Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 53
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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MOORE ACCOMPLISHMENT: Princeton University men’s hockey star Mike Moore, right, races up the ice in action last season. Moore’s leadership and bruising play helped the Tigers win ECAC Hockey title in 2007-2008. Moore was named as a first-team All-American and the top defenseman in the ECACH.

Tiger Athletes Made National Impact in 2008 While Traditional High School Powers Thrived

Bill Alden

When it came to Princeton University athletics in 2008, things were spiced up by teams who made their presence felt nationally.

The Tiger women’s squash team won its second straight Howe Cup national championship while the men’s hockey team ended the season in the Top 20 after winning the ECAC Hockey title and the women’s swimming team was ranked No. 18 nationally.

In the spring, the Princeton women’s lacrosse team advanced to the national quarterfinals while the men’s lightweight crew took fourth at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta.

Two women’s teams ended the fall in the Top 5 as the field hockey team made it to the NCAA quarters and finished fifth in the final national poll while the cross country team placed fifth at the NCAA championship meet.

Princeton athletes also graced the international stage as Caroline Lind ’06 helped the U.S. women’s eight to a gold medal in the Beijing Summer Olympics while classmate Steven Coppola rowed for the U.S. men’s eight that took bronze.

On the high school scene, several traditionally strong programs were dominant once again.

The Princeton High boys’ golf team won its second straight Group III state title while the Little Tiger girls swimming, girls’ tennis, and boys’ tennis team each won sectional titles. The PHS boys’ soccer team won a second straight Mercer County Tournament title.

The Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team and Stuart Country Day girls’ lacrosse team each won their fourth straight state Prep B title while the Hun School baseball team repeated as state Prep A champions.

Other perennial powers fell just short of state titles, including the Hun girls’ basketball and softball teams, the PDS boys’ hockey program, and the Stuart field hockey squad.

There were also some memorable upstarts as the PDS girls’ soccer team came out of nowhere to win the state Prep B title and the PHS boys’ basketball team made the state playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Winter Wonders

When the Princeton University men’s hockey team got routed 6-1 by Minnesota State in late December to fall to 5-8, it didn’t look like the head coach Guy Gadowsky’s Tigers were on track to continue the progress that had seen them advance to the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals in 2006-07.

But sparked by the leadership and heroic play of senior captain and defenseman Mike Moore, the Tigers righted the ship in a big way. Propelled by home sweeps of Harvard and Dartmouth and later Colgate and Cornell, Princeton worked its way up the ECACH standings.

With the line of Cam MacIntyre, Brett Wilson, and Lee Jubinville posting big offensive numbers and junior goalie Zane Kalemba emerging as one of the top tenders in the nation, Princeton won 14 of 19 games on its way to the ECACH Final Four in Albany.

Kalemba turned out to be the story of championship weekend, leading Princeton to a 3-0 win over Colgate in the semis and then coming up big a night later as Princeton stifled Harvard 4-1 in the championship game to win the program’s first ECACH crown since the 1997-98 season.

Princeton’s magical season ended with a 5-1 loss to North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers went down fighting, outshooting the Fighting Sioux 39-18 and displaying the free-wheeling style that fueled their rise into the nation’s Top 20.

The Tigers ended the season at 21-14, setting a program record for most wins in a season. Moore was named as a first-team All-American and the top defenseman in the ECACH while junior forward Jubinville also earned first-team All-American recognition and was chosen as the ECACH Player of the Year.

The Princeton women’s hockey team also fired up the Baker Rink fans with some gritty play. Head coach Jeff Kampersal’s club finished the season at 14-12-6, falling to Clarkson in an opening round ECACH playoff series.

The Tigers’ tough defense was recognized as junior defender Katherine Dineen was named as the ECACH’s top defensive defenseman while freshman defenseman Sasha Sherry was named to the league’s All-Rookie team and as a second-team All-ECAC performer. Junior goalie Kristen Young developed into a star in her own right, earning All-Ivy League honorable mention and getting voted as the team’s MVP.

In 2006-07, the Princeton women’s squash team produced a perfect 11-0 season on the way to the Howe Cup national collegiate team title. Last winter, the Tigers stumbled in the regular season, dropping matches to Penn and Trinity.

But when it counted most, head coach Gail Ramsay’s team produced another perfect ending, topping Yale in the national semis and then toppling No. 1 Penn in the championship match to earn a second straight national title.

Princeton native and senior tri-captain Carly Grabowsky provided one of the wins in the national championship match with co-captain Casey Riley and sophomore Neha Kumar and Emery Maine also picking up key victories in the triumph over Penn.

The Princeton men’s squash team also played for the national title but fell short in losing 8-1 to perennial champion Trinity. Junior star Mauricio Sanchez provided many highlights over the winter for the head coach Bob Callahan’s squad as he was named the Ivy League Player of the Year.

