While the loss of stars Keely Herring and Abby Hunter to graduation will leave a void for the Princeton High girls’ hockey team, the squad has some young players ready for their turn to shine.
“We have a younger, focused team,” said PHS head coach Christian Herzog, whose team went 1-11 in 2011-12.
“I want each player to think how she can contribute individually to the group.”
Herzog is confident that Herring’s younger sister, sophomore forward Lucy Herring, can make a big contribution this winter for the Little Tigers.
“Lucy knows who our opponents are and what we need to do,” said Herzog of Herring, who scored 13 points last winter in her freshman campaign.
“She is going to be leaned on. I am looking for her to step up and do some big things.”
PHS is also looking for sophomore forward Merritt Peck to step up this winter.
“Merritt Peck understands what I expect,” said Herzog, whose team was slated to open the 2012-13 season by playing at Pingry on December 11 before hitting the road to play Holton Arms (Md.) on December 15 and Shady Side Academy (Pa.) on December 16. “I am happy with her progress, she looks improved and more confident.”
The pair of Herring and Peck together with junior Molly O’Brien will be expected to trigger the PHS offense.
“I think Lucy, Merritt, and Molly O’Brien are going to be our first line,” said Herzog. “I have been clear with my expectations for them.
Freshman defenseman Allie Callaway has already emerged as a clear standout for PHS.
“Allie Callaway will be like Keely, she’ll be on defense but will have the green light to shoot,” asserted Herzog.
“She is a finisher. She takes direction and is a hard worker. She will do the extra work outside of practice.”
The rest of the Little Tiger defense should include junior Kate Sohn, sophomore Julie Bond, sophomore Brittney Coniglione, and sophomore Julia DiTosto, who is currently sidelined with a leg injury.
With the graduation of three-year starting goalie Tobi Afran, there are two neophytes vying for time between the pipes in freshman Callie Urisko and junior Breanna Hegarty.
“We have Callie Urisko and Breanna Hegarty, both are really new to the sport,” said Herzog.
“Urisko is picking it up quickly, she is already learning the angles. Breanna is making a lot of good stops.”
Herzog is looking for some good things from his squad this winter, “I am excited for the season; I am looking for us to win more games,” said Herzog.
“The positioning will be important, we were out of position at times last year. I am looking for us to play a full 45-minute game. We need to play all the way. Traditionally, our weakest period is the second. We have a tendency to give up a silly goal and then the floodgates open and then we come back and play a strong third period.”