Vol. LXI, No. 19
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
Even though the Princeton High girls' lacrosse team won six of its first nine games, PHS senior star Allegra Formento recognized that the squad has been plagued by lapses in focus.
"We have had some rough games where we wound up winning but the intensity wasn't totally there," said Formento.
Formento and her teammates were determined to produce a solid 50-minute effort as they played at Peddie last Thursday.
The Little Tigers got out the gate well, building a 4-2 lead. Peddie answered back with two goals and it looked like the game was on the verge of turning into a nailbiter.
But PHS reeled off the last four goals of the first half and the first five scores of the second half to turn the game into a rout.
Formento triggered the PHS offense in the 13-5 triumph, scoring two goals and passing for three assists.
Afterward, a beaming Formento basked in the glow of the team's comprehensive victory which improved PHS to 7-3 on the season. "Our team has been working really hard, this was one of our better games of the year," said Formento. "We really worked together as a team; we didn't let up at all. I think the intensity was great."
That togetherness showed up in PHS defensive effort which saw the Little Tigers hound Peddie all over the field. "Our defense was definitely the heroes of the game," said Formento, who was a force defensively in the midfield for PHS
"Erin [Hoerner] stepped up in goal; I don't have the fingers to count how many saves she had. Our defense has been collapsing on the other players. We've been watching Penn play a lot, every time a girl gets it they triple on the ball. We have been trying to implement that and it really seems to be working."
The PHS offense was working like clockwork in the win over Peddie. "Our offense has been working on slowing the ball down but without stopping completely," explained Formento.
"We've been working on some plays and some freelancing; today we had a great combination of both. We're trying to be a connec-ting team."
One of the key connections for PHS is the on-field link between Formento and classmate Sarah Wright. "Sarah and I have played together for a really long time," said Formento of Wright, who passed the 200-point mark in her PHS career with her two goals and one assist in the win over Peddie.
"We see each other out of the corner of our eyes. I trust her completely on the field. I know that if I throw her a ball, she'll catch it and do something amazing."
PHS head coach Joyce Jones thought her team produced an amazing performance. "Today was the culmination of the things we have been trying to look at and work on," said Jones. "There were times where we had two, three, or four passes before the goals. That's lacrosse."
Jones credited Formento with raising her game in order to get the ball moving for the Little Tigers. "We've been kind of talking her through things," said Jones. "She is a captain and we've been looking at her game and what she needed to do. We want her to look more for the pass and to take command of the field and the players in a way that works. I think it's all coming together."
The Little Tiger defense also came together in fine fashion as it held Peddie scoreless for more than 29 minutes. "I'm very proud of our defense," asserted Jones.
"It's doing the little things and letting each other know where the ball is. They were doing that today. Mary McNutt came up with some big interceptions. Erin was good in the cage; knowing when to come out and play the ball."
Jones acknowledged that her team has rarely played the game like it did last Thursday. "You can never have a perfect game," said Jones, whose team hosts Princeton Day School on May 10 and Hun on May 11 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament. "As a coach, you can always find something to work on. But this was one of those games, when you reflect back on at the end of the season, where things clicked and we had synchronization."
Formento and her fellow seniors are looking to create some more memorable performances as they wrap up their PHS career.
"All of us are out here because we have so much fun with the sport," said Formento.
"We are savoring every moment. We're trying to do the most we can while bringing up the underclassmen for next year."
If the PHS players can keep performing at the level they displayed against Peddie, they should have a lot more fun this spring.
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