In the pool, the Princeton women’s swimming team continued its dominance of the Ivy League, winning its third straight league crown. The 18th-ranked Tigers finished more than 150 points better than runner-up Harvard in winning the program’s 18th league title and the 13th in the tenure of head coach Susan Teeter.

Sensational sophomore Alicia Aemisegger set the pace for the Tigers, getting named Ivy League Championships Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year and earning All-American status in the 1,650 freestyle, 500 free, 400 individual medley and the 800 free relay.

Aemisegger was joined at the NCAA meet by six teammates, including seniors Lisa Hamming and Brett Shiflett, juniors Justina DiFazio and Monika Friedman, fellow sophomore Courtney Kilkuts, and freshman Meredith Monroe.

The Princeton men’s swimming team fell just short of a title, finishing second to Harvard in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League (EISL) meet.

Junior Doug Lennox put together a superb campaign for head coach Rob Orr’s squad, earning All-American honors in the 200 butterfly and later competing for Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

On the hardwood, the Princeton men’s basketball team found itself as far from a title as it could be, going 6-23 overall and 3-11 in Ivy League play, good for a tie for 6th and last with Dartmouth and Harvard.

Senior co-captain and Princeton native Noah Savage starred down the stretch, making second-team All-Ivy and providing some nice moments for first-year head coach Sydney Johnson.

The Princeton women’s hoops program also welcomed a new coach as former Dartmouth standout Courtney Banghart took the helm for the Tigers. Like the men’s team, Princeton struggled as it adapted to its new mentor, posting an overall record of 7-23 and 4-10 in Ivy play.

Senior standout Meg Cowher ended her glittering career in style, averaging 17.7 points a game to win the league scoring title and earn a spot on the first-team All-Ivy squad for a third straight season. Cowher’s career total of 1,671 points left her second on the program’s all-time list behind only Sandi Bittler and the 1,683 points she accumulated.

Another program making its home in Jadwin Gym did come up big as the Princeton women’s track team won the Indoor Ivy league Heptagonal meet for the first time since 1998. Head coach Peter Farrell’s team piled up 114 points at the meet to edge runner-up Brown which had 107.

Standouts for the Tigers included distance runners Liz Costello and Sarah Cummings together with shot putter Isabell van Loga, sprinter Agatha Offorjebe, hurdler Lauren Barber, and pole vaulter Jess Kloss.

The Tiger men’s track team, meanwhile, took second in the Indoor Heps, trailing only Cornell. Head coach Fred Samara got good performances from distance runner Michael Maag, high jumper Justin Frick, middle distance runner Mike Eddy, and multi-event specialist Duane Hynes

Spring Stumbles

Even though the Princeton University softball team started the spring by going 3-17, first-year head coach Trina Salcido wasn’t flustered.

With her team having lost seven of those games by one run and a lineup packed with powerful hitters, Salcido figured her Tigers would eventually get rolling.

Once in Ivy League play, the Tigers turned into a juggernaut, going 14-0 to start the league campaign.

Princeton’s power made the difference as Princeton outlasted Cornell to win the Ivy South crown. In a decisive doubleheader on the last Sunday of the regular season, the Tigers pounded out six homers at its Class of 1895 Field to rally to 6-5 and 12-11 wins.

Sophomore Jamie Lettire was the star of the day as she had the go-ahead home run in game one and the game-winning blast in game two. Senior Kat Welch also provided a lot of punch as she slugged a total of three homers on the afternoon.

A week later, Princeton rode the pitching of Lettire and senior ace Kristen Schaus it swept Harvard 4-2 and 5-1 to win the best-of-three Ivy championship series.

Princeton would end the season by falling to Massachusetts 6-0 and Lehigh 7-4 in the NCAA Amherst Regional. While the Tigers had hoped for a better final weekend, they were comforted by an Ivy title and a final record of 25-24, two accomplishments which seemed highly unlikely in early April.

Boasting a solid trio of starting pitchers in Stephen Miller, Christian Staehely, and Brad Gemberling, the Princeton baseball team was a strong contender for an NCAA berth.

But head coach Scott Bradley’s team could never find a rhythm offensively as it produced an up-and-down campaign that saw the Tigers post an overall 20-22 record and an 11-9 mark in Ivy play,good for second in the Gehrig Division.

Princeton senior star third baseman Spencer Lucian and powerful sophomore catcher Jack Murphy provided most of the offense as they hit .425 and .391, respectively, on the way to earning first-team All-Ivy status.

Like the baseball team, the Princeton men’s lacrosse team was plagued by inconsistency. Head coach Bill Tierney’s team showed flashes of brilliance in wins over Hofstra, Cornell, and Harvard.

The Tigers showed offensive flair in dispatching NCAA tournament-bound Hofstra and Cornell while producing a dramatic comeback against Harvard in rallying from a late two-goal deficit to pull out an overtime triumph.

