Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 52
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
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STEPPING UP: Princeton University men’s soccer player Antoine Hoppenot controls a ball in action this fall. Hoppenot, a former Princeton Day School star, helped the Tigers to a 13-4-1 overall record and the program’s first perfect 7-0 Ivy League record. Junior striker Hoppenot was named as the Ivy Player of the year and earned All-American recognition.

Records, Breakthroughs Spiced Up PU Sports in 2010 While High School Teams Experienced Joy, Frustration

Bill Alden

For Princeton University athletics, the year 2010 featured records and breakthroughs.

Giving the fans at Jadwin Gym plenty to cheer about, the Princeton women’s basketball team produced a season for the ages. Head coach Courtney Banghart guided her squad to a 26-3 mark as the Tigers set a program record in single-season victories. Princeton produced a program-best 21-game winning streak, which included its first-ever 14-0 Ivy campaign.

While the Tiger men’s hockey team suffered through a tough season, senior goalie Zane Kalemba ended his stellar career as the program leader in wins (57), shutouts (nine), and save percentage (.912). He was second in goals against average (2.46) and saves (2,680).

Swimming superstar Alicia Aemisegger graduated with her named splashed all over the record board at DeNunzio Pool. The Oreland, Pa. native finished her career as a 13-time All-America and won all 12 individual Ivy League championship events in which she competed. She was also the Ivy League’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet four times.

Handling a coaching change seamlessly, the Princeton men’s lightweight crew continued its unprecedented run, repeating its 2009 feat of winning both the Eastern Sprints and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta.

Sparked by local favorite Antoine Hoppenot, a former Princeton Day School standout, the Tiger men’s soccer produced a record-breaking campaign. Hoppenot led the Ivy League in scoring with nine goals and five assists for 23 points, helping the Tigers to a 13-4-1 overall record and the program’s first perfect 7-0 Ivy League record. Princeton won a program-record 12 consecutive games and matched the single-season mark for wins on its way to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

In terms of breakthroughs, the storied Princeton men’s basketball program also gave the Jadwin fans some memorable moments, making its first postseason appearance since 2004 by getting invited to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) tournament. The Tigers showed they belonged, advancing to the semifinals and ending the winter at 22-9.

The long struggling Princeton wrestling program posted its first winning Ivy season since 1987 as head coach Chris Ayre’s rebuilding project took some major steps forward.

New head coach Megan Bradley guided the Princeton women’s tennis team to a program-record 20 dual-meet victories, an outright Ivy League title for the first time since 2000, and the fourth NCAA tournament appearance in program history.

With the one-two punch of junior stars Donn Cabral and Brian Leung, the Tiger men’s cross country team won its first-ever NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional crown.

On the high school scene, the joy of title triumphs was mixed with the frustration of some disappointing near-misses.

At Hun, the baseball and boys’ soccer teams savored Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title campaigns. On the other hand, Raider boys’ hoops, softball, and field hockey teams fell short in some spirited title runs.

It was a big year for Princeton Day School as its teams garnered several titles. The boys’ hockey and girls’ lacrosse teams both broke through with their first Mercer County Tournament crowns. The Panther baseball, girls’ soccer, and boys’ cross country teams captured state Prep B titles. But the PDS team that stood above the rest turned out to be the boys’ soccer teams which won both the MCT and Prep B titles.

But while those team reached championship heights, the PDS boys’ and girls’ hoops teams together with the field hockey squad felt the sting of tough tournament losses.

Princeton High was graced by the achievements of junior golfer Fraser Graham who won both the MCT and Tournament of Champions individual crowns, both program firsts. The powerful swimming program added to its trophy case as both the boys’ and girls’ teams won sectional titles. The Little Tigers girls cross country team won a sectional crown as well and came within two points of the Group III state title.

But along with those highlights came some disappointing moments. The PHS boys’ ice hockey team fell in the MCT title game while the boys’ lacrosse team lost in the MCT semis and Group II state championship game. The Little Tiger girls’ tennis team fell in the sectional finals while the boys’ soccer team dropped one-goal heartbreakers in the MCT title game and the sectional semis.

Over at Stuart Country Day, near misses became the theme of the year. The lacrosse team lost tight contests in the Prep B and MCT title games while the field hockey team fell 2-1 in the Prep B championship.

Winter Wonders

Blending a group of seasoned veterans in Addie Micir, Lauren Edwards, and Devona Allgood together with some precocious newcomers in Niveen Rasheed and Lauren Polansky, the Princeton University women’s basketball team produced a record-breaking campaign and one of the best seasons in the annals of Ivy League hoops.

Head coach Courtney Banghart guided her squad to a 26-3 mark as the Tigers set a program record in single-season victories. Princeton produced a program-best 21-game winning streak, which included its first-ever 14-0 Ivy campaign.

The Tigers didn’t just win every league game, they were dominant as the squad posted a double-digit margin of victory in Ivy play. Princeton earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament where its magic ride ended when the 11th-seeded Tigers fell 65-47 to No. 5 St. Johns in the opening round.

