February 13, 2019

Senior Star Corrodi Playing Hard to the End, Helping PHS Girls’ Hockey Make Progress

FINAL PUSH: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Olivia Corrodi controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior defenseman and team captain Corrodi tallied a goal and an assist as PHS fell 6-4 to Randolph High at Hobey Baker Rink as the Tigers held their annual Senior Night ceremony. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Olivia Corrodi didn’t waste any time making an impact last week as she hit the ice for the Princeton High girls’ hockey team on her Senior Night at Hobey Baker Rink.

As PHS hosted Randolph in the February 5 contest, senior defenseman and team captain Corrodi took control of the puck and sent it up the ice to Victoria Zammit, who banged it home to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead just 2:34 into the contest.

“I saw Victoria cross up the middle so I just tried to get her the puck,” said Corrodi. “I knew she could finish it off.”

The Tigers outshot Randolph 16-8 on the first period but found themselves trailing 3-2 heading the second. PHS kept firing away over the rest of the evening, knotting the game at 3-3 in the second period before eventually falling 6-4.

“We were definitely trying to pepper the goal, it was a shame we couldn’t put a few more in earlier and throughout the whole game,” said Corrodi, reflecting on the game which saw PHS end up with a 38-22 edge in shots.

“We definitely got the shots. Their goalie gave up a lot of rebounds and we didn’t have people there in front to pout home the rebounds.”

In the waning moments of the second period, Corrodi broke through with a goal, tallying on a one-timer from the point.

“A lot of times there are a lot of people in front, there weren’t as many people but there was still one or two people to provide the screen,” said Corrodi. “I figured I would put it on net, get the screen, and hope for the best.”

Noting that PHS had lost 9-1 to Randolph in early December, Corrodi was proud of how the Tigers kept pushing to the final horn.

“Even when we were down by a few, we still didn’t let that stop us; we kept on going hard,” said Corrodi. “Everybody played really well, it was such a difference from the first time we played them.”

In Corrodi’s view, that effort epitomized the progress that PHS has made this winter.

“People have improved so much and are so much more confident skating with the puck,” said Corrodi. “I think this game really showed that. Everybody was contributing, everybody was getting pucks out and into the zone.”

Serving as a team captain this winter, Corrodi has tried to drive that improvement. “I have enjoyed it, trying to motivate the team,” added Corrodi.

“It is tough when you are rebuilding the program. It has been great introducing new players to the sport.”

For Corrodi, her PHS hockey experience has taught her lessons about character and camaraderie.

“There have been quite a few rebuilding years; it shows the mental toughness of the team; having 5:30 a.m. practices is team bonding in itself,”said Corrodi.

“The team across the four years has really been really close, which has definitely showed. Even though we haven’t been necessarily winning a ton of games, everyone has just been having fun with it.”

PHS head coach Christian Herzog has had fun coaching the squad’s seniors.

“It is a good group of girls, I only have good things to say about them and them trying to buy-in,” said Herzog, whose Class of 2019 includes Angelique Bencivenga, Catherine Liu, Morgan Mavoides, Megan Mavoides, and Sarah Pagano in  addition to Corrodi. “A bunch of them are brand new to the program.”

Herzog credited Corrodi with being a stalwart for the program.

“Olivia has been stable for four years,” said Herzog. “I though tonight was one of her better games all season.”

In Herzog’s view, PHS played one of its better games of the season in the loss to Randolph.

“It is a huge difference, that is part of what we talked about before the game,” said Herzog, who got three goals from junior star Zammit in the contest.

“Where we are as a team compared to where we were when we first played them are two very different things.”

Focusing on fundamentals has helped the Tigers make strides this winter.

“Some of them have developed, they have worked hard,” added Herzog, whose team is 2-12 with both wins coming against the Lawrenceville B team. “In some of them it is just as simple as positioning, where I am supposed to be and even knowing exactly what is offsides.”

With PHS hosting Immaculate Heart Academy on February 13 in a WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) playoff game, Herzog will be looking for his players to keep working hard.

“It is an uphill battle to be realistic; we have gotten blown out the last two times we have played IHA,” said Herzog. “The last time we played them, we were a little more physical.”

Corrodi, for her part, believes that the team is ready to battle to the end. “We are hoping to finish on a strong note,” said Corrodi. “We are just trying to finish the season strong and be proud of the effort we put forth all season and leave it all on the ice.”