Hannah Levy was the top scorer for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team in 2012 as a junior but she wasn’t about to rest on her laurels coming into her senior campaign.
“I have been working on my shooting a lot this season because that was lacking going into it,” said Levy.
“I am just really going for placement and the power shot and not thinking about it too much and just letting it fly.”
Last Wednesday against visiting Blair Academy, Levy let it fly all afternoon, scoring six goals as PDS posted a 14-12 win over the Buccaneers.
In the early stages of the contest, it looked like the Panthers could be headed to a rout as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead with Levy scoring three goals.
“I think we started off strong,” said Levy. “We were running our offense really well. We were getting the ground balls; we were making the passes.”
Hitting a lull, Levy and PDS headed into halftime clinging to a 7-6 advantage. In the second half, the Panthers settled down and found a nice rhythm.
“I think we were really just looking to play our game,” said Levy. “We needed to get the ball; we needed to get more ground balls. We needed to run through the offense. I think we played our own tempo; we played under control. The draw was a huge key and we started capitalizing on that.”
In Levy’s view, the victory over Blair was a confidence builder. “We need some more of these,” said Levy with a grin. “I think we are playing pretty well going into the tournaments. That’s what really matters and we have momentum.”
PDS head coach Jill Thomas saw the win over Blair as a good step forward. “It was a quality win, a tough win against a tough team,” said Thomas, who got three goals from Corinne Urisko in the win with Sarah Brennan adding two and the trio of Morgan Foster, Zeeza Cole, and Lucy Linville chipping in one apiece.
“We were pretty comparable coming in; we knew that. We had like opponents, like wins, like losses and close scores. They have that Council Dawson kid, we knew that. She can play.”
While Thomas acknowledged that it was an uneven performance by the Panthers, she was happy with the end result.
“We didn’t ever lose the lead,” said Thomas. “We had it and we kept going so kudos to them for that. They got that. Being sharper and being tougher made the difference. We had somebody who could get to the ball before anybody else and that was No. 5. Tess Gecha. She’s fast and you can’t beat speed.”
PDS is hard to beat when Levy is finding the back of the net. “We said to her at half, just go north and south,” said Thomas.
“Don’t set anything up; you found it, you can score 10. If it takes you to score 10 for us to win, that’s OK. Good for her, she has that signature move and they can’t stop it. She finds it down the side of the net.”
The combination of sophomore Kirsten Kuzmicz and junior Sarah Brennan helped stop the Buccaneers.
“Kuzmicz was face-guarding Dawson; she is one of our best face guarders and she has got that,” said Thomas.
“Brennan is a workhorse, they are both workhorses that do whatever they can do.”
In Thomas’s view, her team has the ability to do a lot this spring if it plays with heart.
“I always tell them potential is a terrible thing to waste, that is the bottom line,” said Thomas, whose team fell 16-13 to Kent Place last Monday in the first round of the state Prep A tournament and will host Peddie on May 1 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament as the sixth-seeded Panthers host No. 11 Hightstown on May 3.
“We can do all the drills and all that stuff that we want to do. This is a good team; when they are on they can play with anyone. I just think it is believing; I do think they have the energy. The need to have that hunger to feel that you can play with these other girls.”
Levy, for her part, is hungry to get the most out her last season at PDS.
“It is crazy; this season is quicker than all of the other ones,” said Levy, who is heading to MIT where she plans to play both lacrosse and soccer.
“It is really only a month long when we get back from Florida. We really have to make it count now because there is not much time.”