Although the season ended on a down note, the Tigers received a string of individual accolades in recognition of their accomplishments. Rasheed was the Ivy Rookie of Year and a first-team All Ivy selection. Sophomore guard Lauren Edwards joined Rasheed on the All-Ivy first team while junior guard Micir and sophomore center Allgood were second team choices.

While the Princeton men’s hoops team fell short of an Ivy crown as it placed second to three-time champion and eventual NCAA Sweet 16 team Cornell, the Tigers made their first postseason appearance since 2004 as they competed in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) tournament.

Sparked by the leadership of seniors Marcus Schroeder, Nick Lake, Pawel Buczak, and Zach Finley, the Tigers proved they belonged in the postseason, advancing to the CBI semifinals where they fell 65-59 to St. Louis University.

Head coach Sydney Johnson guided his team to a final record of 22-9, the program’s most wins since 1999. The Tigers went 11-3 in Ivy play and the future looked bright as junior guard Dan Mavraides and sophomore guard Doug Davis, a former Hun School standout, were chosen as second-team all-league performers.

Things weren’t as rosy over at Baker Rink as both the men’s and women’s hockey teams struggled through a tough winter.

Dealing with a spate of injuries, head coach Guy Gadowsky saw his men’s squad slip to a 12-16-3 record after two straight 20-win seasons and NCAA tournament appearances. The Tigers ended the season meekly as they fell 2-0 to visiting Harvard in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs.

Senior goalie Zane Kalemba ended his stellar career as the program leader in wins (57), shutouts (nine), and save percentage (.912). He was second in goals against average (2.46) and saves (2,680). He was named as one of the winners of the 2010 William Winston Roper Trophy, given to the top senior male athletes at PU.

Hurt by a mid-season injury to star defenseman and team captain Stephanie Denino, the Princeton University women’s hockey team had trouble establishing a winning rhythm. While spiritual leader Denino did return to action, head coach Jeff Kampersal’s squad ended up with a 13-14-4 record, getting swept 2-0 by Harvard in the ECACH quarterfinals.

The men’s swimming team took care of Harvard and all of its other Ivy rivals as it won the league championship meet, leading wire-to-wire in the three-day competition.

It was the second straight Ivy crown for head coach Rob Orr’s squad and the 26th in program history. Individual league champs for the 25th ranked Tigers included Bryan Tay (100, 200 butterfly), Jon Christensen (100 breaststroke), and Colin Cordes (200 backstroke).

Led by senior superstar Alicia Aemisegger, the Tiger women’s swimmers also won the Ivy championship meet. All-American Aemisegger won three individual events in the meet to help Princeton edge Harvard by 27 points. It was the ninth league title in the last 11 years for head coach Susan Teeter’s squad.

Aemisegger went on to share the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award, the highest female student-athlete award at Princeton. The Oreland, Pa. native finished her career as a 13-time All-America and won all 12 individual Ivy League championship events in which she competed. She was also the Ivy League’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet four times.

The men’s track team enjoyed a successful winter as it won the 2010 Indoor Track and Field Heptagonal Championship. It was the first indoor crown since 2007 for head coach Fred Samara’s team. The Tigers knocked off two-time defending champion Cornell by 32 points, led by double first-team All-Ivy honorees Austin Hollimon (400 and 4x400 relay), Trevor Van Ackeren (mile and 4x800 relay), and Peter Callahan (800 and 4x800 relay).

Matching their male counterparts, the Princeton women’s track team also won the Indoor Heps. The title gave the Tigers a sweep after the men’s team won earlier in the day. It was the first time since 1997-98 that both Princeton teams have claimed simultaneous titles.

Head coach Peter Farrell’s team got stellar performances from first-team All-Ivy performers Ashley Higginson (mile), Tory Worthen (pole vault), and Thanithia Billings (weight throw).

Freshman star Todd Harrity made an immediate impact for the men’s squash team as he helped the Tigers finish third in the CSA team championships. Harrity then went on to place second at the CSA individual championships marking himself as the next in a line of great players brought into the program by head coach Bob Callahan.

Another freshman, Julie Cerullo, helped the women’s squash team place fifth in the Howe Cup national team championships. The fifth-pace finish ended a superb run for head coach Gail Ramsay’s program which had seen it win three straight Howe Cup titles.

It was a breakout season for the wrestling team as the Tigers posted their first winning Ivy season since 1987. Head coach Chris Ayres guided the Tigers to a 3-2 league mark and third place, a marked improvement for a program that hadn’t won a match in Ayres’ first two years with the team.

Three wrestlers earned All-Ivy recognition as sophomore Daniel Kolodzik (149 pounds) and senior Danny Scotton (157) were named as second-team selections while freshman Garrett Frey earned honorable mention at 125. Frey went on to qualify for the NCAA championship meet, the first Tiger to do so since Jake Butler qualified in 2005.

