Led by Trio of Battle-Tested Senior Stars, PDS Field Hockey Aiming for Title Run
MIDDLE MANAGER: Princeton Day School field hockey player Val Radvany, left, goes after the ball in a game last season. Senior star midfielder Radvany, along with classmates Gwen Allen and Sasha Sindhwani, will be leading the way for the Panthers this fall. PDS opens its season by hosting Hopewell Valley on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Since arriving as freshmen in 2015, the trio of Gwen Allen, Val Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani has played a key role in transforming the Princeton Day School field hockey team into a powerhouse.
In their sophomore year, they starred as PDS won the state Prep B title and advanced to the final of the Mercer County Tournament. Last fall, they helped the Panthers make it to a second straight Prep B championship game where they fell in overtime.
As the triumvirate heads into their final high school campaign, PDS head coach Heather Farlow is hoping they will go out in a blaze of glory.
“I have got my three seniors, Sasha, Gwen and Val; this will be their fourth year on varsity, so we are hoping that they continue to make a huge impact,” said Farlow, whose team posted a 12-6 final record in 2017.
Sindhwani made a big impact on the forward line last fall, emerging as one of the top scorers in the area with a team-high 24 goals.
“Sasha is looking great,” said Farlow, noting that junior Julia Lach will also be at striker. “She is going to be a key piece of our offense.”
Allen and Michigan Statebound Radvany will be the key pieces in the midfield.
“They play really well together, they are going to have to be playmakers,” said Farlow, noting that junior Skye Mundenar will also see time in the midfield. “They are going to have to direct some of the younger players.”
Junior Caroline Haggerty is primed to direct things on the back line this fall.
“Caroline is steady. She really works hard in the offseason on her game, she plays club outside of school,” said Farlow. “She is a hard, hard worker across the board, academically as well. She is a smart player, she keeps it simple. We will look for her to distribute to other back and anchor our defense.”
At goalie, another steady performer, junior Lexie Hausheer, is back for her third season as a starter in the cage.
“She is looking good; she did a lot of indoors stuff with her X-Calibur club this past year,” said Farlow. “She played outdoors and she did a lot this summer.”
Stung by ending last season with the overtime 2-1 defeat to Montclair Kimberley in the Prep B championship game, PDS is bringing a hunger into 2018.
“It is something that we have talked about; losing is a better a teacher than I will ever be,” said Farlow.
“We had such an unexpected run two years ago. Last year, I think some of them didn’t realize that it was still going to be hard. We took it all the way to overtime in the final. If we can keep everybody healthy, that is the goal.”
In oder to achieve its goals, PDS will need its three senior stars to set the tone.
“It is just having the veteran players step up, lead, and recognizing their role and their significance of being playmakers and almost training the younger players and bringing them through the process,” said Farlow.
“We are going to have to play some folks that haven’t had experience, that is just a fact. We are excited to see if we can achieve some of our goals; we are looking forward to it.”