With Freshman Huff Providing Offensive Spark, PDS Field Hockey Maintaining Positive Attitude
HUFFING AND PUFFING: Princeton Day School field hockey Jadyn Huff, right, fights for the ball in recent action. Freshman forward Huff has provided a spark for the PDS offense in her debut season. The Panthers, who defeated Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 4-0 last Monday to improve to 5-5-3, start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week, where they are seeded sixth and will host No. 11 WW/P-South in a first round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Jadyn Huff kept pressing forward for the Princeton Day School field hockey team even as it fell behind a powerful Hill School (Pa.) squad 4-0 in the first half last Wednesday.
PDS freshman forward Huff got loose on a breakaway and fired the ball past the Hill goalie to cut the deficit to 4-1 with 9:35 left in the half.
“I just knew it was my ball, I just kept going and I went as quick as I could,” said Huff. “I was just trying to get in there. I just wanted to get a shot on net.”
While Huff’s moment of brilliance proved to be one of the lone highlights for the Panthers as they fell 11-1 to the Blues, PDS never stopped trying.
“We did very well. We hung in there and we tried to stay positive throughout,” said Huff.
Huff is enjoying a positive freshman campaign for the Panthers. “I am definitely learning a lot more, my coaches have taught me a lot of great things that I need to improve on,” said Huff.
“They have helped me on shooting, different shots to take, when to take certain hits and what is beneficial when it is a game situation.”
PDS head coach Heather Farlow credits Huff with giving PDS a spark on the front line.
“Jadyn has been great addition to our offense, we knew that she is capable of finishing,” said Farlow.
“She rises to the challenge of some of these tougher opponents, playing Lawrenceville (a 5-1 loss on September 28) and Hill this week. She has done a really nice job.”
While PDS was overmatched against powerhouse Hill, the Panthers showed some grit.
“We gave up too many corners, but I think our defensive coverage, our marking and reading the passing lanes was much better,” said Farlow.
“I don’t think we gave up, regardless of the score. We just kept playing which I was really pleased with.”
The team’s senior group has helped the Panthers keep playing hard. “Lexie [Hausheer] and Caroline [Haggerty] have been great. They are our two most veteran club players and they have been anchoring us defensively,” said Farlow, whose senior class also includes Madison Izzard.
“Skylar Mundenar has stepped up and made some nice plays. Julia Lach is doing some nice things up front for us. Our seniors are doing a really nice job; they are holding us together.”
In Farlow’s view, her squad is coming together as it looks forward to postseason play.
“We are playing a much tougher schedule this year than in the last few years,” said Farlow, whose defeated Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 4-0 last Monday to improve to 5-5-3 and starts play in the Mercer County Tournament this week where it is seeded sixth and will host No. 11 WW/P-South in a first round contest.
“That has been nice in that we are sensing what the highest level of play is. It is also a challenge. They are tough teams but we have stayed positive, we have stayed focused. We are just trying to take it day by day.”
Huff, for her part, believes that PDS will be a tough out in the MCT.
“I think we will do well if we keep our heads high and stay positive no matter what happens,” said Huff.
“Playing better teams like we have definitely makes you better, it opens your eyes to what better teams can do.”