The Princeton fencing teams also experienced a breakthrough as both the men’s and women’s teams won Ivy championships under the tutelage of head coach Zoltan Dudas. The titles were the first for either Princeton’s men’s or women’s team since 2001, when the women won an outright title and the men a tri-championship.

Spring Success

There was a game of musical chairs among the men’s coaches in the Princeton boathouse. Former men’s lightweight assistant Marty Crotty took over for Greg Hughes, who became the men’s heavyweight coach in the wake of the retirement of Curtis Jordan.

The crews didn’t miss a beat in the wake of the changes. The men’s lightweight crew, for its part, repeated its 2009 feat of winning both the Eastern Sprints and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta. A pair of senior stars, Jack Leonard and James Donovan, set the tone for the boat in its title double encore. Leonard went on to share the 2010 William Winston Roper Trophy, given to the top senior male athletes at Princeton.

With the hard-driving Hughes taking the helm, the men’s heavyweight team showed improvement, taking second at the Eastern Sprints and 12th in the IRA regatta.

The women’s open crew enjoyed a superb spring as it went undefeated in regular season regattas. Head coach Lori Dauphiny’s rowers culminated the season by taking second at the Eastern Sprints and third in the grand final at the NCAA championship regatta.

Under head coach Paul Rassam, the Princeton women’s lightweight crew matched their postseason achievements of their open counterparts, taking second in the Eastern Sprints and third at the IRA regatta.

The major coaching change on the spring landscape took place in men’s lacrosse where former Drexel head coach Chris Bates took the reins from Hall of Famer Bill Tierney, who had left Princeton in June, 2009 to run the University of Denver program.

Bates proved up to the challenge of following in the footsteps of a legend, guiding the Tigers to the championship in the first-ever Ivy Tournament as Princeton topped Cornell 10-9 in overtime in the title game. Princeton ended the season on a down note as it fell to eventual runner-up Notre Dame 8-5 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to finish with an 11-5 record.

Things look good for Bates’ second year as he will welcome back three All-Americans in goalie Tyler Fiorito, defenseman Chad Wiedmaier, and attacker Jack McBride.

It was a down year for the women’s lacrosse team as the Tigers posted a 6-10 record. It was the first losing campaign for Hall of Fame Princeton head coach Chris Sailer since her debut season in 1987.

Over at Clarke Field, it was also a tough spring for the Princeton baseball team. Going with a lineup dominated by younger players, head coach Scott Bradley saw his team go 12-30 overall and 6-14 in Ivy League action.

The Tiger softball team also struggled as it went 11-31 overall and 5-13 in Ivy play. Senior star Jamie Lettire did make history for head coach Trina Salcido’s club as she ended her career with 38 homers, the most in program history.

Led by distance running star Donn Cabral and high jumper Justin Frick, head coach Fred Samara guided the Princeton men’s track team to a second-place finish at the Heps outdoor champions. Sophomore Cabral won the 10,000 and the steeplechase while senior Frick won the high jump, his fourth league crown between indoors and outdoors. Frick went on to share the 2010 William Winston Roper Trophy, given to the top senior male athletes at PU.

Cabral, for his part, capped his superb season with a memorable performance at the NCAA championships where he took second in the steeplechase and sixth in the 5,000.

Despite a title double by distance star Ashley Higginson, the Princeton women’s track team faded to fourth at the Outdoor Heps. Junior star Higginson won the steeplechase and the 3,000 but it was a frustrating meet for head coach Peter Farrell, whose squad was in first place after day one of the two-day competition.

At the NCAA championship meet, Higginson took third in the steeplechase while Alex Banfich was eighth in the 5,000. Senior star Liz Costello, who was the Ivy cross country champion all four years and won league title in the mile, 1500, 3000 and 4x800 relay, shared the 2010 C. Otto von Kienbusch Award as the top senior female athlete at Princeton.

Making a smooth transition in following legendary head coach Glenn Nelson, Sam Shweisky guided the Tiger men’s volleyball team to its first Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) final since 1998 and earned the EIVA Bob Sweeney Head Coach of the Year honor. The Tigers fell to national power Penn State in the title match to end the season with an overall record of 15-10.

The Princeton women’s water polo team fell just short of a trip to the NCAAs as it placed third in the Eastern Championship. Senior Phoebe Champion scored a team-high 57 goals and earned her fourth All-Southern Division recognition as head coach Luis Nicolao’s team posted a final mark of 20-10.

Another new head coach, Megan Bradley of women’s tennis, enjoyed a fine debut campaign. Bradley, a former star at the University of Miami and the daughter of former Major League Baseball star Phil Bradley, guided Princeton to a program-record 20 dual-meet victories, an outright Ivy League title for the first time since 2000, and the fourth NCAA tournament appearance in program history.

Sophomore Hillary Bartlett led the way for the Tigers, getting named as the Ivy League Player of the Year. Bartlett, a first-team All-Ivy choice in both singles and doubles, became the first Princeton player besides Kavitha Krishnamurthy (2000) to win the honor.

