Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 15
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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ATTACK-MINDED: Princeton High girls lacrosse star Mia Haughton heads up the field in recent action. Junior attacker Haughton’s playmaking skills have helped PHS produce a 2-1 start. Last Thursday she had three goals and four assists in a 15-9 win over Notre Dame and then had three goals and two assists last Monday as PHS topped Robbinsville 15-6.

Sparked by Haughton’s Playmaking, PHS Girls’ Lacrosse Starting to Roll

Bill Alden

Although Mia Haughton certainly didn’t want to see the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team start the season with a loss, the squad’s opening day 8-6 setback to WW/P-N may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

“It was probably good that we started off with that North game; it kind of woke us up,” said junior attacker Haughton.

“We might have been full of ourselves in the beginning. We see that every team is going to be tough competition.”

Haughton and the Little Tigers were much tougher in their second outing as they cruised to a 15-9 win over Notre Dame last Thursday.

“The whole team was really into it; we really got psyched,” said Haughton, who triggered the PHS offense with three goals and four assists.

“Our warmup was a lot better and that had something to do with our strong start today.”

PHS jumped out to a 9-5 halftime lead against the Fighting Irish and never looked back on the way to the victory.

“We had energy the whole game,” said Haughton. “We came together as a team; that is the most important thing whether we win or lose.”

Haughton’s flair for playmaking helps the Little Tigers play together on offense.

“I prefer to assist more than score because with our team there is strength at every position,” asserted Haughton, who chipped in three goals and two assists last Monday as PHS topped Robbinsville 15-6 to improve to 2-1.

“The great part of our team is that not just one person scores; the whole team gets into it. It is fun to get an assist because you get to see their reaction when they score.”

PHS head coach Christie Cooper saw the win over Notre Dame as a solid step forward from the opener.

“In the North game, our defense was really in sync but our attack was hesitant,” said Cooper.

“Today it was just a full team effort with lots of scorers, and great defensive effort all over the field starting from our attackers redefending all the way down to our goalie.”

Cooper credited Haughton with bringing savvy and grit to the PHS offense. “Mia has a very good game sense,” said Cooper. “She is small in stature but she plays like she is 6 feet tall. She is not afraid to get hurt or fall on the turf.”

In the win over Notre Dame, the PHS attack unit looked like it could hurt a lot of foes this spring.

“I have been waiting for that all preseason,” said Cooper, who got five goals and two assists from freshman Emilia Lopez-Ona with senior Taylor Blair contributing four goals and an assist.

“It was really nice right off the bat to see Emilia and Mia working together, finding each other and hitting each other with passes. Taylor is a brute; I wouldn’t want to get in her way on the field. She lets her presence be known and you need that in an attacker.”

The PHS defense has made its presence felt, spearheaded by senior goalie Devin Chambers and classmates Jen Barone and Catherine Prince.

“I am happy with our entire defense; our whole defensive unit is reacting to the style of defense we are playing this year,” maintained Cooper.

“They are listening, they are alert, they are playing like a team. Devin is playing well in goal and our low defenders Jen Barone and Catherine Prince are just really stepping up and acting like seniors down there and that’s what you need.”

Cooper likes the leadership she is getting from her senior class collectively which includes co-captains Blair and Kate Bechler along with Bianca Sheer.

“It is a great senior class; they are good leaders,” said Cooper, whose club plays at Hopewell Valley on April 13 and at WW/P-S on April 15 before hosting Allentown on April 18.

“The girls below aren’t afraid to step up and be leaders too. I think this team has tons of potential.”

Haughton, for her part, also sees a big spring on the horizon for the Little Tigers.

“We have talent all around and at every single grade level,” added Haughton.

“I think we have bigger potential this year than other years to really have a strong season from the beginning to the end. We need to keep energy and keep our heads in the game. We have good team chemistry; we all ate lunch together today and we had a team psych.”

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