After Emerging as a Powerhouse in 2016, PDS Field Hockey Has a Target on its Back
STICKING WITH IT: Princeton Day School field hockey player Sasha Sindhwani, right, goes after the ball in a recent scrimmage. Defending state Prep B champion PDS is counting on junior star Sindhwani to provide production again on the front line this fall. The Panthers open their 2017 season when the play at Stuart Country Day School on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Last fall, the Princeton Day School field hockey came out of nowhere to emerge as a powerhouse.
After going 6-13-1 in 2015, PDS produced a brilliant 16-4 campaign a year ago, winning the state Prep B title and advancing to the Mercer County Tournament final.
PDS head coach Heather Farlow knows that her team has a target on its back as it enters the upcoming season.
“I don’t think anyone had any expectations for us coming in last year so we took a lot of teams by surprise,” said Farlow, whose team opens its 2017 season on September 7 by hosting its Great Road rival Stuart Country Day School in a rematch of last year’s Prep B title game.
“Teams will definitely be prepared for us so we have had those conversations. We know that based on last year’s success, people are going to bring their best game when they play against us. We are going to have to continue to work hard for everything.”
Based on the first few weeks of preseason, the Panthers are continuing to look solid.
“We are still very much playing as a unit, which is great,” said Farlow.
“The girls feel good about where we are at this point of the season. They are working hard, having fun. They feel like we are in a good spot.”
Farlow feels good about her front line with the return of sophomore Julia Lach, junior Sasha Sindhwani, senior Gretchen Lindenfeldar, junior Gwen Allen, junior Val Radvany, and senior Madison Mundenar.
“The scrimmages have been great,” said Farlow, noting that junior Hailey Young will also be a factor on attack this fall.
“We have been able to see where we are and make adjustments, so it has been good.”
The tandem of sophomore Caroline Haggerty and senior Elizabeth Brennan give PDS a good foundation on defense.
“We have got Caroline Haggerty in the back, she is an outside back,” said Farlow, who will also use senior Kyra Hall sophomore Skylar Mundenar, and sophomore Maddie Izzard on the back line.
“Elizabeth Brennan is also back there. They are going to anchor our defense this year.”
Goalie Lexi Hausheer enjoyed a superb debut campaign last fall and Farlow is expecting more of the same from her sophomore star in 2017.
“Lexi is just consistent; she has has a lot of game experience,” said Farlow. “She is vocal, she directs the defense well.”
In Farlow’s view, PDS can win a lot of games this fall if it keeps its focus and avoids injury.
“We take it game by game, that is what we did last year,” said Farlow. “If we can keep everyone healthy, we think that we are going to be pretty competitive.”