The Princeton men’s team also made progress under long-time head coach Glenn Michibata as it went 4-3 in Ivy play, the program’s first winning league season since 2007.

Over at Springdale Golf Club, the Princeton golf teams produced subpar campaigns. The Tiger men placed seventh at the Ivy League championship while the women were fourth.

Fall Feats

Princeton resident Antoine Hoppenot has been entertaining local soccer fans for years, beginning as an up-and-coming star in the area travel club circuit and then going on to become one of the best players in the history of the Princeton Day School boys’ program.

This fall, the speedy and dazzling 5’8, 145-pound striker put on a show in his junior campaign for the Princeton men’s soccer team that turned heads all over the Ivy League.

Hoppenot led the league in scoring with nine goals and five assists for 23 points, helping the Tigers to a 13-4-1 overall record and the program’s first perfect 7-0 Ivy League record. Princeton won a program-record 12 consecutive games and matched the single-season mark for wins on its way to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

It was the third league crown in the 15-season tenure of head coach Jim Barlow, himself a local product from nearby Hightstown who went on to star for the Tigers.

While the season ended in disappointment with a 2-1 loss to Maryland-Baltimore County, Hoppenot reaped plenty of honors in recognition of his superb campaign. He was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and made two All-America teams.

Hoppenot was joined as an All-Ivy first-team performer by teammates senior Josh Walburn and sophomore Mark Linnville. Senior Benjamin Burton, senior Teddy Schneider, sophomore Lester Nare, and sophomore Matt Sanner were named second-team All-Ivy, while senior goalkeeper Sean Lynch earned honorable mention.

Winning five of six games during the middle of the season, the Princeton women’s soccer team fell just short of joining their male counterparts as Ivy champions. Head coach Julie Shackford’s team came into the final game of the season needing a win over Penn to clinch the title but could only muster a scoreless tie. The Tigers went 9-6-2 overall and 4-2-1 in Ivy play while Penn was 9-6-1 overall and 4-1-2 in Ivy action.

Four Princeton players earned All-Ivy recognition as sophomores Caitlin Blosser, Jen Hoy, and Alison Nabatoff were selected to the second team while freshman Gabriella Guzman was an honorable mention pick.

The Tiger field hockey team didn’t have to worry about any last-day drama as it breezed to its sixth Ivy crown and 11th in the last 12 years with a 7-0 league mark. Head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn saw her team rise to No. 3 in the national rankings but a second straight trip to the Final Four was derailed by injury issues.

Princeton was never quite the same after star and two-time Ivy Player of the year Katie Reinprecht broke her leg in mid-October. Reinprecht did return for the NCAA tournament and the Tigers were able to beat No 13 Wake Forest 3-1 in the first round before falling 4-2 to third-ranked Virginia in the national quarterfinals.

The Tigers ended the season at 14-5 and dominated the All-Ivy teams with nine players earning recognition. Junior striker Kathleen Sharkey was named the Ivy Player of the Year in a season which saw her lead the nation with 31 goals. Joining Sharkey as first-team All-Ivy picks were sophomore Michelle Cesan and the Reinprecht sisters, junior Katie and sophomore Julia. Amanda Bird earned second-team All-Ivy honors in her freshman campaign while sophomore Amy Donovan, senior Alexandra Douwes, junior Erin Jennings, and junior Alyssa Pyros earned honorable mention accolades.

Paced by junior star Alex Banfich, the Princeton women’s cross country continued Ivy dominance, cruising to its fifth straight Heps crown. Banfich took first while Ashley Higginson placed fourth, Mel Newbery was eighth, and Sarah Cummings came in ninth. Coach Peter Farrell’s team posted a score of 33, easily topping runner-up Columbia, which had a mark of 60.

Banfich went on to take 20th at the NCAA championship meet as the Tigers placed 15th in the team standings. Princeton has now finished in the top 15 six times in the last seven years and seven times in program history.

Local running legend Brian Leung, a former WW/P-S standout, and Donn Cabral led the way as the Princeton men’s cross country produced a memorable campaign. In the Heps, junior Cabral placed first with classmate Leung coming in fifth as the Tigers took the team title. It was the fourth title in the last five years for coach Steve Dolan’s program.

Leung and Cabral came up big two weeks later as the Tigers won its first-ever NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional crown. Leung placed fourth with Cabral fifth as Princeton out-dueled such traditional powers as Georgetown and Villanova for the title. Leung saved his best for last, taking 21st in the NCAA championship meet to earn All-American honors. Cabral placed 34th as the Tigers placed 12th in the team standings, their highest-ever finish in the national championship meet.

Goalie Mike Merlone was sharp all season long as the Princeton men’s water polo team won the CWPA Southern Division title and placed third in the CWPA Eastern Championships. Merlone, the program’s all-time leader in saves, was named as the CWPA Southern Division’s Most Valuable Player as head coach Luis Nicolao’s team ended the season with a 19-7 record.

