Surprising Postseason Runs, Perennial Powers Spiced Up Local Sporting Landscape in 2019
JUMPING FOR JOY: Members of the Princeton University field hockey team celebrate after scoring a goal in the regular season game this fall. The Tigers went on to win the Ivy League title and later advanced to the NCAA championship game for the first time since 2012, where they fell to perennial power North Carolina. Princeton ended the fall with a 16-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Some surprising postseason runs made 2019 a year to remember on the national sports landscape. In pro hockey, the St. Louis Blues went from last place in December to earn their first-ever Stanley Cup in June. The Washington Nationals overcame their history of playoff futility to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The Toronto Raptors were a dark horse title contender in the NBA and proceeded to ride the clutch play of Kawhi Leonard to their initial league championship.
At the same time, some dominant teams added to their championship legacy. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl to win their sixth NFL title and third in the last five years. The U.S. women’s soccer team won their second straight World Cup, continuing their dominance of the international game.
Over the course of 2019, Princeton University teams spiced up the year with some surprise runs of their own. The men’s volleyball team defeated Penn State 3-2 in the EIVA (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) championship game, winning the program’s first EIVA crown since 1998. The Tigers went on to defeat Barton 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to earn the program’s first win in the national tournament. At Hobey Baker rink, women’s hockey set a program with a 20-game unbeaten streak and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The wrestling team placed 15th at the NCAA championships, its highest finish in that competition since taking 14th in 1978. Producing a dramatic victory, men’s golf won the Ivy League Championships by one stroke, carding a total of 875 with Columbia next at 876 — its first league crown since 2013. The Tiger women’s tennis won its second straight Ivy title and then defeated Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the second round for the first time since 2014.
In the meantime, some of Princeton’s traditionally strong programs continued to excel. Women’s lacrosse won its sixth straight Ivy League regular season title and then went on to defeat Penn 13-8 in the Ivy postseason tournament championship game. The Tigers ended up advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals. The men’s track squad rolled to first place at the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship, securing the program’s ninth triple crown (cross country, indoor, and outdoor Heps). After making to a pair of NCAA Final Fours in the previous three years, field hockey took one step further, advancing to the national championship game where it fell to perennial power North Carolina. Women’s basketball won its second straight Ivy crown; their seventh in the last 10 seasons.
On the high school scene, the Hun School girls swimming team pulled off a stunner, winning its first-ever title at the Mercer County Championships. The Princeton Day School baseball team had a sub-.500 record, but caught fire down the stretch to make it to the state Prep B final. The Princeton High girls’ basketball team advanced to the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals, its best postseason run since the 1980s. Seeded seventh in the Mercer County Tournament, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on the way to making it to the final. Chloe Ayres made history for PHS wrestling, winning the NJSIAA Championships title at 105 pounds in the first-ever N.J. girls’ state competition. In the fall, the PHS girls’ tennis won the team title at the MCT for the first time since 2014.
Other area high school programs cemented their status as perennial champions. The Hun School boys’ hockey team won its sixth straight Mercer County Tournament title. In the spring, the Hun baseball team won its fourth straight state Prep A crown while the Raider boys’ lacrosse team won its second straight Prep A title. Over at PDS, the girls’ soccer team won its sixth straight state Prep B title with the boys’ lacrosse program earning its fourth straight MCT championship. Emerging as powerhouses, the Stuart hoops team earned its second straight Prep B crown and the Tartan track squad won the indoor and outdoor Prep B championship meets for a second year a row. Boasting a high-powered attack, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team won its second straight Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title.
KICKING UP HER HEELS: Courtney Banghart instructs her players last winter in what turned out to be her final campaign as the head coach of the Princeton University women’s basketball team. Banghart guided the Tigers to their second straight Ivy League title and then headed south to take the helm of the University of North Carolina women’s hoops program. On her way to the Tar Heels, Banghart led Princeton to unprecedented success as it made the NCAA tournament in eight of the last 10 years, with seven automatic bids and the league’s only at-large bid by a men’s or women’s team. Banghart put together a 254-103 (.711) overall record and won more than 80 percent of her Ivy games with a 137-31 record (.816) while winning 89 more games than any other coach in program history. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
PU – Winter
Bella Alarie cemented her status as one of the best players in Ivy League history as she led the Princeton University women’s basketball team to its second straight Ivy title. Junior standout Alarie averaged 22.8 points and 10.6 rebounds a game, getting named as the Ivy Player of the Year for the second straight season and passing the 1,000-point mark in her career. The Tigers won the regular season title and then defeated Penn in the Ivy postseason tournament championship game to earn the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Head coach Courtney Banghart’s squad fell 82-77 to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tourney to end the year with a 22-10 record. In late April, the program suffered another loss as Banghart left Princeton to become the head coach of the North Carolina women’s program. Longtime Tufts head coach Carla Berube was named to replace Banghart and took the helm of the Tigers in late May.
