Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 38
 
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)

FANCY FOOTWORK: Princeton High girls' soccer star Hannah Deming, left, and Carly Edgcomb display some tricky moves as they take a free kick earlier in their PHS careers. Deming, a senior co-captain, has moved to forward from midfield to help make the Little Tiger attack more dangerous. PHS, off to a 1-2 start, will play Notre Dame on September 20 at Mercer County Community College before hosting Trenton on September 25.

With Deming Now Front and Center, PHS Girls' Soccer Honing Its Attack

Bill Alden

For the past three falls, Hannah Deming has operated in the midfield for the Princeton High girls' soccer team.

This season, however, the PHS coaches decided to deploy the skilled Deming up top, moving her to forward along with junior Hannah Davis and sophomore Chantal Celestin.

While the trio didn't find the back of the net last Friday against visiting Hopewell Valley, they put plenty of pressure on HoVal as the PHS dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Bulldogs to fall to 1-2.

Deming saw progress even though PHS came up short in the hard-fought contest.

"I think our ability to score goals has been a weakness for Princeton High; we have been lacking that little edge," said Deming, who had a goal and an assist in PHS' first three games.

"This team has put so much effort into improving that. We have been getting so much better from game to game. One of the goals between Hightstown [a 4-1 loss on September 11] and today was to get the crosses and finishes under control. I really noticed a difference."

Deming is looking to make a difference in PHS' unorthodox three-forward configuration. "It's unusual but it works perfectly for us," said Deming.

"It gives us the ability to combine between forwards. It gives me more time on the ball; it's letting me become a more well-rounded player. The team has been really supportive in helping me with the runs."

As a co-captain, Deming goes out of her way to be supportive of her teammates.

"I try to make sure that we stay positive," said Deming. "The Hightstown game is one that could have brought us down. I thought it was important to push forward and see what we need to improve on. We needed to grow from it rather than be held back."

PHS head coach Greg Hand likes the way Deming is growing into her new role. "Hannah has become completely ambidextrous over the last couple of years," explained Hand.

"She's very talented at turning either to her right or left. She has a real nice touch and she is really helping us to make our attack more dangerous."

The PHS attack has some work to do if it is to reach its full potential. "On attack, I think we are getting a better understanding of how to develop a play," said Hand.

"We had some good chances today but there are a few things that we need to do more consistently. One of those things is to consistently keep the ball on the ground and not disrupt things by losing our discipline. We also have to work on the timing of our supporting runs. We really can get into a flow that is very dangerous."

The Little Tigers did show discipline defensively against HoVal as the only lapse all afternoon came on a restart.

"The coaches were pleased with the defensive effort," added Hand, whose defense was spearheaded by senior Olivia Johnston and sophomore Adi Debiche. "We played as a team in terms of keeping our shape. We got some real responsible, tough play by some individuals."

Hand also liked the tough mentality his club showed as it rebounded from the loss to Hightstown. "I think we had a good sense of urgency," said Hand, whose team will play Notre Dame on September 20 at Mercer County Community College before hosting Trenton on September 25.

"We played hard before and after the goal. When things became more dire, we played even more intensely but we didn't play as composed as we needed to. I think we can work on that. I think these guys, although disappointed by losing a second in a row, seem to recognize that they didn't yield anything."

Deming, for her part, believes the Little Tigers are on the verge of some big things. "I'm really excited, I think it's just going to click and we're going to have goals spewing everywhere," asserted Deming. "This team is really good at setting goals and accomplishing them."

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