Sophomore Lydia Rudnick emerged as a star, leading the Princeton women’s volleyball team to a fine campaign. Head coach Jolie Ward’s squad was in Ivy title contention for most of the fall, ending up 13-12 overall and 8-6 in Ivy play, good for a third place tie with Columbia.

Rudnick posted double-digit kills in 21 of 25 matches and had at least 10 digs in 12 matches as she earned first-team All-Ivy honors. Junior Cathryn Quinn joined Rudnick on the first team while junior Hilary Ford was an honorable mention choice.

Under new head coach Bob Surace, the Princeton football team was never in the hunt for the Ivy title as it suffered through a tough fall, victimized by injuries and poor execution. The Tigers went 1-9 overall and 0-7 in Ivy play, the program’s first winless season in league play since 1973.

Princeton lost such stars as quarterback Tommy Wornham, linebacker Steve Cody, and defensive lineman Caraun Reid, among many others, to injury at various times.

Senior running back Jordan Culbreath, though, provided an inspirational tale for the Tigers as he overcame a serious blood disease, aplastic anemia, to return to the gridiron after missing the last eight games of the 2009 campaign. Before having his season ended by a leg injury in November, Culbreath rushed for a team-high 384 yards to end his career with 1,935.

Senior receiver Trey Peacock escaped injury and produced a terrific season, making 72 catches for 955 yards and six touchdowns. Peacock earned first-team All-Ivy recognition and was a finalist for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which honors the Ivy Football Player of Year.

Hun School

It was a year of near misses for the Hun School boys’ basketball. Led by senior stars Tyler Melville, Ryan Adams, and Pendarvis Williams, the Raiders came within points of winning the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title, falling 47-45 to Blair Academy in the championship game.

In the state Prep A tourney, head coach Jon Stone’s team lost to Blair 55-53 in the semis to finish the winter with a 13-10 record.

The Hun girls’ hoops team struggled through a rebuilding year as it dealt with some heavy graduation losses. Seniors Lexee Liaskos and Lauren Shockley held things together as head coach Bill Holup’s team posted a 9-14 mark.

Joining the Independence Hockey League energized the Hun boys’ hockey team as it went 9-9-1. Seniors Parker Livingston, Sawyer Deitz, Zach Freedman, Matt O’Brien, and Ryan Samuels set a positive tone for head coach Francois Bourbeau’s squad.

Riding the arm and bat of Princeton University-bound Mike Ford, the Hun baseball team won the MAPL title. Senior star Ford produced a dominant performance as the Raiders blanked Mercersburg Academy 7-0 in the championship game. Ford struck out 15 in twirling a one-hit shutout for longtime Hun head coach Bill McQuade.

Ford, who also hit over .500 and had a four-homer game, couldn’t lead Hun to the state Prep A title as the Raiders were eliminated by Peddie in the semifinals and finished the spring at 15-5.

The one-two pitching punch of Meghan Hayes and Georgetown-bound Blair Sirockman led the Hun softball team to a solid spring as the Raiders posted nice wins. Head coach Kathy Quirk’s squad, though, faltered down the stretch as it fell to Lawrenceville in the state Prep A title game and came up short of the MAPL crown. Hun ended the spring at 12-8.

Sparked by its attack trio of Steffen Gratch, Will Sweetland, and Iain Alexandridis, the Hun boys’ lacrosse team showed some firepower under first-year head coach Tom Kelso. The Raiders posted an 8-9 record in Kelso’s debut campaign.

Senior Suzanne Arnold and freshman Kate Weeks were the big offensive threats for the Hun girls’ lax team which enjoyed another winning season as it went 10-5 under head coach Ali Kittle.

On the tennis court, sophomore Chris Seitz solidified his standing as one of the top players in the area as he placed second in first singles at the Mercer County Tournament for the second straight year. Under head coach Todd Loffredo, the Raiders took fourth in the MCT team standings.

Led by a gritty band of seniors, the Hun boys’ soccer team proved to be one of the tougher sides around. While head coach Pat Quirk’s team lost some tough games in the middle of the season, it saved its best for last.

With the MAPL title on the line in its season finale against Hill, the Raiders erupted for a 5-2 win, giving it back-to-back league titles for the first time in program history. The Raiders finished the fall at 10-4-3 as veterans Connor Stevenson, Federico Urdaneta, Connor Marino, Chris Leach, Julian Plummer, Brian Partriarca, Ryan Bruvik and post-grad Luis Romero-Arcia ended their careers in style.

Getting off to a 1-7-2 start going with a bevy of young players, the Hun girls’ soccer team didn’t look like it was going to contend for any titles. With junior striker Holly Hargreaves finding the range, head coach Ken Stevenson’s team rebounded to get in the hunt for the MAPL title. While the Raiders fell short as it lost to Hill 2-1 in its finale and ended up 4-10-3, the team’s progress over the last month of the season boded well for the future.

Living up to its recent history, the Hun field hockey team played well down the stretch. Head coach Kathy Quirk’s team pulled off two upsets to advance to the MCT semis as the No. 10 seed.