But in the last two weekends of the season, Princeton came up short in tight losses to Dartmouth and Brown to finish 7-6 overall and 4-2 in Ivy play.

The Tigers missed out on the NCAA tourney for just the second time in the last 19 years. Bruising senior defenseman Dan Cocoziello did receive national acclaim as he garnered first-team All-American honors to go with his unanimous selection as a first-team All-Ivy performer.

Led by a group of decorated junior performers that featured Holly McGarvie, Molly McKenna, Christine Casaceli, and Katie Cox, the Princeton women’s lacrosse team did make it to the NCAA tournament for the 11th straight season.

Head coach Chris Sailer’s team topped Vanderbilt 14-10 in the opening round of the national tournament before falling to eventual national champion Northwestern 18-11 in the national quarterfinals.

The Tigers ended the season at 13-5 overall and 5-2 in league play with both McGarvie and McKenna gaining first-team All-Ivy recognition.

In late May, head coach Sailer was notified of the greatest honor in the sport as she was chosen as a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Sailer, who joins men’s coach Tierney as a Hall of Famer, has complied a 282-96 record in her distinguished 22-year tenure which has featured national crowns in 1994, 2002, and 2003.

Over at Lake Carnegie, the Princeton crews were also in the national title hunt. Head coach Curtis Jordan’s men’s heavyweight boat took third at the eastern Sprints but faded to 12th in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta.

The Tiger men’s heavyweight program did have a special moment in August as Princeton alum Steve Coppola helped the U.S. men’s eight capture bronze at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

The men’s lightweight crew attained the No. 1 ranking in early May and proved to be a formidable competitor in championship competition. Head coach Greg Hughes’ top boat took second at the Eastern Sprints and fourth in the IRA regatta.

For most of the spring, the Princeton women’s lightweight crew held the No. 1 ranking as the boat put together an undefeated regular season. But head coach Paul Rassam’s rowers fell just short in the postseason, placing second at the Eastern Sprints and taking fifth at the IRA.

With a boat featuring mainly underclassmen athletes, Princeton open crew head coach Lori Dauphiny knew she was in for a bumpy ride. The Tigers did show potential at the end of the spring as they took fourth in the Eastern Sprints, making Princeton one of the few programs to be included in every NCAA championship regatta since the inaugural event in 1997. Things, though, didn’t go well for Princeton in the NCAAs as the top boat took 12th.

In the summer, however, the program took pride as one of its alums, Caroline Lind, helped the U.S. women’s eight take the gold medal in the Beijing Summer Olympics.

At the track, the Princeton women’s team had plenty of medal winners as head coach Peter Farrell’s athletes placed a close second to Cornell in the Outdoor Ivy Heptagonal championships. Jolee Van Leuven won the 10,000 and Ashley Higginson took first in the 5,000 with Jess Kloss winning the pole vault and Isabell van Loga placing first in the shot put.

Throwers Eric Plummer and Alex Pessala together with distance runner David Nightingale and high jumper Justin Frick starred as head coach Fred Samara’s Tiger track team also placed second to Cornell in the Outdoor Heps. Nightingale and Frick went on to qualify for the NCAA championship meet where Frick made the finals.

Fall Fun

The fall season for Princeton opened on a beautiful early September evening as the Tiger men’s and women’s soccer teams christened Roberts Stadium, the school’s new state-of-the-art soccer facility.

The Tiger women’s team stole the show that night, topping Boston University 2-1 in overtime with senior Sarah Peteraf scoring the game-tying goal in regulation.

That win was a harbinger of things to come as head coach Julie Shackford’s side won one nailbiter after another with Peteraf providing a number of clutch goals.

The Tigers ended up sharing the Ivy title with Harvard, going 5-1-1 in league play. Making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since its 2004 run to the Final Four, Princeton was on the wrong side of a tight one, falling to West Virginia 2-1 and ending the season at 12-3-2.

Peteraf ended the season with 12 goals after scoring a total of four in her first three years. Peteraf was named as a first-team All Ivy performer along with classmates Lisa Chinn, Taylor Numann and sophomore goalkeeper Aly Pont.

While the Princeton men’s soccer team boasted such all Ivy performers as former Hun star Matt Care, former PDS standout Antoine Hoopenot together with Devin Muntz and Ben Burton, the Tigers couldn’t overcome a sluggish start.

Head coach Jim Barlow’s team got out of the gate at 2-8-1 and looked like it was headed to a dismal season. But going 3-1-2 in its last six games, Princeton ended up at 5-9-3 overall and 2-2-3 in Ivy play, good for a fifth-place tie with Brown in the league standings.

Led by a core of seniors and two dazzling freshman, the Princeton University field hockey team ran the table in Ivy play, posting an unblemished 7-0 league mark.

