With Young Players Gaining Confidence, PDS Girls’ Soccer Primed for Postseason
FRESH APPROACH: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Kelly Beal dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, freshman forward Beal contributed a goal and an assist as PDS defeated the Hill School (Pa.) 4-2. The Panthers, now 9-3, were slated to play at Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 10 before hosting Pennington on October 12 and Portledge School (N.Y.) on October 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
The kids are proving to be alright this fall for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team.
Featuring a number of freshmen and sophomores in its rotation, PDS has produced a 9-3 start.
“I am happy with where we are; eight of 11 of our starters are underclassmen and we are starting five freshmen,” said PDS head coach Pat Trombetta.
“The girls are starting to get comfortable with the system. They are developing chemistry on the field and starting to play with a little more confidence. I knew there would be ups and downs with such a young team, but overall they are starting to come together as a team.”
The Panthers appear to be on the upswing, posting a 2-0 win over Montgomery on October 2 and then topping Hill School (Pa.) 4-2 last Wednesday.
“The defense played well against Montgomery,” said Trombetta. “It was a good game with Hill; we were down early in the game even though we were outplaying them. They scored on the one chance that they had. We just came back from the early deficit and went on the attack throughout the game. That was a good performance overall.”
The team’s contingent of freshmen helped spark the PDS attack in the win over Hill as newcomer Kelly Beal scored a goal and an assist with classmates Sophia Miranda adding a goal and Jules Romano contributing an assist.
“Looking overall at the freshmen, we are getting contributions from all of them,” said Trombetta.
“Kelly has been doing very well for us. Sophia Miranda is an outside back who gets forward for us and she has that left foot. She scored a goal against Hill which was a big goal that put the game away. We have Britney Chia, who is a playmaker in the middle; she is doing very well for us. Jules Romano is one of the most versatile players on the team. She can play just about every single position that I put her at and she does very well.”
Setting a good example for the younger players, senior defender and co-captain Becca Kuzmicz has been playing very well this fall.
“Becca is having her best year of her four years,” said Trombetta. “She has been scoring on set pieces; she has been on the finishing end of corner kicks and free kicks. She has really stepped up her game, she loves playing for the team and she knows that this is probably her last year of playing organized soccer. She is putting all of her heart into it.”
PDS will need to step up this week as it is slated to play at Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 10 before hosting Pennington on October 12 and Portledge School (N.Y.) on October 14.
“This week is a good test for the team and for the young kids to see how they can do on the big stage,” said Trombetta.
“The combined record of the three teams we are playing this week is 23-3. We have a challenging week ahead of us.”
In Trombetta’s view, facing those challenges will help sharpen his young squad with postseason play around the corner.
“We planned the schedule accordingly, we wanted to prepare for tournaments by playing against the best teams,” said Trombetta.
“That gives us an idea of where we stand and exposes any weaknesses that we need to improve on. It is a great opportunity for the girls to get ready for tournaments.”