Hun nearly achieved a third stunner in the semis as senior goalie Kara Kettelkamp produced an amazing 13-save performance to a 2-1 loss to eventual county champion Robbinsville. The Raiders, who also advanced to the Prep A semis, ended the fall at 7-11-1 after a 1-3 start.

It was the opposite story for the Hun football team which flew out to a 4-0 start but faded to a 5-3 season. Head coach Dave Dudeck’s team just missed out on the MAPL title as it suffered close losses to Blair and Hill, falling 20-17 and 14-12, respectively, in those contests.

PDS

Sparked by the inside-out combination of junior center Tiffany Patterson and sophomore guard Janie Smukler, the PDS girls’ basketball team produced one of the best seasons in program history. The Panthers went 18-6 under head coach Jessica Katz, posting the second most wins in one season for the PDS squad.

Along the way, PDS advanced to the state Prep B finals where it fell to state power Gill St. Bernard’s. The Panthers did suffer a loss after the season as Katz moved overseas to teach at the American School of London. But with former College of New Jersey head coach Mika Ryan taking the helm, the program was in good hands.

Under the guidance of head coach and former Princeton University star Scott Bertoli, the PDS boys’ hockey team made program history as it won its first-ever MCT title. The Panthers topped cross-town foe Princeton High 3-0 in the championship game as freshman forward Alex Nespor was named as the tournament MVP.

The Panthers ended the winter at 12-13-1, harboring visions of more titles in the near future with nearly all of their top players returning.

Led by Cody Exter, A.J. Rubin and Davon Reed, the PDS boys’ basketball team made a spirited run in the MCT. Under the guidance of head coach Paris McLean, the 12th-seeded Panthers advanced to the county semis where they lost to powerful Pennington to end the winter at 11-14.

Sophomore forward Megan Ofner emerged as a top player for the PDS girls’ hockey squad, notching a team-high 41 points. Ofner’s production helped head coach Kat Smithson’s team post a 12-7 record.

Getting plenty of production from junior attacker Carly O’Brien and great leadership from seniors Courtland Lackey, Sheridan Gates and Caitlin Shannon, the PDS girls’ lacrosse team was one of the top stories of the spring.

The Panthers got off to a hot start and broke through with their first-ever MCT championship. Head coach Jill Thomas guided her team to a thrilling 11-10 overtime victory against perennial nemesis Hopewell Valley in the county semis and an 11-8 win over Great Road neighbor Stuart Country Day in the title game.

Although the PDS fell short of a title double as it lost 11-9 to Peddie in the state Prep A title game, the Panthers had plenty to be proud about in a spring which saw them go 14-4.

Led by a core of veteran stars, the PDS baseball team showed pride and grit as it won its first Prep state title since 2001. Senior standouts Jon Scott, Jim Fuhrman, Tim Barrett, Dylan Kelly, and Dennis Cannon helped the team pull off several dramatic rallies down the stretch of the season on the way to the title matchup against Rutgers Prep.

In the title game, the Panthers fell behind early before a Scott homer ignited a comeback and PDS pulled away to a 9-2 win. Head coach Ray O’Brien’s squad nearly made it a title double but lost a 4-3 nailbiter to top-seeded Steinert in the MCT semis. The Panthers finished the spring at 18-6.

Senior standout Neil Karandikar accomplished a personal grand slam, winning the first singles title in the MCT to make it four county titles, having won two at first singles as a junior and senior and two at second singles in the first two years of his career. PDS and head coach Rome Campbell saw its Prep B team title streak end at five as the Panthers were dethroned by Montclair Kimberley. Karandikar ended his PDS career with a 79-3 record.

Going with a lineup dotted with newcomers, head coach Kristen Wilson guided the PDS softball team to a rebuilding season. The Panthers went 4-11.

The PDS boys’ lax team also experienced a rough spring, going 6-10. Head coach Rob Tuckman’s squad, though, won games in both the MCT and Prep B tourney giving the program optimism for the future.

A group of committed seniors helped the PDS boys’ soccer team enjoy a magical fall. Relying on the skill and savvy of seniors Maxime Hoppenot, Kevin Francfort, Justin Ward, Dane Carberry, Hugo Meggitt, Will Powers, Peter Blackburn, Skye Samse, and Rob Smukler, head coach Malcom Murphy’s squad emerged as one of the top sides in the area.

In the MCT tournament, second-seeded PDS topped No. 1 and three-time champion Princeton High 1-0 in overtime in the title game. The Panthers’ dramatic win snapped a 41-game unbeaten streak for defending Group III state champion PHS.

A week later, the Panthers completed their title own double, edging Gill St. Bernard’s in the Prep B state championship game to end the fall at 17-2-2.

With its own core of senior stars, the PDS girls’ team nearly matched the achievements of its male counterparts. Led by seniors Laila Razzaghi, Jacqui Stevens, Kerry Dillon, Katie Gibson, Emily Jaeckel, Carly Kliment, Carly O’Brien, and the Frieder twins, Jess and Ali together with star junior Janie Smukler, the Panthers were seeded No. 1 in the state Prep B tournament and third in the MCT.

