Vol. LXV, No. 10
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)caption:
POSITIVE EXPERIENCE: Members of the Princeton Day School girls hockey team are all smiles as they hosted their annual PDS Invitational tournament this season. The Panthers enjoyed a superb winter, going 11-5-5 and winning the the B bracket tournament at the WIHLMA (Womens Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) playoffs.
For the Princeton Day School girls hockey team, its final period of the season exemplified both the improvement it made this season and its promise for the future.
Trailing Summit High 2-0 after two periods, PDS got goals from senior Carly OBrien and freshman Mimi Matthews to pull out a 2-2 tie.
In the view of PDS head coach Kat Smithson, it was was fitting that a senior leader and a precocious freshman combined to lead the rally.
We wanted to make that last game special; we wanted no ifs, ands, or buts, we wanted to play hard for the seniors, asserted Smithson, whose team ended the winter with an 11-5-5 record.
Carly is one of the most selfless players; instead of scoring, she is always thinking about ways to assist her teammates. The girls are always telling to her shoot and it was good to see her score. Mimi is a bigger threat than she realizes; she has continued to gain confidence. She realizes that she can do it at this level; she has a drive to the goal.
The Panthers displayed a collective drive this winter to become a force in the WIHLMA (Womens Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic).
I think it was a great season; we learned a lot about the league, said Smithson.
The girls understand and realize that it is important to have league wins and not ties. They know that they have to take the responsibility to not only learn about the other teams but to realize what they can do better. In the past, we were happy to just have a good season. This group wants to take the program to a higher level.
While the Panthers were happy to win the B bracket tournament at the WIHLMA playoffs, PDS wants to break into the A bracket, which includes the top four teams in the league standings.
We really wanted to be in the A bracket but winning the B was a tremendous achievement, said Smithson, whose team topped Shady Side (Pa.) 2-0 and Hill School (Pa.) 2-1 on its way to the B crown.
We havent done that since Gretchen [assistant coach Gretchen Jaeckel] and I have been here. In the past, it was hard to keep their heads in it. The girls stayed focused this year.
The teams group of seniors did a good job of getting things headed in the right direction.
Senior Day was very emotional for me, said Smithson, whose group of seniors included Kerry Dillon, Sydney Gecha, Kayleigh McLaughlin, and OBrien.
I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from them. As people they are great. Kayleigh never played hockey before freshman year and ended up as a starter; that isnt easy to do. When we gave team awards, I said my middle name for her was perfection. She was always working on her craft to be a better player.
Smithson sees that work ethic from her corps of returners which includes such standouts as juniors Megan Ofner (33 points on 24 goals and nine assists) and Zeeza Cole (10 points on five goals and five assists), sophomore goalie Daisy Mase (.914 save percentage), and freshmen Matthews (10 points on three goals and seven assists), Mary Travers (31 points on 16 goals and 15 assists), and Robin Linzmayer.
I think the programs future is looking better than ever, said Smithson. Our core group is back, the girls know what they have to do to fill in for the seniors who are leaving. The girls each have a positive attitude, they want to work to be better, bigger, and stronger.
For Smithson, guiding the team this winter was a positive experience. It is such an outstanding group, the girls set the tone for the season and the coaches followed, said Smithson.
It is a wonderful group of girls with great chemistry; they are so athletic and intelligent. It has been an honor to work with them.
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