January 24, 2018

PDS Girls’ Hockey Displays Progress, Energy, Battling Hard to the End in Loss to Mo-Beard

FIGHTING ON: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Julie Patterson controls the puck in recent action. Last Friday, junior star and assistant captain Patterson scored a goal in a losing cause as PDS fell 9-2 to Morristown-Beard. The Panthers, now 5-8-1, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on January 24 and at Rye Country Day (N.Y.) on January 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Trailing Morristown-Beard 7-1 entering the third period last Friday, the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team could have gone through the motions over the last 15 minutes of the contest.

Instead, PDS produced a spirited display, skating hard and getting a goal from Ellie Schofield on the way to a 9-2 loss.

Panther head coach Lorna Cook was proud of the way her team fought to the final buzzer as it moved to 5-8-1.

“For the third period, our focus was on what are we playing for,” said Cook.

“We wanted to make sure that we take some pride in how we are going to come out here and try to see what we can do to have a better period and finish it out. You look at that third period and you feel better about the game overall with the way they came out and battled that much harder.”

After getting off to a 2-7-1 start this season, the Panthers have been playing better lately, bringing a three-game winning streak into the Mo-Beard game.

“The biggest thing for us is to try to keep things positive and make sure that we are not getting down on ourselves,” said Cook.

The play of junior star and assistant captain Julie Patterson and sophomore standout Gia Massari has been a big positive for PDS.

“Julie has been much better as far as seeing the ice more and really trying to find the right lanes that give her better chances,” said Cook of Patterson, who had a goal against Mo-Beard.

“You are starting to see where she is breaking through. Gia is always consistent like that; she sees the ice really well. Our defense is the youngest part of the squad; that is why we have Gia back there. She is a sophomore, but she does have a lot of experience. She is a natural leader.”

Cook is seeing more consistency from her defensive unit. “I think we did a good job today trying to get sticks on pucks, making sure that we are stepping up at the right times,” said Cook.

“I think our defense is coming along nicely. Hannah Choe and Caroline Haggerty are both really gritty. We have Sam Dwyer playing defense a little bit now too; she knows when to step up.”

Others have been getting on the scoresheet as Sasha Sindhwani had two assists in the loss to the Mo-Beard to go along with the goal by Schofield.

“That second tier of players knows that they have to step it up to be able to help us, they have taken ownership of that in some ways.

“You see a lot of energy from them in practice where they are really trying to get better. It is nice to see because hockey is not their main sport so they don’t have to put in that effort if they really don’t want to. I think they are natural competitors, you start to see it where it is nice to seen them get rewarded.

With the Panthers playing at the Hill School (Pa.) on January 24 and at Rye Country Day (N.Y.) on January 26, Cook is looking for her players to keep competing hard.

“We just want to make sure that we are still improving,” asserted Cook.

“We want to focus on all the things that we are trying to get better at. The biggest thing we want to see is that the effort level stays there.”