While the Panthers did get upset in the MCT quarterfinals, head coach Pat Trombetta’s team took care of business in the Prep B tourney. With Smukler tallying two goals and two assists, PDS breezed to a 4-0 win over Wardlaw-Hartridge in the title game to post a final record of 13-5-1.

The PDS boys’ cross country team also came up big in the Prep B championship meet as it posted a solid win over runner-up Oratory Prep to win its season straight state prep title. Senior star Adam Fisch set the pace for head coach Eamon Downey’s squad as he took first, covered the 3.1 mile course at Blair Academy in a time of 17:27.

Precocious sophomore star Samantha Asch gave PDS a title in girls’ tennis as she took the first singles crown in the MCT. Not having as much depth through the lineup when PDS took Prep team titles in 2008 and 2009, head coach Patty Headley’s squad placed fourth in the Prep B tourney.

Heading into the postseason, the PDS field hockey team seemed headed to some titles of its own, getting seeded first in the Prep B tourney and second in the MCT.

First-year head coach MC Heller’s squad, however, was thwarted by two local rivals in its championship quest. Hun edged the Panthers 2-1 in the MCT quarterfinals while Stuart topped PDS 4-1 in the Prep B semis.

While those losses stung, the Panthers had to be viewed as one of the more remarkable turnaround stories of the fall as they went 11-4-1, a marked improvement on the 3-12-1 record they posted in 2009. Senior star Sydney Jenkins was the driving force in the team’s rise, triggering the Panther offense with her speed and stick skills.

PHS

With sophomore Victor Honore emerging as one of the top performers in the area, the PHS boys’ swimming team enjoyed a terrific season. Honore, who was named the top male swimmer at the country meet, together with classmates Matt Kuhlik, Addison Hebert, Harun Filopovic, and Derek Colaizzo, led PHS to a second straight Public B central Jersey sectional title.

While head coach Greg Hand’s team fell in the state semis to powerful Haddonfield, the program appears poised to take the next step with its core of young talent.

Led by senior star Victoria Cassidy, the PHS girls’ swimmers matched their male counterparts as they also won the sectional title. A trio of freshman stars, Serena Deardorff, Jen Enos, and Marisa Giglio, added depth for coach Hand’s squad, which also fell in the state semifinals.

The PHS girls’ basketball tasted some glory in the state tournament as they qualified for the competition for the first time since the mid-1990s and posted a first-round win over Northern Burlington. Junior guard Molly Barber was the floor leader and top scorer for head coach Steffi Shoop’s team, which ended the season with a 10-15 record.

With senior star Skye Ettin providing offensive production and leadership, the PHS boy’s hoops team made its third straight trip to the state tournament. Head coach Jason Carter’s team, though, didn’t last long as it fell in the first round to Ocean Township, leaving it with a final record of 12-10.

Getting off to a 5-7-2 start, it didn’t look like the PHS boys’ hockey team was destined for any postseason glory. Although head coach Tim Campbell’s team didn’t make the state tournament, the squad produced an inspiring run in the MCT.

With sophomore goalie Josh Berger catching fire and junior co-captains Dean DiTosto and Fraser Graham providing leadership, the 9th-seeded Little Tigers upended No. 8 Notre Dame, top-seeded Hopewell Valley, and No. 5 WW/P-S on the way to the title game. While the Little Tigers fell to Princeton Day School 3-0 in the championship game to end with a 9-10-3 record, the late surge gave the team a lift heading into the 2010-11 campaign.

Sparked by high-scoring senior forward Gabby Vukasin, the PHS girls’ hockey team went 10-12 for new head coach Christian Herzog.

Showing that his shotmaking extended well beyond the ice, Fraser Graham made history for the PHS boys’ golf team once the spring rolled around. Graham won the program’s first-ever county individual title for head coach Sheryl Severance. A few weeks later, Graham accomplished an even more impressive first for the Little Tigers, winning the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title.

For most of the spring, the PHS boys’ lacrosse team appeared to be headed for a championship season. Led by senior stars Joe Sandford, Mike Olentine and the Bryant twins, Allen and Doug, the Little Tigers got off to a 13-3 start.

But head coach Peter Stanton’s team came up short in the MCT, falling to Notre Dame in the semis. Looking to put that disappointment behind it, PHS advanced to the Group II state championship game against Mendham, PHS jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but wilted in the 90 degree heat as it fell 7-6 to end the spring at 17-5.

Led by senior midfielder Meg Reilly and junior attacker Taylor Blair, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team also returned to the state tournament. Head coach Christie Cooper’s squad fell 17-8 to WW/P-N in the opening round of the tourney to end the spring at 6-7-1.

With distance runners Zaid Smart and Sean Pradhan together with quarter miler Max Reid setting the pace, the PHS boys’ track team had a superb spring. Head coach John Woodside’s team placed fifth at the county meet and fourth in the Central Jersey Group III sectional meet.

