April 11, 2018

Senior Mundenar Shooting for Special Finish As PDS Girls’ Lax Learns From Early Losses

ON TARGET: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Madison Mundenar controls the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Mundenar tallied seven goals to help PDS edge Hun 14-12. The Panthers, now 2-2, host Pennington on April 11 before playing at Princeton High on April 12 and at Blair Academy on April 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Madison Mundenar helped the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team start on the right foot as it hosted Allentown last week.

Just minutes into the April 3 contest, senior star Mundenar raced down the field, gathering in a feed from Gwen Allen and firing it into the back of the net to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

“We always say get out of the gate, and that is something we felt we did better this game than when went against Hill,” said Mundenar.

Things didn’t go well for PDS after that as Allentown jumped out to a 9-2 halftime lead and pulled away to an 18-7 win.

“The second half wasn’t as strong; we just wanted to be first to the ball,” said Mundenar, who ended up with two goals in the loss. “Our big thing for this game was winning the draw; we worked a lot on that in practice. We are trying to figure that out because that is a big part of the game.”

With PDS having won three straight state Prep B crowns, Mundenar is confident that that the Panthers will figure out how to get on the winning track.

“I do think it is going to be beneficial to us in the end because we are starting with more high powered teams,” said Mundenar, who tallied seven goals to help PDS edge Hun 14-12 last Saturday and improve to 2-2.

“We usually slowly get into that in the season. Although we may not be coming up with the wins early on, I do think by facing tougher competition in the beginning, we will be ready when it is tournament time.”

Playing with fellow seniors Kyra Hall and Bridget Kane on attack gives Mundenar a comfort level on the field.

“We all always know where we are going to be on the field,” said Mundenar.

“We all have our special positions. We need to keep our heads up and always look for each other. It is not clicking yet but it is early. The biggest thing is figuring out this offense. Coach [Jill] Thomas was just saying we have such a high powered offense, we have a lot of girls who can score. I am confident that we can figure it out. It is just going to take more time and some good practices.”

PDS head coach Jill Thomas believes that the Panthers will benefit in the long run from playing high quality foes early in the season.

“We have got to figure it out; we have played two great opponents,” said Thomas, whose team fell 17-7 to the Hill School (Pa.) in its season opener on March 28. “It is not where you start, it is where you finish.”

Thomas acknowledges that the PDS needs to tighten up on the defensive end as it looks to fill the void left by the graduation of star Abby Atkeson.

“We are trying to jell on defense,” said Thomas. “When you have the Prep defensive player of the year last year in Abby not there, they have to figure it out. They did a little bit better today. That is a great team and we are not a bad team.”

Thomas is confident that the Panthers will end up being a very good team by the end of the spring.

“We will get on the right track and get the right chemistry,” said Thomas, whose team hosts Pennington on April 11 before playing at Princeton High on April 12 and at Blair Academy on April 17.

“We are used to being on top, so we have to find out a way, when we are on the bottom to get back to the middle and then back to the top.”

Mundenar, for her part, is looking to go out on top along with her eight classmates on the squad.

“We have all been waiting for this last year, our mantra has been fourth one, best one,” said Mundenar, who is heading to St. Bonaventure, where she will be playing for its Division I women’s lacrosse program.

“We have been together so long, we just want to end the season strong; not all of us will be playing next year so we all want to finish our season off well together and savor there opportunities.”