The one-two punch of freshmen stars Sarah Fillier and Maggie Connors helped the women’s hockey team produce a historic season. Coach Cara Morey’s squad set a program record with a 20-game unbeaten streak and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Tiger fell 5-2 to the Golden Gophers, the eventual national runners-up, to end the winter with a 20-8-5 record. Filler, for her part, tallied 57 points on 22 goals and 35 assists to earn National Rookie of the Year and second-team All-American honors. Connors led the Tigers with 26 goals and was named second-team All-ECAC Hockey.
With junior center Richmond Aririguzoh emerging as force, men’s basketball qualified for the Ivy postseason tournament. Aririguzoh, a former Trenton Catholic Academy star, went from scoring 2.7 points a game off the bench as a sophomore to averaging 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 2018-19 on the way to earning second-team All-Ivy honors. Coach Mitch Henderson’s squad lost an 83-77 heartbreaker to Yale in the Ivy semis to finish the winter at 16-12.
GOAL-ORIENTED: Ryan Kuffner heads up the ice for the Detroit Red Wings last spring, weeks after ending his career for the Princeton University men’s hockey program. During his senior season, Kuffner broke the all-time career goals record at Princeton, ending up with a total of 75 as he passed the previous mark of 67 set by John Cook from 1960-63. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
The big three of Ryan Kuffner, Max Veronneau, and Josh Teves ended their careers with a slew of records for men’s hockey. Forward Kuffner graduated as the program’s all-time leading goal scorer with 75 while forward Veronneau was the fourth leading scorer with 143 points and Teves set a program mark for most assists (69) by a defenseman. That production, though, didn’t translate into a winning campaign for coach Ron Fogarty’s squad as Princeton went 10-18-3 and got eliminated by Brown in the first round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs.
It was another banner campaign for Tiger wrestling as it solidified its status as one the top programs in the nation. Coach Chris Ayres led his team to a 9-6 record, highlighted by a win over No. 8 Lehigh, and saw six wrestlers advance to the NCAA championships where Princeton placed 15th. Patrick Brucki (fourth, 197) joined fellow co-captain Matthew Kolodzik (fifth, 149) and freshman Patrick Glory (sixth, 125) in earning All-American honors.
Boasting five All-America honorees, the men’s and women’s fencing team placed ninth at the NCAA Championships. Coach Zoltan Dudas’ All-Americans included junior Tatijana Stewart in the women’s épée; NCAA finalist Daniel Kwak, a sophomore saber; freshman foil Mohamed Hamza; senior épée Wesley Johnson; and junior épée Wesley Yuan.
Freshman Raunak Khosla came up big to help men’s swimming take second at the Ivy championship meet. Khosla broke the meet records in winning both the 200 individual medley and 200 butterfly for coach C. Rob Orr’s squad as it piled up 1209.5 points with Harvard winning the title with 1432.5.
Weeks after the season, legendary coach Orr stepped down after 40 seasons at the helm of the program. He retired with 330 dual meet victories — the third-most ever for a Division I men’s swimming coach — and 23 Ivy League Championships, including seven of the last 11 titles. Orr was succeeded by Matt Crispino, who was the head coach at William & Mary.
Regan Barney and Mimi Lin provided highlights as women’s swimming took third at the Ivy championships. Sophomore Barney won the 400 individual medley while junior Lin won the 3-meter diving title for coach Bret Lungaard’s squad.
Continuing an impressive streak, men’s track won its fifth straight indoor Ivy League Heptagonal championships. Coach Fred Samara’s team piled up 139.5 points, 28.5 in front of runner-up Penn. Individual winners at the meet included Joey Daniels (60-meter hurdles), C.J. Licata (shot put), Adam Kelly (weight throw), and Andrei Iosivas (heptathlon).
The distance medley relay squad of Peyton Brown, Allison Glossinger, Madison Offstein, and Gillian Wagner earned the sole first place finish as women’s track placed fifth at the indoor Ivy League Heptagonal championships. Coach Michelle Eisenreich got second place finishes from Hanne Borstlap in the pole vault and Obiageri Amaechi in the shot put at the meet.
