September 6, 2017

Looking to be Defined by Humility, Hunger, PHS Boys’ Soccer Primed for Successful Fall

NO DOUBT: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Noam Davidov goes after the ball in a recent scrimmage. PHS will be looking to senior forward Davidov to help trigger the team’s offense this fall. The Little Tigers kick off their 2017 campaign when they host Steinert on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Wayne Sutcliffe is hoping that his Princeton High boys’ soccer team will be defined by humility and hunger this fall.

“I think the key is to not become intoxicated with how good we think we are and to have respect for every opponent,” said longtime PHS head coach Sutcliffe, whose 2016 team went 17-1-2, sharing the Mercer County Tournament title with Pennington but then falling in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional to see the stellar campaign come to an abrupt end. “We have to work hard everyday to get better because you never are as good as you think you are.”

Sutcliffe is seeing good work over the first few weeks of preseason training.

“We are off to a good start; our spirit is good and our energy is good,” said Sutcliffe, whose team opens its 2017 campaign by hosting Steinert on September 7. “There is a lot of excitement, it is going great.”

The squad’s senior class is setting a positive tone. “We have a strong senior class; they have been around for a long time,” added Sutcliffe, who has 14 seniors on his roster. “They are bringing a lot of passion.”

A trio of seniors, Noam Davidov, Dean Patel, and Quentin Pompliano, will be handling the duties at forward.

“They are working through things and working hard every day to develop an understanding,” said Sutcliffe, assessing the forward unit.

Senior star Drew Beamer has developed into a force in the midfield. “Beamer is playing the center mid role; he is working hard and doing well,” said Sutcliffe, whose midfield group will also feature senior Noah Middlekauf, senior Galil Cohen, junior Sebastian Ratzan, junior Josh Nieman, senior Harry Malady, senior Jun Hasagawa and senior Remy Hebert.

A partnership of twins, seniors Ian and Patrick Jacobs, will be spearheading the team’s back line.

“Patrick is doing well, no doubt he is ready for a big season,” said Sutcliffe of the star goalie.

“Ian is a really strong center back, he is having a great preseason. Patrick and Ian are just fantastic up the spine.”

PHS boasts a number of strong performers in its defensive unit. “We have Jasper Scott, a senior, and Thomas Reid, a junior, who is doing very well,” said Sutcliffe.

“Alec Korsah, a junior, has been exceptional, he has really distinguished himself in the last couple of weeks. He is good player.”

In order to distinguish itself this fall, PHS can’t take anything for granted.

“The team is learning about the reality that certain teams can bring things at you that you might not have thought,” said Sutcliffe.

“Teams that maybe don’t have a big reputation can be dangerous against us. We are pencilled in on everyone’s schedule to be at their best against us.”