Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 14
 
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
caption:
SETTING THE PACE: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse senior co-captain Mariel Jenkins races through the Hun defense last Wednesday on her way to five goals and three assists in PDS’s 11-7 victory. Last Monday, Jenkins scored four goals as PDS topped Stuart Country Day 14-4.

Senior Star Jenkins Setting the Pace as PDS Girls’ Lax Off to a 3-0 Start

Bill Alden

It was raw and rainy last Wednesday but Mariel Jenkins was determined to come out blazing for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team as it hosted Hun.

“We have a goal for the season to get out of the gate every single game,” said senior attacker and co-captain Jenkins. “We wanted the big win.”

But while the speedy Jenkins raced all over the field from the opening draw and PDS built a big edge in possession, the Panthers found themselves trailing 4-3 at halftime.

The PDS players gathered in a large circle near their bench at the break and reached a pact with head coach Jill Thomas.

“We thought that we came out a little nervous,” recalled the Harvard-bound Jenkins.

“Since we started out slow, coach said at half and everyone agreed that we needed to come out and get the draw and just run down the field. We know we have speed; I guess that is the strength of our team that everyone can run. We were just going to take it to goal and do whatever we could to score.”

In the second half, Jenkins lived up to her end of the bargain, scoring two goals in the first three minutes of play.

Sprinting through and around the Hun defense, Jenkins kept scoring, ending the day with a total of five goals and three assists as the Panthers pulled away to an 11-7 victory.

In Jenkins’ view, her partnership with classmate and co-captain Cammie Linville helped pave the way to the win.

“She is one of my best friends on and off the field,” said Jenkins of Linville, who scored three goals in the win over Hun.

“We started off as freshman on varsity together and we play summers together. We have done a lot out of school together. We have worked together to get everybody involved in the offense; we try to be good leaders for everyone on the field.”

As she wraps up her PDS career, Jenkins is trying to make the best of every moment on the field this spring.

“I remember ever since I was a freshman that Coach Thomas said there is nothing like playing as a senior,” said Jenkins, who started her final campaign by scoring three goals as PDS topped Rutgers Prep 14-6 in its season opener on March 31.

“I never really understood what that meant because I think every year in lacrosse is fun and good. You leave it out on the field at the end of the season. This year, being a captain, I need to set an even bigger example.”

Head coach Thomas, for her part, is happy with the example being set by Jenkins and Linville.

“I was really pleased with the way we played in the second half today,” said Thomas, who also got four goals apiece from Jenkins and Linville last Monday as PDS cruised to a 14-4 win over Stuart Country Day to improve to 3-0.

“I thought we came out at half settled and ready; that’s the leadership of Cammie and Mariel.”

Thomas is expecting that kind of leadership from her two senior stars all spring long.

“Cammie and Mariel are both captains; they have just come into their own,” said Thomas, whose team plays at Peddie on April 8 before hosting Pingry on April 14.

“They have big shoes to fill from a year ago with Hannah Epstein; they have started to do things.”

Jenkins is primed to do some big things this spring. “I have a lot of goals for myself during the season,” asserted Jenkins, who helped PDS make it to the Mercer County Tournament title game the last two years and to the state Prep A championship game in 2006 and 2007.

“Being a captain, I want to lead everyone to the top. I want to go all the way. We have come so close to winning championships in the past. I think this year we just want to go all the way. We have a lot of talent on this team. Last year we started like a new team; now everyone gets it.”

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