After playing back-up goalie for the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team as a freshman in 2010, Adam Ainslie took a break from the sport.
The multi-talented Ainslie devoted his time to singing and performing in PHS musical productions.
This spring, Ainslie has returned to lacrosse and he is making some sweet music for the Little Tigers, emerging as a productive attackman.
Last Friday against visiting Christian Brothers Academy, Ainslie tallied two goals and two assists as PHS pulled out a thrilling 10-9 win over the Colts.
“We were really excited to have a challenge to play a good opponent,” said Ainslie, reflecting on the win which saw Patrick McCormick score the game-winning goal with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation. “I think our excitement showed. We stepped up and we were ready to play.”
While Ainslie is excited to be contributing for the Little Tigers, he acknowledges that his offensive production has been due, in large part, to the work of others.
“They make me look pretty; I give a lot of credit to the midfielders,” said Aislie.
“I kind of sit down on the right side there. I can catch and shoot and I can catch and pass so all of my points and goals this season are credited to the middies.”
After two years away from lacrosse, Ainslie decided he could couldn’t pass up his last chance to play for PHS.
“I missed the game; I have been playing since I was a little kid,” said Aislie. “I would be jealous watching the games and watching my friends play.”
Upon returning to the Little Tigers, Ainslie has quickly developed a comfort level at attack and with his teammates.
“I had actually only started playing goalie in seventh or eight grade; I had played all over the field since I was a little guy,” said Ainslie.
“The coaches and the whole team have been so great welcoming me back and being accommodating with me. They are the best group of guys. I have nothing but great words to say about this group of guys. I am so excited to be back and playing.”
PHS head coach Peter Stanton is excited to have Ainslie back on the squad.
“We are so thrilled for him personally that he had a chance to finish up his high school career by playing a sport,” said Stanton.
“He has been really dedicated to the arts; it is such a huge commitment. The fact that he has been able to come back out and do this and have this to be part of his high school experience; I am happy for him individually and for our team.”
Stanton was thrilled to see his team pull out the win over CBA. “Our goal today was to experience winning a close game against a tough team,” said Stanton, whose team improved to 7-2 with the victory.
“Obviously it doesn’t always work out that way. Our objective was met as far as we wanted to play in a close game against a tough team. It was a great opponent and a great result.”
In Stanton’s view, a balanced attack made the difference for PHS in the close contest.
“When our team is playing well offensively, all six guys are a threat,” said Stanton, who got two goals apiece on Friday from Matt Purdy, Will Hare, and Matt Corrado in addition to Ainslie.
“It might just so happen that one or two of the guys get most of the goals and assists but they are doing the easy part. We got key goals from Matt Corrado. We got great plays from Will Hare and both Hallidays [Zach and Kevin] and then Pat McCormick scored the game winner.”
The Little Tigers were also sparked by some great work at the defensive end.
“We are improving; that was a big question mark coming into the season,” said Stanton, whose team hosts Notre Dame on May 2 and WW/P-N on May 3 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament.
“We are getting better each time out. I think Matt DiTosto did a fantastic job guarding really good players today. Jackson Andres was dominant, Jack Persico is improving a lot; he is improving at picking up ground balls and making great passes and clears. He had a couple today where I said I didn’t know he could make that pass. MacGregor [goalie Gabe MacGregor] gives us a great boost emotionally.”
Ainslie, for his part, believes the win over CBA is a big boost for the Little Tigers.
“This is absolutely a confidence builder; I think we are looking forward to the end of the season and playing more challenging teams like this,” said Ainslie, who is headed to Princeton University this fall.
“It is good to get this kind of experience where we score in the last few seconds to win. I think it is a great win for us. We had three games last week and three games this week. It is good to get something out of all that hard work. I think we are starting to play together. We have had a lot of parts come together this season. I think we are now just starting to mesh together and get it all clicking. It is exciting; this is fun lacrosse.”