September 4, 2019

With Its 3 Senior Stars From 2018 Moving On, PDS Field Hockey Needs New Faces to Step Up

IN CONTROL: Princeton Day School field hockey player Caroline Haggerty controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior defender/midfielder Haggerty will be leading things in the defensive half of the field for the Panthers this fall. PDS was slated to start 2019 regular season action by playing at Mount Saint Mary Academy on September 3 and then hosting Princeton High on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three years, the Princeton Day School field hockey program developed into a powerhouse, going 39-15 as it won the state Prep B title in 2016 and reached the final in the other two seasons and also advanced to a pair of Mercer County Tournament title games.

In enjoying that run of success, PDS was fueled by its big three of Gwen Allen, Val Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani.

But with those three having graduated, the Panthers know that things might not got as smoothly this fall.

“We are realistic in knowing that we might have more competitive games than we have been used to in the last couple of years,” said PDS head coach Heather Farlow, who guided the Panthers to an 11-5 record last year on the way to both the Prep B and MCT title games.

“If we do win, it may not look like 5-0, it might be a much closer game.  We have been spending a lot more time on fitness this preseason because we are thinking, let’s just see if we can hang.”

With four-year starting senior goalie Lexie Hausheer primed for a big final campaign after playing through injury last fall, the Panthers should be able to hang with any team.

“She is healthy so we are excited for her, she worked really hard,” said Farlow, noting that Hausheer has verbally committed to attend Cornell and play for its field hockey program.

“We are picking up where her physical therapy left off, trying make sure that she is strong and explosive. She really battled through for us last year and she came up big.”

Senior defender/midfielder Caroline Haggerty has emerged as strong two-way performer.

“Caroline is such a hard worker and has really become a nice all-around player,” said Farlow.

“We will probably play Caroline as a defensive midfielder. She has been a consistent playmaker for us. She has been a steady presence and is committed to club hockey as well.”

Farlow is looking for sophomore Franny Gallagher and senior Skylar Mundenar to aid Haggerty in the defensive half of the field.

“Franny got some time last year for us as a freshman; she really committed to club and getting better and has been doing really well during preseason,” said Farlow.

“We are hoping she can step up and take it on. We have Skylar who has been steady player for us. She will also be in the back.”

Along the front line, PDS will be featuring freshman Jadyn Huff, sophomore Ally Antonacci, and senior Julia Lach.

“Jadyn is a good finisher and offensive player, she used to play for South Jersey edge but she switched over to Princeton Field Hockey,” said Farlow.

“We are excited to see what she can do. Ally was there last year so we are hoping she can step up. Julia has been a steady presence.”

With PDS slated to get its 2019 regular season underway by playing at Mount Saint Mary Academy on September 3 and then host Princeton High on September 6, Farlow is looking for some new faces to do some exciting things.

“It is just playing a passing game where we really feel confident that anybody can do this and not just relying on a couple of people,” said Farlow.

“It is one of those things, sometimes after you graduate a couple of big guns, you are pleasantly surprised. We are going to have to get our younger players to step up this year and really play a focused, team game as opposed to getting it to one or two people. We have been seeing our players who are two-sport or three-sport athletes who have some ability. It is now can they put that into field hockey.”