Seniors Sarah Reinprecht, Holly McGarvie, and Kraftin Schreyer were first-team All-Ivy performers along with freshmen Katie Reinprecht and Kathleen Sharkey as head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn’s team climbed into the top ten by the end of the regular season. The younger Reinprecht was the Ivy Player of the Year while Sharkey was voted as the league’s top rookie.

In the NCAA regional play, the Tigers blanked Penn State 2-0 before falling to No. 3 and host Syracuse 3-2 in overtime in the national quarterfinals. The loss left the Tigers with a final record of 17-3. In the final national poll, Princeton was ranked fifth.

The Princeton University women’s cross country team also finished in the top 5 in the nation as it took fifth in the NCAA championship meet. Junior star Liz Costello led the way for the Tigers, taking 11th in the individual standings with senior Megan Brandeland taking 42nd and freshman Alex Banfich coming in 49th.

Head coach Peter Farrell’s team set the pace all fall long as it tied for first in the Mid-Atlantic Regional meet, took first in the Pre-National Meet, and placed second in the Notre Dame Invitational.

The team’s most historic effort came at the Ivy League Heps championships on Halloween where the Tigers were scary good in winning their third straight team title. Led by first-pace finisher Costello, Princeton posted a championship best score of 17, taking first, second, third, fifth and sixth, topping the previous best by six points.

The Princeton men’s cross country team also won its third straight Heps crown as it edged Columbia by three points. Senior Michael Maag finished in second place to pace head coach Steve Dolan’s team.

Maag and freshman Brian Leung, a former WW/P-S standout, went on to qualify as individuals for the NCAA Championship meet where they finished 79th and 121st, respectively.

Junior running back Jordan Culbreath spent the fall running through and around foes for the Princeton football team. Culbreath saved his best for last, galloping for 276 yards in a 28-10 season-ending win over Dartmouth. It was the second-best single-game total in Princeton history behind only the 299 gained by Keith Elias against Lafayette in 1992.

Culbreath ended the season as the leading rusher in the Ivy League with 1,206 yards. Despite Culbreath’s heroics, head coach Roger Hughes’ team couldn’t find a winning rhythm as it went 4-6 overall and 3-4 in Ivy play, good for fifth in the league standings.

The Princeton men’s water polo team did come up with a major win as it edged Navy 12-11 on a late Eric Vreeland goal to win the Southern Championship. Head coach Luis Nicolao’s team, though, fell 9-6 in a rematch with Navy in the finals of the Eastern Championships to end the season at 19-10.

Led by a core of seniors, the Princeton women’s volleyball team fell just short of the Ivy League title, going 18-4 overall and 12-2 in league play. Unfortunately for head coach Glenn Nelson’s team, Yale went 13-1 in Ivy play to take the league crown.

Seniors Lindsey Ensign and Parker Henritze were unanimously voted first-team All-Ivy selections while classmate Bailey Robinson was a second-team All-Ivy choice.

Hun School

It was a season of near misses for the Hun School’s winter teams. On the hardwood, the Hun boys’ basketball team faced its usual complement of high-powered foes. While head coach Jon Stone’s Raiders held their own, they lost in the semifinals of both the state Prep A and Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournaments on the way to a 13-12 season.

A trio of senior standouts, Lance Goulbourne, Sterling Melville, and Doug Davis performed valiantly all winter long for the Raiders. The trio has taken their skills to the next level, with Goulbourne at Vanderbilt, Melville at Colgate, and Davis across town at Princeton, where he is the Tigers’ leading scorer.

The Hun girls’ program produced another strong season, going 19-8. But head coach Bill Holup’s squad succumbed to its Peddie curse, once again falling to the Falcons in the state Prep A and MAPL title games.

Senior forward Emily Gratch ended her career in style, averaging 17.0 points a game. Gratch, who is currently playing at Lehigh, started all four years at Hun and totaled 1,585 career points, second best in program history behind Courtney Tierney.

On the ice, the Hun boys’ hockey team went through a midseason slump as it fell to 4-7 at one point. But head coach Francois Bourbeau’s team produced a late surge, advancing to the semifinals of both the Mercer County Tournament and state Prep A tourney.

Junior netminder Travis Potts was the team’s backbone, keeping the Raiders close in many a contest as the squad finished with a 10-12 record.

Coming into the spring, longtime Hun baseball head coach Bill McQuade wasn’t sure his team had the firepower to repeat as the state Prep A champions. McQuade’s fears seemed justified as the Raiders lost eight of nine games after starting 7-0.

Riding the superb moundwork of senior stars Mike Russo and David Putman, Hun caught fire when it counted, rolling to a second straight Prep A championship, routing Peddie 10-1 in the title clinching game. The Raiders ended with a record of 13-8 as McQuade savored the first back-to-back titles in his 38 seasons guiding the Raiders.

The Hun softball got off to a sluggish start, going 4-4 in its first eight games. But with the bats coming alive and sophomore Meghan Hayes developing into an ace, the Raiders made a late-season run.

