While Peter Stanton was disappointed to see his Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team lose to Allentown last week, he liked how his players responded to the setback.
“We certainly had some good moments and we had a couple of bad stretches,” said PHS head coach Stanton, reflecting on the 13-8 defeat which saw junior star Matt Purdy tally three goals and an assist with Kevin Halliday adding two goals and Matt Corrado chipping in a goal and two assists.
“The encouraging thing is that everybody felt they had something to do with it. As a team, everyone shouldered the blame.”
The Little Tigers, who moved to 2-1 with the loss, have had a lot of good moments on offense so far this spring.
“We feel like when we put six guys on the field on offense, all of them can score,” said Stanton, whose squad started the season by beating Nottingham 14-7 and then edged WW/P-S 13-12. “Everyone is a threat and it is tough to defend.”
Junior Purdy has emerged as PHS’s most lethal offensive threat. “Matt set a goal to be a more complete player and the early evidence is that he has done that,” said Stanton of Purdy, who has 18 points this season on 11 goals and seven assists.
“He has had games with multiple assists, he gets ground balls, he is riding, he is controlling the offense at times.”
Juniors Halliday and Corrado have also been riding high for the Little Tigers.
“Kevin Halliday is real dynamic and creative,” said Stanton. “Matt Corrado is another example of somebody who has worked really hard. He spent a lot of time in the offseason training. He comes to practice every day ready to work hard. His habits and dedication are really something to admire.”
Stanton acknowledges that the PHS defense needs to tighten up. “It is interesting with people playing more lacrosse, the stick skills are better and the offensive skills have improved,” said Stanton.
“People used to say that the defense was ahead of the offense at this stage but I think now the offense is ahead of the defense. Team defense takes seven guys to coordinate with each other and be on the same page. We have capable athletes back there; we have to do a good job of coaching them.”
In Stanton’s view, he has a group that is highly receptive to coaching.
“We have some potential but we are a work in progress, they are showing a willingness to improve,” said Stanton, whose team hosts Lawrenceville School on April 19 before playing at New Egypt on April 23.
“I like their attitude. After the loss last Tuesday, they were ready to learn about what they need to do better.”