BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) looks back at the outstanding athletes, referees and coaches who made Hall of Fame caliber marks on the league.
A three-time Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Honorable Mention All-America selection, four-time Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Most Valuable Player and Spring 2019 CWPA Hall of Fame inductee, Elyse Colgan became the third Princeton University alum to make the Hall of Fame joining Adele McCarthy-Beauvais (2013) and Goga Vukmirovic (2015).
Among the best players of her generation in the CWPA, Colgan ranks second in Princeton history with 272 goals as the 2004, 2006 and 2007 ACWPC Honorable Mention All-America recipient helped the Tigers achieve new heights during her four-year tenure in the Garden State.
A native of Annapolis, Md. and a graduate of the Key School, Colgan achieved success on the divisional, conference and national levels by achieving four Southern Division Most Valuable Player (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), All-Southern First Team (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and CWPA Eastern Championship All-Tournament (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) nods to accompany her trio of All-America selections.
A 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 ACWPC All-Academic, All-Ivy League and CWPA Scholar-Athlete selection, she helped Princeton record a 91-33 record, including a 27-1 mark in Southern Division play, as the Tigers captured the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships.
Following a freshman season in 2004 during which the team finished 24-9, claimed the Southern Division title with an 8-0 mark and finished in Sixth Place at the CWPA Championship. Colgan helped Princeton progressively improve on its final standing at the league championship tournament.
In 2005, the team went 27-9, reclaimed the Southern Division crown with another 8-0 record and notched a Fourth Place mark at the CWPA Championship. Following a junior season in 2006 in which the Tigers finished 20-6 with a 5-1 mark in Southern Division play to bring home the program’s third division crown before taking Third Place at the CWPA Championship, she helped Princeton make history as a senior in 2007.
The 2000 CWPA Champion and 2001 runner-up, Princeton wrapped up the 2007 season with a 20-9 record, another Southern Division crown with a 6-0 mark and returned to the league title tilt as the team fell to Hartwick College by an 8-6 score at home in DeNunzio Pool. The Second Place finish capped off a four-year span in which the Tigers went from Sixth to Second in the final league standings and laid the groundwork for Princeton’s recent success of CWPA crowns in 2012, 2013 and 2015 with runner-up placements in 2014, 2017 and 2018.
One of only five players in program history to score 80+ goals in a season with 82 in 2005, she stands as the only player in Princeton women’s water polo history to post 70 or more goals in three seasons (70 in 2004; 82 in 2005; 73 in 2007) as she concluded her intercollegiate career with 272 goals and 71 assists for 343 points.
One of seven Princeton players to garner three or more All-America nods joining four-time selections McCarthy-Beauvais (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003), Katie Rigler (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and Olympian Ashleigh Johnson (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017) along with fellow three-time picks Cassie Nichols (1999, 2000, 2002), Phoebe Champion (2008, 2009, 2010) and Haley Wan (2016, 2017, 2018), she was named the 2007 Daily Princetonian Female Athlete of the Year in 2007.
A member of the 2006 United States National Team training squad, she capped her time at Princeton by claiming the Princeton Varsity Club’s 2007 C. Otto Von Kienbusch Award which is “the highest student-athlete award presented annually to a Princeton senior woman of high scholastic rank who has demonstrated general proficiency in athletics and the qualities of a true sportswoman”.
Following graduation from Princeton, Colgan was among two foreign players to compete for Varese Olona Nuoto in Varese, Italy, of the Series A Italian Professional Water Polo League during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. She returned to the United States to teach 8th grade Algebra in the Los Angeles community of Watts during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years as a Teach for America corps member. Colgan joined the staff of Teach for America following her time in the classroom and served as a Recruitment Director from 2010-to-2013.
A 2010 graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a Master of Arts in Urban Education Policy, Colgan currently works as Senior Director for Content Marketing Strategy at 2U, Inc., an educational technology company that partners with leading nonprofit colleges and universities to offer online degree programs. In May 2012, Forbes named 2U as one of the “10 Start-Ups Changing the World”. In 2014, Inc. Magazine named 2U one of “10 Tech Companies Helping Humanity”.
Away from work and the pool, she is actively involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. She completed the Vineman Full, an Ironman distance triathlon, and was a Top 10 age-group finisher in 2011. To date she has raised over $22,000 for research to eradicate cancer.