The Princeton men’s soccer team completed an excellent season this past fall, tying for first in the Ivy League. We invited sophomore goalie Josh Haberman and sophomore defender Mark Romanowski to sit down with the Daily Princetonian, as they went on to talk about Long Island, their ideal dates and teddy bears.
The Daily Princetonian: Where are you from and what’s the best part about being from there?
Mark Romanowski: I’m from Rockville Center, N.Y. It’s on Long Island and the best part about it is being close to the city.
Josh Haberman: I’m also from Long Island and it’s nice to be in the suburbs and being close to the city has been amazing as well… My grandma and both my siblings live in the city.
DP: Did you guys ever play against each other in high school?
MR: Oh my god, um, we were actually on the same club team for our senior year of high school, for a year and a half. Funny story: this kid playing in the game one day, playing in upstate New York — I’m the center back and the captain of the team — he is a goalie and it’s one of his first games. I play a back pass to him and this kid does what you’re not supposed to do as a goalie and he clears the ball right into the back of my head, gives me a concussion. I have to sit out for the game, and my coach spends the rest of the game just basically saying “Haberman, I’m going to kill you.”
JH: Our coach was a good guy but he was completely nuts, so it was hard to play the rest of the game with my coach literally non-stop screaming at me the rest of the game.
MR: You deserved it, you gave me a concussion.
JH: And actually the funny thing is in practice about a week ago, the exact same thing happened. I guess I didn’t learn from my mistake. It was literally déjà vu and I was cracking up for the rest of practice because he wanted to kill me.
DP: And how do you feel about the term Strong Island?
MR: The strongest of islands?
JH: Very neutral. I mean I can’t be happy about it.
MR: I’m not a fan but so many people will say Strong Island that I’ve come to embrace it.
JH: But I’ve also come to hate it because everyone else gives it so much heat. I never really called it Strong Island while living there.
MR: It isn’t a thing besides to people outside of Long Island.
DP: What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s happened to one of you guys or a teammate while on the field?
MR: I don’t know if you know [sophomore midfielder] Bryan Windsor but he’s one of the smaller kids on our team and whenever you’re with him on the field, if you were to close your eyes, you would think there was a 50-year-old man yelling at you just by his voice.
JH: Non-stop. Completely non-stop and he’s always calling for the ball no matter where he is, even if he’s guarded by like 10 people and there will be an extremely deep, “AY!” and you would never think it was him.
DP: How would you describe each other’s roles on the team, athletically and socially?
MR: Athletically, I think Josh is one of the lower people of our team. Just kidding. [Laughing] Josh plays a different sport because he plays goalie. Which requires less athleticism.
JH: Mark is an enforcer — I may have better feet than him. But because of his strength he is able to push people off the ball and hopefully keep it out of my territory.
MR: That was nicer than I was going.
DP: Describe the other’s ideal date.
JH: So Mr. Romo over here has himself a new girlfriend.
MR: Dude, you’re putting that in the paper?
JH: Yeah, I am. And I never thought he was the dating type. But the other day one of our dear friends, [sophomore defender] Patrick Barba, was walking on Nassau Street and decided to stop by Mezzaluna when he saw Romo over here with his girlfriend on their first date. And so his perfect date? Mezzaluna. It was very cute. [Turning to Mark] This should be interesting.
MR: Knowing Haberman, I think he might start off with a two-person party bus into the city. They’re going to a nice dinner at a sushi restaurant, and buy purely vegetarian sushi rolls—
JH: [interrupting] What? What does that even mean?
MR: I take that back. Just so many options I shouldn’t say in the interview. All right start over. His ideal date. First, take his girlfriend to the beach. On the beach, he will take his guitar and serenade her with his sweet, sweet voice. After that, they’ll go to Sushi Palace.
JH: This sounds pretty good to me so far.
MR: I know, it’s your ideal date, that’s why it’s good, you’re welcome. After that, they’re going to Charter Friday, where the date will probably leave him for someone else. And he returns home to Forbes, but first stops at Wawa. The end. You’re welcome.
DP: What would be the titles of each other’s autobiographies?
MR: Pillsbury. A Day in the Life of Pillsbury.
JH: The Struggles of a Closeted Teddy Bear.
DP: What are each other’s spirit animals?
MR: I’m going to give you a sloth.
JH: Huh. I’m going to return to the teddy bear. I mean, for someone who tries to act tough all the time, he wishes he had any mean bones in his body. He’s a soft teddy bear.
DP: You’re on a deserted island and can take three things, what are they?
MR: I need Bear Grylls, the guy on Discovery Channel, because he’s going to help me survive. Two, we need some protection. We need Anne Hathaway as cat woman because she was pretty badass in that movie. What’s our third thing? Are we going together?
DP: Whatever you want.
JH: Should we take Wonder Woman too?
MR: No, I want someone to make some food. Or do we want Gronk and just party with him? We’ll take Gronk because he likes to party.
JH: Bobby Flay. I’ll take Alex Morgan, for sure, so we can play soccer with her. And then, uh, what’s the crocodile man? The late Steven Irwin for adventures.
MR: Dude, if we’re doing this together, you should take a genie lamp. Why not take a genie lamp? We would have three wishes.
JH: Yeah, I’ll take a genie lamp. Three wishes. I can wish to come home.
MR: He would wish to stay there and build a mansion on the island.