Head coach Kathy Quirk’s squad won eight in a row to advance to the state Prep A title game where they succumbed to powerful Peddie. Cornell-bound Morgan Cawley was a steadying influence for the Raiders, fielding superbly at shortstop and providing numerous clutch hits including a game-winning homer in a regular season win over Peddie.

The Hun boys’ lacrosse team produced another solid campaign, going 11-9 and falling to Peddie in overtime in the state Prep A semifinals. Junior attacker Zach Martin was a revelation for head coach Greg Provenzano’s squad, scoring 97 points in earning first-team All-Bianchi Division and first-team All-MAPL honors.

As for the Hun girls’ lax team, longtime boys’ hoops coach Stone took the helm for Lauren Provenzano and proved to be a quick study.

Instilling a free-wheeling offense, Stone guided the Raiders to a 12-5 season as they advanced to the MCT semis and the Prep A quarters. A trio of senior standouts. Sarah Appelt, Bridget Stinson, and Melissa Marino, triggered the team’s superb campaign.

Senior star Goulbourne proved that he had talents on another court as well, winning the state Prep A title at first singles, providing a major highlight for head coach Joan Nuse’s boys’ tennis squad.

The injury bug hit the Hun football team in preseason practice when DeOliver Davis suffered a season-ending broken leg. Coming off of a 9-0 campaign when everything fell in place, it was a Murphy’s Law fall for Hun when it came to injuries.

At various points during the season, Raider head coach David Dudeck was without the services of Chris Alston, Nolan MacMillan, Anthony LaLota, Eli Tenuda, Nick Williams, Brian Leffler, and Tyler Stockton.

Predictably, Hun struggled, ending the season with a disappointing 4-4 mark. Dudeck’s son, junior quarterback Brendan, emerged as a proficient player for the Raiders, passing for 1,023 yards and rushing for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Getting off to 3-6 start, the Hun field hockey team looked like it was heading for a disappointing season itself. But with head coach Kathy Quirk emphasizing aggressive play around the cage and gifted senior attacker Addie Godfrey executing that strategy, the Raiders caught fire.

The Raiders put together a 5-0-2 stretch as they headed into post-season play. Hun ended up advancing to the MCT semis, shocking top-seeded Robbinsville in the quarters. The Raiders also advanced to the state Prep semis as they ended up 9-8-2 on the season with Godfrey tallying eight goals and five assists to lead the team in both categories.

While it failed in its bid to win a seventh-straight MCT team title, the Hun girls’ tennis team had a solid campaign. Head coach Joan Nuse’s team went 10-3 and finished second in the team standings in the state Prep A tournament.

The Raiders were led by junior Kara Shoemaker at first singles while two international newcomers, Swedish native Beatrice Falk and Spaniard Natalia Arenales, starred at second and third singles, respectively.

The addition of post-graduate newcomer Arielle Collins, a former Steinert standout, gave the Raiders a lift. Collins scored a team-high 14 goals with Blake Stockton next with five as head coach Ken Stevenson’s team went 6-7.

The Hun boys’ soccer program welcomed a new head coach in Pat Quirk. While the Raiders got off to a spotty start as the players adjusted to Quirk and some heavy graduation losses, they grew into a formidable side.

Led by versatile senior Ryan Kreger, who started the season on defense but then became the team’s top scoring threat from the midfield with seven goals, Hun advanced to the state Prep A semifinals. Although Hun dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to perennial state Prep camp St. Benedict’s and ended the fall at 8-10-2, the team’s progress portends good things in the future.

Princeton Day School

In past winters, the Princeton Day School ice hockey programs have garnered much of the attention.

But last winter, two new head coaches breathed life into the Panther basketball teams.

On the boys’ side, former PDS star athlete Paris McLean took the helm and paid immediate dividends as his team roared out of the gate with a 9-0 start.

The hard-charging trio of Antoine Hoppenot, Joe Rogers, and Kenny Holzhammer proved to be a handful for foes all winter long.

While the Panthers stumbled a bit in mid-season, the team made a nice late run to advance to the state prep semifinals where they fell to second-seeded Collegiate. PDS did end up with a share of the Patriot Conference title and a 14-14 record, a major improvement on the 3-18 mark posted in 2006-07.

As for the girls, Jessica Katz moved up to the head coach spot from a previous role as assistant and injected a new spirit into her charges.

Led by senior guard Hannah Epstein and precocious freshman center Tiffany Patterson, the Panthers turned heads by posting wins over such Prep A foes as Blair and Lawrenceville.

PDS ended up advancing to the Prep A semis where it fell to Hun. That setback, though, couldn’t diminish a winter of progress which saw the Panthers go 12-12, a big jump from the 6-15 record the team had the previous winter.

