Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 20
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
RECOVERY ACT: Stuart Country Day senior lacrosse star Amanda Curnan, left, eludes a defender in recent action. Curnan recovered from a knee injury that sidelined her in 2009 and helped trigger the Stuart attack as the Tartans advanced to both the Mercer County Tournament and state Prep B title games.

Senior Star Curnan Overcomes Adversity, as Stuart Lax Makes MCT, Prep B Finals

Bill Alden

Amanda Curnan knows something about bouncing back from adversity.

After missing the entire 2009 season for the Stuart Country Day lacrosse team due to an ACL injury, Curnan has returned with a vengeance this spring.

The savvy Curnan has helped trigger Stuart’s high-powered offense as the Tartans have emerged as one of the top teams in the area.

For Curnan, the chance to be back in the action has been special.

“It is extremely exciting; it is very meaningful to me,” said Curnan.

“Missing last year was really hard; sitting on the sidelines and cheering them on. It is great to be in this year and be a part of this team.”

Last Thursday, Curnan was a big part of things as Stuart battled Princeton Day School in the Mercer County Tournament championship game, scoring two goals. Unfortunately, Curnan’s efforts weren’t enough as the Tartans lost 11-8 to the Panthers, as a late rally fell short.

“We had a good shot; we played hard,” said Curnan, reflecting on a game which saw Stuart trailing 6-3 at halftime and then fight back to make the deficit 9-8 with two minutes remaining in the contest.

“We could have played better; it wasn’t our best. I think we learned a lot from today’s game.”

In assessing her play this spring, Curnan has looked to apply her knowledge of the game to the Stuart attack.

“I feel like it is timing; knowing when to challenge and when not to challenge,” said Curnan.

“Having patience with the ball, knowing when to pass the ball to an open player and knowing when to hold it and wait for the second cut. I did learn from watching from last year; I got a better view of the field and what goes on out there. I could adapt.”

In the state Prep B title game last Monday against Morristown-Beard, the Tartans had trouble adapting when Curnan was knocked out of the contest in the first half with a knee injury.

Stuart’s offense was out of synch, particularly in the transition game, as it dropped a 12-11 heartbreaker to the Crimson.

“Not having Amanda killed our transition,” said Stuart head coach Sara Wagner.

“She is just huge in the transition game, offensively and defensively. She just adds something when she is on the field. She is savvy and she never quits. She is able to come up with loose balls. She went down and it changed our game.”

While Wagner was disappointed with the result in the title contest, she was happy with the game Stuart displayed this spring in going 14-5.

“I am happy with the way our season went this year; we had some great wins and really gutsy performances,” said Wagner, noting that her team made its first-ever MCT title game appearance.

“We were down to PDS and we fought back in that one. We fought back today without Amanda. We ended up 14-5 and that’s a great season here; hopefully these girls will see that when they look back on it.”

Wagner will certainly have fond memories when she looks back on this year’s group of seniors which included Kara Weeks, Sarah Schulte, Dewi Caswell, and Marielle Mahan in addition to Curnan.

“Of the five of them, four have played varsity for four years,” said Wagner, who had six goals and two assists from Schulte in the loss to Mo-Beard with Weeks chipping in three goals and five assists.

“Filling that void is not a great thought for me at this point. They work well together and I think they are proud of what they accomplished, especially what they did this year. Overall, they did a lot for Stuart in their four years here.”

Curnan is proud of how the Tartans came together this spring after starting the season with two straight losses.

“We made an improvement over the season,” said Curnan. “We have played as a team. I really feel like our team became more of a unit; we learned to work together more.”

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