week out,” he said. “I had to mature very quickly and get used to the highest standard of water polo really quickly, but I think that’s also an advantage too.” There was one game in particular that made the choice easier for him. This was Porter’s first introduction to the USC water polo program.  “We can’t let that youth become our detriment,” he said. Watching that NCAA championship upset for USC did not add to the pressure Porter experienced as he was moving up the ranks of the Australian senior team. Instead, it only solidified his decision to make the trip around the world to join the Trojans in their efforts. Porter placed himself in then-USC freshman goalie McQuin Baron’s shoes when he faced crosstown rival UCLA in the 2014 NCAA Championship final. The Trojans were gearing up for a shot to win in overtime, and the score was even for the first time in the game at 8-8. But with 34 seconds to go, sophomore center Gordon Marshall of UCLA made the game-winning point and claimed the NCAA title for the Bruins. “Nic has always entered new team environments quite cautiously, saying little but watching, listening and learning the culture before introducing himself,” said Stephen Porter, Nic’s father. “He knew he was one of the ‘new kids’ and he would have to train hard, play well and contribute to the continuing success of the program before he was accepted.”center_img “We really needed to win that game,” Porter said of their win against the Cardinal. “So to give ourselves the best chance of qualifying for NCAA, and … I was really happy to get 20 blocks, but it was my teammates … that made it a lot easier for me than it could have been.” “You get thrown into the deep end, pardon the pun,” he laughed. “It didn’t change,” Pintaric said of their original assessment of Porter. “He’s a scholarship goalie. And he’s doing a great job improving and constantly dealing with injuries and, you know, correcting getting from being injured to being healthy and then making corrections or not to have a standout performance.” Head coach Marko Pintaric knew of Porter during the recruitment process and said the coaching staff’s initial evaluation of him was well-founded and deserved. “Yeah, that’s a dream come true right there,” Porter said. “I’ve been fortunate to play in some amazing countries, but to live here in Los Angeles and go to USC and play collegiate water polo — that’s the stuff dreams are made of. I’m so happy to be here.” When Porter started in last year’s championship final, he  saw himself in former goalie McQuin Baron, who faced the same situation in 2014. Porter came away with a win as a true freshman with 12 saves in the title game. This year, he intends to bring the same energy to the NCAA Tournament in Stockton, which seems to foretell a great performance with 9.57 saves per game this season and a career-high 20 saves against No. 1 Stanford last month.  His parents, by email, described Porter’s gradual acclimation to the sport fondly. He began with close observation and gained what he could from the other, more experienced players. “I’d love to graduate from here with four national championships,” Porter said. “I think that that’s very possible with the team that we have. It’s still quite a young team.” Porter came to USC with a young goalie group, the oldest being then-sophomore Vaios Vlahotasios. While he created an environment where Porter had to make his mark and break the mold, succeeding by appearing in 19 games as a true freshman, the strength of his partnership with his fellow goalies never wavered.  This companionship is also visible outside of games and practice, as Porter describes the team’s weekend trips to the beach or video game sessions after a long day of classes. Any extra time the players have outside of their hectic schedule is spent  hanging out with each other. “Oh, it’s awesome,” said Vlahotasios emphatically. “He’s my best buddy in the pool. Each one of us is pushing each other; I’m making him better, he’s making me better. We share tips because we never know who’s gonna play … It’s a great dynamic.” “I always have the attitude when I get in the pool that I don’t want anyone to touch the wall ahead of me,” Porter said. “I don’t want anyone to use their legs so that they’re higher out of the water than me. I always want to be the best. I always want to win, and I came in and this was by far the best group of goalies that I’d ever had to compete with, but also train with because we’re teammates first and foremost. So that’s definitely motivating in itself.” “Water polo wasn’t really something that I had thought of until I was about 9 and my sport-gym teacher in Australia kind of said, ‘You’re good at soccer. You’re a good swimmer. Water polo is a great combination of the two. I think you’ll really like it,’” Porter said. “And yeah, I fell in love with it straightaway.”last_img read more

Liverpool Pride brings AllTogetherNow for a funloving free twoday festival

first_imgeTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS- Liverpool Pride parade is on 28 July. | Photo: Courtesy of Liverpool Pride Day two of the festival will be a family-focused Sunday featuring dance, arts and craft activities, food market, and barbecue in the Bluecoat Garden, alongside Pride events at the International Slavery Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Museum of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral.Read the full list of events here.Winner of Celebrity Big Brother Courtney Act will join the lineup on 28 July. | Photo: Magnus Hastings/InstagramCome Out of the ShadowsReturning for the third consecutive year, the Come Out of the Shadows campaign lights up the city’s most iconic buildings in the colors of the rainbow and trans flags from 19 July to 2 August. Buildings lighting up include St John’s Beacon, Anfield, St Georges Hall, and Liverpool Town Hall.The origins of Liverpool PrideThe city which was home to the Beatles had its first Pride parade in 2010. Back then, the celebration started with a tragic meaning attached to it.Liverpool Pride was, in fact, set up in response to the aftermath of the murder of young gay man Michael Causer.18-year-old Causer was beaten up because of his sexual orientation during a house party on 25 July 2008. He later died of the brain injuries reported. To commemorate his death, the parade still takes place around the date of the attack.Read more about Prides:Forget all your bad dances: this inclusive Brighton prom is beautiful and queer AF Liverpool Pride Weekend will be a free two-day festival filled with music, entertainment, and food and drink stalls.Saturday’s events will take place at Tithebarn Street, a few steps away from the city’s Gay Quarter. Sunday’s events, on the other hand, will happen across the city with a Sundae Funday festival hub at The Bluecoat on School Lane.[embedded content]The paradeThe annual parade will take place on 28 July.  Beginning at St. Georges Hall, participants will weave their way through the city in a sea of color to celebrate the festival’s theme #AllTogetherNow. The march will end at Moorfields.Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Courtney Act will performAfter Pride in London, Sophie Ellis-Bextor will take the main stage at Liverpool Pride | Photo: @sophieellisbextor/InstagramFollowing the parade, the festival will take the city with three different stages.The Barclays Main Stage, situated by the iconic Superlambanana (28 July)The Manchester Airport San Francisco stage, in the square between Vernon Street and Cunliffe Street (28 July)Sundae Funday at The Bluecoat (29 July)Headlining the main stage is pop icon Sophie Ellis-Bextor. International drag star and Celebrity Big Brother winner Courtney Act, the cast of Kinky Boots, House of Suarez, Rogue Minogue, Queen Zee will also join the lineup.The Liverpool Queer Collective created a unique cabaret programme for Manchester Airport San Francisco Stage. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Now in its eighth year, Liverpool Pride will return to the city in north-western England for a festival to remember on 28 and 29 July. Hamburg Pride’s ten-day festival is back this weekend and it’s bigger than everWhen is Pride? Check out our international Pride calendar 2018Bristol Pride announces its first wave of acts for 2018 festivalRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : read more