George Huhmann and Parker Dixon led the way as men’s volleyball produced a historic campaign. Coach Sam Shwiesky’s squad defeated Penn State 3-2 (28-26, 22-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13) in the EIVA championship game. It was the program’s first EIVA crown since 1998.
The Tigers went on to defeat Barton 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to earn the program’s first-ever win in the national tourney. Princeton ended up falling 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-8) to Pepperdine in the NCAA quarter finals to end the season at 18-12. Huhmann and Dixon were named as American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-Americans.
Bubble Lui and Raneem El Torky earned All-Ivy honors as women’s squash took second in the league standings. Coach Gail Ramsay’s squash ended up placing fourth at the Howe Cup national championships and posted a 14-3 record.
Adhitya Raghavan starred for the men’s squash team as it placed eighth in the College Squash Association (CSA) national championships. Raghavan earned All-Ivy and All-American honors playing at No. 1. Coach Sean Wilkinson’s team ended the winter with a final record of 7-9.
MIGHTY MIKE: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Michael Sowers heads to goal in a game last spring. The superstar attackman finished his junior year with 90 points on 37 goals and 53 assists, breaking his own single season record of 83 points. Sowers also broke the Princeton record for career points with 255, bettering the previous record of 247, set by Kevin Lowe 25 years ago. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
PU – Spring
It was another championship campaign for Princeton women’s lacrosse as it won its sixth straight Ivy League regular season title and then went on to defeat Penn 13-8 in the Ivy postseason tournament
championship game. Coach Chris Sailer’s squad advanced to NCAA quarterfinals, where it fell to Boston College 17-12 to end the spring with a 16-4 record.
Senior Elizabeth George was named the Ivy Attacker of the Year, while fellow senior Nonie Andersen was selected as the Defender of the Year and sophomore Sam Fish was named the Goalie of the Year. George, Andersen, and Kyla Sears earned All-American honors.
Michael Sowers enjoyed another record-breaking campaign for men’s lacrosse. The superstar attackman finished his junior year with 37 goals and 53 assists for a program record 90 points, breaking his own record of 83 points set in 2018. His 11 points against Siena tied the Princeton single-game record. Sowers also broke the Princeton record for career points with 255, bettering the previous record of 247, set by Kevin Lowe 25 years ago. He was named as one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton award, given to the top player in college lacrosse. Despite Sowers’ heroics, coach Matt Madalon’s squad fell short of making the Ivy postseason tournament, going 7-7 overall and 2-4 Ivy.
Pitcher Andrew Gnazzo and infielder David Harding were bright spots for baseball in a tough season as they both earned All-Ivy honors. Coach Scott Bradley’s squad went 14-26 overall and 8-12 Ivy.
Catcher Keeley Walsh, first baseman Kaylee Grant, and outfielder Megan Donahey had big seasons for softball, each getting selected as first-team All-Ivy performers. Coach Lisa Van Ackeren guided her team to an overall record of 14-27 and 10-11 in league play.
Amy Castellano produced a superb campaign for the women’s water polo, leading the Tigers in goals (74), shots (130), shooting percentage (.569), steals (47), blocks (13), and sprint wins (18). Coach Derek Ellingson’s squad went 21-9 on the way to reaching the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) final for the third season in a row.
Displaying the depth of its program, the men’s heavyweight crew had three boats post top-five finishes at the IRA (Intercollegiate Rowing Association) National Championship. The varsity 8 was sixth in its Grand Final, the second varsity 8 also placed sixth, and the third varsity 8 just missed a medal, crossing the finish line fourth for coach Greg Hughes.
Falling just short of a national title, the men’s lightweight varsity 8 crew took second in the Grand Final at the IRA National Championship, trailing champion Cornell by just .4 seconds. It was the second straight silver medal at the IRA for coach Marty Crotty’s top boat. The Tigers’ back-to-back medals are the first time the program has done that since 2009-10, when the Tigers won the varsity 8 race both years.
Led by senior stars Claire Collins and Emily Kallfelz, women’s open crew varsity 8 won its fourth straight title at the Ivy League championship regatta. Coach Lori Dauphiny’s top boat went on the place seventh at the NCAA Championships.
The women’s lightweight varsity eight picked up its first silver medal since 2011 at the IRA National Championship. Coach Paul Rassam’s crew came in 4.5 seconds behind five-time champion Stanford. Having earned bronze in 2017 and 2018, the second-place finish marked the first time that the Tigers have medaled in three straight IRAs since 2005-07.
