Vol. LXIV, No. 41
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
(Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)
FINISHING STRONG: Princeton High girls soccer star Lexi Stasi dribbles the ball in action last season. Senior striker Stasi has displayed a sharper finishing touch this fall, having scored some key goals for the Little Tigers. Last week, Stasi scored overtime game-winners in victories over Hamilton and Steinert as PHS improved to 8-2 and extended its winning streak to seven. Stasi and the Little Tigers will look to keep rolling as they host WW/P-S on October 14 before playing at WW/P-N on October 19.
It looked like it might not be Lexi Stasis day as the Princeton High girls soccer team battled Hamilton last week.
The PHS senior forward sprinted through the Hornet defense on numerous runs but couldnt find the back of the net, misfiring on several scoring chances.
With the teams knotted at 2-2 after regulation, Stasi was frustrated and weary.
My touches were slipping and I was a little down on myself, said Stasi. I was tired, my shins, my calves, everything was burning.
In the second overtime period, though, Stasi ended the game with a sizzling strike, slotting a Meg Brennan volley into the goal.
I had some sloppy touches in this game but this one felt so natural, recalled Stasi. It bounced off Meg and I just collected it; I slipped it in on the far post.
Stasis persistence exemplified the character displayed by the Little Tigers collectively.
We had some rocky plays but we recovered, said Stasi. Nobody gave up and we finished strong.
PHS got off to a rocky 1-2 start but has gotten into a groove, winning its last seven games.
While Stasi has been producing during that streak, she believes the whole team has gotten on the same page.
I feel like I am playing better but what is also happening is that our team is meshing better and molding and really coming together, said Stasi, who scored two goals last Thursday as PHS rallied to a 4-3 overtime win at Steinert in improving to 8-2. That is really helping us and myself play more confidently.
Working hard in training has helped PHS develop confidence. To tell the truth, I think it is our practices, said Stasi. We have been on each other to stay focused and play game real in practices. It is definitely paying off being hard on each other.
Stasi and fellow senior Alli Salazar have focused on being leaders for the young PHS team which includes six sophomores and four freshmen.
That has made Alli and me step up a whole lot, leading the team on and off the field, said Stasi. The younger players arent shying away any more. We are all unified; it is like age doesnt matter any more.
PHS head coach Greg Hand liked the way Stasi has stepped up on attack against Hamilton.
She did a good job of what forwards have to do, said hand. She came back and collected the ball when we needed her to and she created her own chances several times today. She had the tenacity and confidence to not give up and just try to make things happen. It is great that that lesson teaches itself, to just never give up.
The Little Tigers kept plugging collectively against Hamilton as they overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 on the way to the win.
It wasnt our greatest day; we werent playing our sharpest but we pulled it out, said Hand. The kids were very confident that we just had to keep pushing and we had a good chance of getting a result.
In Hands view, the teams recent surge is the result of sticking to basics and better communication on the field.
We have just a few attacking ideas and a few defensive ideas and the kids understand them, explained Hand.
They can visualize the challenge to execute under intense pressure to keep things flowing. The kids are really starting to talk more, demanding the ball, and giving information. We had a couple of exchanges of the ball today that were perfect; the kids were instinctively reading the game but they were doing the communication they had to do to make the plays.
If PHS can keep executing like that, it should keep raising the level of its game.
If they get sharper on their own individual games and keep visualizing how it could look and how it does look, well just get better, said Hand, whose team hosts WW/P-S on October 14 and then plays at WW/P-N on October 19.
Stasi, for her part, believes things are looking good for PHS as it heads into tournament time.
I dont know what is ahead of us but I think we can do it, said Stasi. I have a good feeling about this team and this season. We play with heart and we dont give up.
Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton McCaffreys, Coxs, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszers (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell Village Express; Rocky Hill Wawa (Route 518); Pennington Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.