A pair of new co-head coaches, Kat Smithson and Gretchen Jaeckel, gave the PDS girls’ hockey team a lift. With the program short on numbers and facing the possibility of not fielding a team, the two coaches attracted a bevy of newcomers to the sport.

With such veterans as Katherine Levinton, Noni Ammidon, Georgia Travers and Bryanna Mayes leading the way, the neophytes picked up the game quickly and the team became more and more competitive as the season went on. PDS ended the season at 9-11-1 and, more importantly, laid the foundation for future success.

Junior goalie Nick Jabs took the PDS boys’ hockey team on his back, producing one superb effort after another as the Panthers held their own as they faced their usual highly competitive schedule.

With senior Clint O’Brien and junior standout John Inman providing much of the offense to go with Jabs’ efforts in the net, head coach Scott Bertoli’s Panthers advanced to the championship game in both the state Prep tournament and the Mercer County Tournament. While PDS came up short in both of those games, the team showed plenty of character in going 13-7-3 on the season.

Once spring rolled around, the PDS baseball team started rolling. Head coach Bruce Devlin’s squad roared out of the gate to a 13-1 start.

With a powerful lineup paced by senior stars O’Brien, Mike Shimkin, and Mark Madden together with sophomore Jon Scott and a strong pitching staff anchored by sophomore Jim Fuhrman, the Panthers ran roughshod over most of their foes.

The Panthers, though, ended the season on a down note, falling in the quarterfinals of the MCT and state Prep B tournament. The team, which ended the spring with a 16-4 record, suffered another loss after the season as Devlin left the program and ended up as the offensive coordinator for the Notre Dame High football team.

Led by Duke-bound senior singles star David Holland, the PDS boys’ tennis team was head and shoulders above most of its competition over the spring.

In the MCT, head coach Rome Campbell’s Panthers took second in the team standings as Holland won at first singles with Neil Karandikar winning at second singles and Alvin Song taking the title at third singles.

PDS capped the season by edging Gil St. Bernard’s by one point in the state Prep B tournament to win the program’s fourth straight team title in that competition. Holland ended his career with a fourth straight Prep B title at first singles, going undefeated over his final three years of high school play.

The PDS girls’ lax team made their presence felt in the MCT as they made it to the championship game for a second straight year.

Led by senior star Hannah Epstein, junior Cammie Linville and the Jenkins sisters, Mariel and Sydney, head coach Jill Thomas’ team produced some memorable moments over the spring.

The Panthers topped WW/P-N and rival Stuart on the way to the MCT title game where they lost to Hopewell Valley for a second straight year. The Panthers ended the season at 11-7 and with hopes for a bright future as they only lost Epstein and two other seniors.

With such young guns as Iain Alexandridis, Aaron Shavel, Ian Crowell and Theo Casey, the PDS boys’ lax team is also looking forward to the future. Head coach Rob Tuckman’s team suffered some growing pains in 2008 as they went 4-12.

Under new head coach Bob Wilson, the PDS softball team showed growth as it went 7-8. Sophomore ace Jen Auerbach matured into a superb pitcher and should be the foundation for the Panthers in 2009.

Coming into the fall, PDS girls’ soccer head coach Pat Trombetta thought his squad had promise. But with a lineup dominated by sophomores and freshmen, Trombetta figured that the team was a year away from being a title contender.

When the team started 4-3, those concerns seemed justified. But with freshman Janie Smukler emerging as one of the top scorers in the area and seniors Cammie Linville and Erin Cook providing skill and poise, the Panthers caught fire.

PDS ended up going 10-2-1 in its last 13 games, capping the run with a dramatic 2-1 overtime win against Montclair Kimberley Academy in the state Prep B title game. Defenseman Cook ended her career with a bang, scoring both PDS goals in the title game, converting long free kicks.

The PDS boys’ soccer team also featured young stars in Robbie Smukler, Justin Ward, Paul Zetterberg, and Maxime Hoppenot but didn’t experience the success of the girls’ team. Head coach Malcolm Murphy’s team went 7-12-1, dropping several nailbiters along the way.

The Jenkins sisters, senior Mariel and sophomore Sydney, provided the bulk of the offense for the PDS field hockey team. Harvard-bound Mariel scored 10 goals while Sydney added nine. The rest of head coach Jill Thomas’ team accumulated 14 as the Panthers couldn’t quite get over the hump in a 7-11 campaign.

Hurt by a lack of depth, the PDS football team experienced in rough season in the debut campaign of new head coach Rick Mabes. The Panthers edged Morrisville (Pa.) 7-6 in its opener and never won again in going 1-7.

Princeton High

Taking over a boys’ basketball program that had struggled and had gone 7-15 in 2006-07, Jason Carter figured to inject some competitive fire into his players.

Carter, a football, basketball, and lacrosse star at PHS who went on to play football and soccer at Rowan College, got his team rolling right from the start as it routed Lawrence 73-40 in its season opener.