Sprinter Bryell Wheeler and pole vaulter Rebekka Vujolainen stood out for the PHS girls’ track team. Under head coach Jim Smirk’s guidance, the squad took eighth at the county meet and ninth in the sectional meet.

Led by seniors Kevin Cen and Aaron Wishnick, the PHS boys’ tennis team maintained its winning tradition. Head coach Sarah Hibbert’s squad placed sixth in the MCT and advanced to the sectional semifinals on the way to a 13-7 season.

In a program first, the PHS softball team made a trip to the state tournament. Led by senior Deanna Boehm and freshmen Maddie Cahill-Sanidas, Helen Eisenach, Marisa Gonzalez, Charlotte Gray, Byrne Fahey, and Hannah Gutierrez, head coach Craig Haywood’s team made a lot of progress as it went 8-17. The team matched the program record for single-season wins and improved from the 3-17 record posted in 2009.

The PHS baseball team, though, continued to struggle. Despite a group of seven seniors, head coach Dave Roberts’ squad went 5-18.

In the fall, the PHS boys’ soccer team picked up where it left off, coming off a 21-0-4 campaign in 2009 that culminated with a Group III state title. Head coach Wayne Sutcliffe’s team went 12-0-1 in the regular season and was seeded No. 1 in both the MCT and the Central Jersey sectional.

Unable to produce consistent finishing to go with its stingy defense, PHS suffered tough defeats in both county and state competition. The Little tigers fell 1-0 in overtime to PDS in the county final as it failed in its bid for a fourth straight MCT title. In the state tourney, a torrential downpour and a fired up Hopewell Valley squad proved to be a lethal combination as PHS dropped another 1-0 heartbreaker to end the fall at 16-2-1.

Although PHS didn’t have any titles to show for its good work, Sutcliffe was proud of his team’s brand of soccer and the leadership exhibited by seniors John Marsh, Ruben Morales, Lido Guzman, Andrei Spirin, and Marius Seager.

Fueled by the clutch scoring of senior Lexi Stasi and junior Logan O’Meara, the PHS girls’ soccer team made another trip to the state tournament. Head coach Greg Hand’s squad topped Holmdel 1-0 in the opening round before falling to 3-2 to Brick in finishing 10-8.

The PHS girls’ cross country team enjoyed one of its greatest state runs in recent history. Paced by the trio of Jenna Cody, Chrissy Glover and Maggie Sowa, the Little Tigers won the Central Jersey Group II sectional title and nearly won the in the Group III state meet as they trailed winner West Morris Mendham by a just two points. As a result, head coach Jim Smirk’s team qualified for the program’s first appearance at the Meet of Champions (MOC) since 2002.

Senior standout Zaid Smart set the pace for the PHS boy’s cross country team as it also produced a superb fall. Smart helped head coach John Woodside’s squad take third in the county meet and second in the sectionals. Smart placed ninth at the group meet and went on to compete in the MOC.

Led by singles stars Sarah Cen, Keely Herring, and Rachel Bergman, the PHS girls’ tennis team added another chapter to the program’s storied history. The Little Tigers placed second in the county tournament and advanced to the Central Jersey Group III sectional finals under head coach Sarah Hibbert.

Despite boasting a group of battle-tested seniors, the PHS field hockey team couldn’t build on the success it experienced in 2009 when it went 9-8. Head coach Heather Serverson’s squad went 6-10-1 this fall, falling in the first round of both the county and state tournaments.

Unable to overcome the loss of a special group of seniors to graduation, the PHS football team struggled in new head coach Joe Gargione’s debut season. The Little Tigers went 0-10, hurt by a spate of injuries and inexperience.

Stuart Country Day

Diamond Lewis had to carry the load for the Stuart Country Day School hoops team with backcourt running mates Amber Bowman and Jasmine Smarr sidelined by knee injuries. The dynamic Lewis proved to be up to the challenge as she averaged 19.5 points a game with five assists and five steals to help head coach Tony Bowman’s squad go 10-9.

Led by senior stalwarts Amanda Curnan, Kara Weeks, Sarah Schulte, Dewi Caswell, and Marielle Mahan the Stuart lacrosse team advanced to the state prep B and MCT title games. Head coach Sara Wagner’s squad, though, fell just short in the championship contests, falling 12-11 to Morristown-Beard in the Prep B final and 11-8 to PDS in the county title game. While those losses stung, the Tartans had a lot of positives to look back on in a 14-5 campaign.

In the early stages of the fall, it didn’t appear like the Stuart field hockey team was going to contend for any titles. Under new head coach Julie Lambi, the Tartans struggled to find a rhythm as they started 3-9.

But with seniors Whitney Charbonneau, Lara Agnew, and Kristi Hallowell holding the team together, Stuart produced a late surge that saw it end up in the state Prep B title game. Stuart upset Mo-Beard 2-1 and PDS 4-1 before falling 2-1 to Montclair Kimberley in the title game to end the season at 8-14-1.

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