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Vol. LXII, No. 39
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
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FINDING THE RANGE: Princeton High senior field hockey star Liz Annis fires away in PHS’s 3-0 win over Lawrence last Thursday. Annis contributed two goals in the victory as the Little Tigers improved to 1-2 on the season.

With Annis Triggering Offense, PHS Field Hockey Gets First Win

Bill Alden

Liz Annis and her teammates on the Princeton High field hockey team couldn’t find an offensive rhythm in their first two games this season.

Finding goals hard to come by, PHS started their 2008 campaign by falling 3-1 to Notre Dame and then dropping a 4-0 decision to Hightstown.

Coming into the team’s home opener last Thursday against Lawrence High, the Little Tigers were focused on the basics as they looked to jump start their attack.

“We really worked on making sure to be open for passes and connect with teammates,” said Annis. “We really worked on communication.”

Senior forward Annis found plenty of open space in the matchup against Lawrence, scoring a goal in each half as PHS pulled away for a satisfying 3-0 win.

In Annis’ view, the game represented a breakthrough for PHS.

“We were able to make solid passes throughout the midfield to the sideline,” said Annis. “We were able to follow through in the circle. We broke through today.”

Annis enjoyed breaking the ice as her first half tally put PHS up 1-0. “I wasn’t really sure what was happening,” recalled Annis with a smile. “I just saw myself going to the goal. I just took a fling and it went past the goalie.”

The Little Tigers were determined to not let up in the second half. “At that point we wanted to just keep adding a cushion to our lead,” said Annis, reflecting on her second half score. “We wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t score and catch up. It is really exciting to win a game.”

It is an exciting time for the program with new head coach Heather Serverson having taken over for longtime mentor Joyce Jones, who stepped down after more than 30 years at the helm of the Little Tigers.

“I think it’s working really well,” said Annis, referring to having a new head coach.

“We are listening and we are having good practices. We are really paying attention to the drills and it is making us connect when it comes to the game. We went through two tough losses but now we came out on top.”

Serverson, for her part, was happy that her team’s work in practice paid off in the win over Lawrence.

“We have done nothing but work on offense for the last week,” said Serverson, who had previously been an assistant coach for PHS.

“We work on the movement, on and off the ball. It just all came together today, I couldn’t be happier.”

The rookie head coach was certainly happy with the play of Annis. “She did a fantastic job today,” asserted Serverson. “I really couldn’t have asked for more from her; she put it all together too.”

Annis had plenty of help on offense from senior Meg Reilly, junior Sydney Krueger, and sophomore Alyssa Torske.

“Meg is nothing but hustle; she is a fantastic player, both offensively and defensively” added Serverson.

“I thought Sydney had some nice balls that she laid out for Liz. I would say Alyssa has a lot of hustle that she adds, she is usually first to the ball. It seems that the rest of the girls follow suit when that starts to happen.”

The PHS defense also made things happen, led by senior goalie Moriah Akrong, who recorded seven saves in the win over Lawrence.

“We are pretty solid down there,” said Serverson. “Moriah definitely holds it together for us; she had that one diving save in particular today that was out of this world. Defense is not usually our issue. We have had some breakdowns but we are pretty solid defensively. It’s the offensive part that we have to work on.”

It was a special day for Serverson as she got the first win of her head coaching tenure.

“That is exactly what we needed right there, boom, boom, boom, three goals,” said Serverson, whose team hosts Nottingham High on September 25.

“It was wonderful, I’m so happy. I am really just pleased that they have finally taken things we have worked on in practice and put them in the game. It just hasn’t clicked for us like that and today everything clicked. We have a lot of young players that came right off the freshman team last year that were playing the entire time out there. For them to really jell and mesh together has taken a while.”

Annis and her fellow seniors are looking to help the team jell into something special this season.

“The last few seasons haven’t been as good as we would’ve hoped so hopefully we’ll be able to accomplish that,” said Annis.

“We are all getting along. We had some losses but we recovered; that will benefit the younger players. I am just really happy that we won a game. We know that we can do it so hopefully we’ll be able to do it again.”

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