With DeQuan Holman and Brian Dunlap starring in the backcourt and Skye Ettin and A.J. Dowers performing well in the paint, the Little Tigers were competitive all winter long.

PHS achieved one of Carter’s major goals as it qualified for the state playoffs for the first time since 2001. Playing at No. 4 Monmouth in the Central Jersey sectionals, 13th-seeded PHS battled hard before succumbing 71-58. But the loss appeared to be a learning experience on the way to bigger and better things with Holman, Dunlap, Ettin, and Dowers all slated to return for 2008-09.

The PHS girls’ hoops program also welcomed a new coach in Steff Shoop but continued to struggle. While Shoop’s animated approach resonated with her players, PHS went 1-20.

On the ice, Tim Campbell took over as the head coach of the PHS boys’ hockey team with the departure of longtime coach Paul Merrow who ended up at Hopewell Valley. With a roster depleted by graduation and hurt by subpar goaltending, PHS went 4-17.

But there was hope on the horizon with the improvement of such returning players as Jeff Goeke, Billy Ward, Fraser Graham, Peter Twining, and Dean DiTosto.

There was reason for hope for Jeff Schneider as he became the head coach of the PHS girls’ hockey team. Featuring such productive players as Gabby Vukasin, Olivia Ray, Blair Thompson, Maddy Sturm, and Katie Carreno together with improving goalie Olivia Bayles, PHS went 10-11-1 and qualified for the semis of the WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic).

With a quartet of senior stars in Kathleen Morrison, Jordan Shapiro, Liz Cava, and Paige Johnson, the PJHS girls’ swimming team advanced to the Public B state semifinals.

Head coach Hand’s team saved its best swimming for the Central Jersey sectional, posting impressive wins over Point Pleasant Beach and Ocean Township on the way to the title.

While the PHS seniors wanted to go further in the states, they ended the winter knowing they had given it their all to the end in the team’s 11-4 campaign.

A pair of seniors, Tim Perkins and Brad Dewey, provided some impressive leadership for the PHS boys’ swimming team. Anchoring a team that didn’t have the depth of many of its foes, Perkins and Dewey led the Little Tigers to a 7-6 record and a spot in the sectional semifinals.

The spring season saw the PHS boys’ tennis team dominate the headlines. Led by a quartet of battle-hardened seniors in Matt Ullmann, Ari Silver, Ben Weingarten, and David Zheng, the Little Tigers dropped just one match in regular season play.

In post-season action, head coach Sarah Heyman’s team outlasted WW/P-N in the Central Jersey Group III sectional semifinal and then cruised past Ocean Township to take the sectional title.

In the Group III state semis, the Little Tigers gave powerful Millburn all it could handle before falling 3-2 to end the season with an 18-2 record.

Led by a triumvirate of senior stars in Curtis Smith, Jon Bichsel, and Will Madden, the PHS boys’ golf team was frustrated as it placed second in the Mercer County Tournament and the Group III Central-South Jersey sectional.

But saving their best for last, head coach Sheryl Severance’s Little Tigers came through in the Tournament of Champions, placing sixth overall and first among Group III teams to earn the program’s second straight state title.

Riding a late-season surge that saw it go 5-2 in its last seven games, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team ended up making it to the second round in both the MCT and state tournament.

Junior stars Liz Price and Mie Graham led the way as PHS finished 8-7 in what turned out to be her last campaign for longtime head coach Joyce, who stepped down after the season.

Going with a youth movement by necessity, the PHS boy’s lacrosse program took its lumps. With senior attacker Brandon Polakoff sparking the offense and junior goalie Jeff Goeke holding the fort on defense, PHS put up some good fights as it learned some valuable lessons.

Head coach Peter Stanton’s team went 4-10 and missed out on the state tournament for the first time in years.

With Goeke coming back along with such promising players as Mike Olentine, Michael Irving and the Bryant brothers, Allen and Doug, PHS hopes to get back on the winning track in 2009.

The PHS baseball team has a long way to go to get on the winning track as it posted a 1-22 season for head coach Scott Goldsmith.

Likewise, the PHS softball is in a rebuilding mode as it went 3-18 in head coach Craig Haywood’s second campaign.

As for the PHS track teams, several individual athletes produced superb performances. Head coach John Woodside’s boys’ team was led by senior throwing star John McCormack who won the javelin as PHS finished 14th in the Group III sectionals.

The Little Tiger girls showed depth in the 400 hurdles where junior star Hannah Davis placed third and senior standout Olivia Johnston took sixth as PHS finished 11th in the team standing at the sectional meet. Other stars for head coach Jim Smirk’s team included freshman Rebekka Vuojolainen who placed second in the triple jump at the sectional with senior star Megan Wiseman took fourth in the long jump.

Coming into the fall, it appeared that the PHS boys’ soccer team may take a step backwards with the graduation of such stars as Kyle DeBlois, Ari Silver, Pablo Espichan, Diego Reinero, and Pete McInerney.

