For much of the first half last Wednesday, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team held its own as it hosted cross-town rival Hun.
After surrendering a goal at the 12-minute mark, PDS tightened up defensively until the waning moments of the half when Hun tallied with 3:20 remaining to take a 2-0 lead into intermission.
The roof fell in for the Panthers in the beginning of the second half as they surrendered two goals in the first three minutes on the way to a 5-1 loss.
PDS head coach Malcolm Murphy acknowledged that it was a tough day for his side.
“It was one of those games, the changes of circumstance hurt us,” said Murphy.
“We tried to play out of the back and I thought for 15 minutes we were keeping the ball very well. One thing happens and because of the youthfulness of the side, they panic and can’t settle down any more.”
The combination at forward of junior Marco Pinheiro and senior Culver Duquette were on the ball as they put pressure on the Hun defense.
“I think Marco and Culver certainly led the line,” said Murphy, who got a goal from Pinheiro in the second half of the Hun game on a penalty kick.
“They were enterprising, they were creative. They brought a new dynamic. They went at them and did not let the opposition settle. They kept the speed of the game up; the tempo was tremendously high. They brought in a lot of subs by then but it still didn’t change the dynamic. They were keeping their back four honest certainly.”
Along the backline, junior Christian Vik provided some dynamic play for the Panthers.
“We took one of the forwards, Christian Vik, and put him at central defender,” said Murphy. “He played extremely well back there.”
With PDS hosting Rutgers Prep on October 10 before playing at Pennington on October 15, Murphy is hoping that his squad will show some forward movement.
“Now with the accumulation of injuries and just moving people around, we have got last year’s midfield and forwards playing in the back,” said Murphy, whose team was missing five players due to injury last Saturday as it fell 5-0 to the Lawrenceville School to drop to 3-5-2.
“It will work itself out and if it doesn’t this year, it will give them some experience for next year. They are a young squad. There is still hope. You play it as it goes.”