Christian Herzog doesn’t wait to put his Princeton High girls’ hockey team under pressure.
“I like to start with Mo-Beard,” said PHS head coach Herzog, whose team will get its 2013-14 campaign underway by playing at perennial WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) power Morristown-Beard on December 11.
“They are at the top of the league and I want the girls to see the best so they know how hard they have to work.”
Herzog is expecting some good work this winter from his top forward line, which includes the Herring sisters, junior Lucy and freshman Maggie, along with sophomore Isabelle Sohn.
“The Herrings are dynamite together; they work well with each other,”said Herzog. “Lucy is looking really strong. I think Maggie is farther along as a freshman than Lucy was at the same point. I have Isabelle Sohn on the first line with them. I like that she is aggressive.”
PHS will need some aggressive play from its other forwards, which include senior Merritt Peck, senior Molly O’Brien, and junior Erin Forden.
“I will have Merritt Peck and Molly O’Brien on the second line, they are both hard workers,” said Herzog. “Erin Forden is also in the mix. I am looking at some others. We need somebody to be a finisher on that line.”
On defense, the Little Tigers can count on aggressive play from senior captain Kate Sohn and junior Julia DiTosto, who is returning to the ice after being sidelined last year due to injury.
“Kate is great for us as a leader,” asserted Herzog. “She gets everyone on the same page. She is very specific on instructions. Julia is looking good; it looks like she never missed a beat. She is a tough player.”
The PHS defensive corps should also include junior Britney Coniglione, sophomore Sophia Corrodi, and junior Marian Hancock-Cerutti.
“Coniglione will be another defenseman,” added Herzog, whose team will hold its home opener on December 13 at Baker Rink against the Portledge School (N.Y.).
“Corrodi plays with Nassau, she can skate. Hancock-Cerutti played some shifts in defense; I am thinking about using her there this year.”
As its last line of defense, PHS will be using sophomore Callie Urisko and senior Breanna Hegarty-Thorne at goalie.
“The goaltenders have both gotten better,” asserted Herzog. “Callie is getting into the butterfly style and she is good on angles. Breanna is aggressive, she will come out and make a run at you.”
Although PHS is coming off a winless campaign, Herzog believes the team can have a good run this winter.
“I don’t use the record to judge the season, the girls are very excited to play,” said Herzog. “I am looking forward to the season. The girls need to keep working hard, we need to keep pushing the envelope. We can’t let in early goals; that hurt us last year.”