But with senior striker Sam Kotowski sparking the offense and classmates Nick Hughes, Corey Marsh, Will Slade and Chris Bechler, Jon Beissinger, and Anastacio Perez all making solid contributions, the Little Tigers didn’t miss a beat.

Head coach Wayne Sutcliffe’s team got out of the gate with an 8-0 start as Kotowski scored one game-winning goal after another. The Little Tigers stubbed their toe in the midseason, losing to WW/P-N and Steinert in one week.

But with the addition of sophomore transfer Paul Ehrenworth, PHS went on a roll that saw the program win its second straight MCT title. The Little Tigers outlasted WW/P-N in the semis in an overtime thriller and then blanked Pennington in the MCT title game as goalie Steve Hellstern led the way.

In the state tournament, PHS ran into nemesis WW/P-N in the sectional semifinals and came up on the short end of another overtime nailbiter, falling 2-1 to end the season at 17-4. Kotowski produced a season for the agers, amassing a school-record 31 goals with 14 of them game-winners.

The PHS football team fell just short of qualifying for the state playoffs. After getting routed by Nottingham on opening day, head coach Steve Everette’s team reeled off five wins in a row and seemed headed to a second straight state tourney berth.

But the Little Tigers suffered tight losses to Hightstown and Notre Dame to fall out of contention for the tournament. A 38-18 loss to visiting Hamilton in an NJSIAA consolation contest left PHS at 5-5. But with a blue-chip junior class that includes Josh Gordon, Trevor Barsamian, Mike Olentine, Skye Ettin, and Brian Vieten, the Little Tigers should be in the state tournament hunt next fall.

Another team that didn’t reach the state tournament was the PHS field hockey team which welcome new head coach Heather Serverson, who replaced longtime coach Joyce Jones. The Little Tigers won just two games on the fall as it worked a number of younger players into the lineup.

Over at the tennis court, a group of young players prospered as the PHS girls’ tennis team enjoyed a fine season. Notwithstanding a lineup featuring two juniors, two sophomores, and three freshmen, head coach Sarah Heyman’s Little Tigers piled up win after win over the fall.

The Little Tigers brought an 11-0 record into its Central Jersey Group III sectional semifinal match with Holmdel but ended up gaining some hard experience as they fell 5-0. PHS regrouped after that and finished the regular season with a sparkling 17-2 record.

Overcoming tragedy, the Princeton High girls’ cross country team made an impact in state competition, taking third in the Central Jersey Group III sectional.

Earlier in the fall, the Little Tigers were devastated when sophomore runner Helene Cody died from a brain aneurism.

Head coach Jim Smirk and senior captains Molly Lynch and Mina Juhn showed leadership in holding the team together. Cody’s younger sister, freshman star, Jenna, showed courage to go with her talent as she continued to set the pace for PHS as she dealt with the tragedy.

The Little Tigers ended the fall with a sixth-place finish in the state Group II meet.

Led by senior co-captains Chris Vasseur and Aaron Deutsch and emerging sophomore star Aaron Thomas, the PHS boys’ cross country team also made strides. Head coach John Woodside’s Little Tigers finished fifth in the county meet and placed sixth in the sectional meet.

Stuart Country Day

The addition of talented freshmen Amber Bowman and Jasmine Smarr helped the Stuart basketball team turn into one of the more entertaining teams in the area.

The two combine with dynamic sophomore guard Diamond Lewis to produce an up-tempo style that gave foes fits all winter long.

Lewis averaged 17.8 points a game while Bowman scored 13.4 and Smarr chipped in 9.6.

Head coach Tony Bowman’s team advanced to the state Prep B semifinals and finished the winter with a 14-10 mark.

Once spring rolled around, junior stars Caroline Passano and Elizabeth Bucklee combined to form a potent one-two scoring punch for the Stuart lacrosse team.

With Passano scoring 103 points on 57 goals and 46 assists, and Bucklee firing in 82 goals, head coach Sara Wagner’s team was able outgun just about every foe it faced.

The Tartans topped Pennington to win its fourth straight state Prep B title and ended up advancing the MCT semis and finishing the spring with a 13-5 record.

The Stuart track team placed second in the state Prep B championship meet. Diamond Lewis led the way for the Tartans, winning the 100-meter dash, the 200, and the 400. Alaina Gaines also came up big, winning the discus and shot put.

Senior star Jackie Gaudioso-Radvany entered the fall looking to go out with a bang for the Stuart field hockey team. The North Carolina-bound Gaudioso-Radvany achieved that goal, ending up with 30 goals and 17 assists and becoming the first player in country history with 100 career goals.

Gaudioso-Radvany’s offensive production helped head coach Katie Grant’s team reach the MCT championship game and the state Prep semis and finish 18-6 on the season.

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