Senior Star DeMilt Hits 100-Goal Milestone As PHS Girls’ Lax Rolled in Sectional Semis
CENTURY CLUB: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Kathryn DeMilt, left, races up the field last week as PHS hosted Howell in Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semis. Senior attacker DeMilt tallied 10 points in six goals and four assists, including her 100th career goal, as top-seeded PHS defeated fourth-seeded Howell 21-4 in the May 21 contest. Three days later, DeMilt chipped in a goal as PHS defeated second-seeded Rancocas Valley 10-5 in the sectional final. The Tigers, now 18-2, will face South sectional champion Eastern in the Group 4 semis on May 29 at Moorestown. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As part of the supporting cast for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team during her debut season in the spring of 2016, Kathyrn DeMilt set a goal.
“When I started off my freshman year I would look up to my seniors, like Taylor Lis,” recalled DeMilt.
All these players are getting their 100th goal and I thought I want to be like them one day.”
Over the last three years, DeMilt followed in their footsteps, emerging as a top scorer for the Tigers. With top-seeded PHS hosting fourth-seeded Howell High in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semis last week, DeMilt was approaching her target, coming into the contest with 94 goals on her career.
But as DeMilt took the field for the May 21 contest, she wasn’t confident that it was her day to achieve the milestone.
“Honestly, the warmup was not great,” said DeMilt. “I talked to my coach [Meg Reilly] before that game and I was telling her that I felt a little anxious. I wanted to come out strong and I wanted to do well today and she helped me out.”
Overcoming her nerves, DeMilt produced a very strong first half, tallying three goals and three assists as PHS jumped out to a 13-3 halftime lead.
“This is one of my last times playing on this field ever. I was just excited to get out there and play for my team,” said DeMilt.
“When our team can get the draw and gets it down fast and get some quick goals off the bat, we get the energy. It carries throughout the game.”
Continuing to bring the energy, DeMilt tallied her sixth goal of the contest late in the second half to hit the century mark, prompting loud cheers from the bleachers and the unfurling of posters.
“The fact that I could get it makes me feel good,” said DeMilt, who ended up with six goals and four assists on the day as the Tigers cruised to a 21-4 triumph.
“Since this is the last time I am playing on a team, it means so much to me that this has been a great senior year. The fact that I can end my lacrosse career off of such a happy memory, it just means the world.”
Making a second straight sectional final, which saw PHS top second-seeded Rancocas Valley 10-5 on Friday, was special for DeMilt and her classmates.
“We have been through a lot all of the seniors over the four years,” said DeMilt, who tallied a goal in the win over Rancocas Valley as the Tigers improved to 18-2 and advanced to the state Group 4 semis where they will face South champion Eastern on May 29 at Moorestown.
“Now that we have built that friendship on and off the field, it definitely ends up with great results.”
PHS head coach Meg Reilly liked seeing DeMilt get the result that she wanted.
“I told her not to focus on that but with the signs and the fans and it is a postseason game, there is always a lot of pressure for that,” said Reilly. “It is a different kind of vibe when it is postseason, but she rose to the challenge and she killed it.”
Reilly credited DeMilt with not forcing things and piling up her points in the flow of the game.
“Kathryn did it in an unselfish way; she wasn’t always looking for the drive,” said Reilly.
“She was just looking to set up her teammates and it ended up working well that they set her up. She was just hustling so well. At halftime, I complimented her and Eva Petrone for their hustle all over the field.”
DeMilt, for her part, credited her teammates with paving the way for her milestone.
“I have never played on a team that moves the ball this well,” said DeMilt.
“I think that we have a whole field of girls who know how to play, who have IQ and can move the ball fast. We play a beautiful game of lacrosse.”