Producing another dominant performance, the men’s track rolled to first place at the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship, piling up 182 points with runner-up Penn well behind at 123. The individual victors at the meet for coach Fred Samara’s squad included Joey Daniels, 110 hurdles; Ed Trippas, steeplechase; Jeffrey Hollis, high jump; Jesse Thibodeau, long jump; Dayo Abeeb, triple jump; Kelton Chastulik, shot put; and Adam Kelly, hammer. The team triumph secured the program’s ninth triple crown (cross country, indoor, and outdoor Heps) and the 46th Ivy League title for the legendary Samara.
Throwing stars provided highlights for women’s track at the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship as Obiageri Amaechi won the discus and Rylie Pease placed first in the javelin. Coach Michelle Eisenrich’s team placed fourth at the Heps meet which was won by Penn. Amaechi set the Ivy League and Princeton record with a heave of 190’1 as she won her second consecutive discus title and was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the meet.
Producing a dramatic victory, men’s golf won the Ivy League Championships by one stroke, carding a total of 875 with Columbia next at 876. It marked the program’s 30th Ivy League title and first since 2013. Coach Will Green’s squad was led by Evan Quinn at +4, two strokes off James Nicholas’ medalist-winning +2 for Yale. Sam Clayman, tied for third at +5, and Max Ting tied for seventh at +7.
Maya Walton starred for the women’s golf team, tying for fifth at the Ivy League Championships. Coach Erika DeSanty placed fourth in the team standings of the event won by Harvard.
Karl Poling starred in his debut season, while the doubles team of Ryan Seggerman and Payton Holden provided a number of highlights for men’s tennis. Poling was named the Ivy Rookie of the Year and was a first-team All-Ivy singles honoree while
Seggerman and Holden were named first-team all-league doubles. Coach Billy Pate’s squad went 20-9 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy, tying the program wins record set in 1995.
It was a historic season for women’s tennis as it won its second straight Ivy title, going undefeated in league play in back-to-back seasons. The Tigers then defeated Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the second round for the first time since 2014. Coach Laura Granville was named the Ivy Coach of the Year, while Brianna Shvets was a first-team singles honoree. Shvets and Nicole Kalhorn were picked as a first-team doubles pair, and Grace Joyce and Stephanie Schrage were named second-team singles honorees. The Tigers posted an overall record of 19-5.
PU – Fall
With a high-powered attack featuring All-Ivy performers Clara Roth, Hannah Davey, Julianna Tornetta, Sammy Popper, MaryKate Neff, and Ali McCarthy along with All-Ivy goalie Grace Baylis leading the defense, field
hockey enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history. Coach Carla Tagliente’s squad ended the regular season on a 10-game winning streak and then posted three more victories in the NCAA tournament. As a result, Princeton made its third Final Four in four years and the national championship game for the first time since 2012. The Tigers fell to undefeated North Carolina 6-1 in the title game to end the season at 16-5.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the start of college football, which began when Princeton faced Rutgers in 1869, the Tigers produced another superb campaign. With 14 players earning All-Ivy honors, Princeton went 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy, trailing only league co-champions Dartmouth and Yale. Quarterback Kevin Davidson triggered the offense while linebacker Jeremiah Tyler was a force on defense for coach Bob Surace’s squad.
Senior goalie Natalie Grossi made history for women’s soccer as she set the Ivy career shutout record with 31. Despite Grossi’s heroics, Princeton was on the short end of three one-goal losses in league play as coach Sean Driscoll’s squad went 8-6-3 overall and 3-3-1 Ivy.
Goalie Jacob Schachner, forward Walker Gillespie, and midfielder Kevin O’Toole earned first-team All-Ivy honors as men’s soccer enjoyed another winning campaign. Coach Jim Barlow guided his team to an overall record of 10-4-3 (2-2-3 Ivy).
Camren Fischer enjoyed an impressive debut season for men’s cross country, taking fifth individually at the Ivy League Heptagonal championships and then winning the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional. Coach Jason Vigilante’s squad finished third at both the Heps and the Mid-Atlantic regionals.
Melia Chittenden set the pace for women’s cross country, taking sixth individually at the Ivy Heps and eighth at the Mid-Atlantic regionals. Coach Brad Hunt guided the Tigers to fourth place finishes in both meets.
Yurian Quinones and Mitchell Cooper earned honorable mention All-American honors for men’s water polo. Quinones led the team with 49 goals, while Cooper tallied a team-high 78 points. Head coach Dustin Litvak’s squad went 16-15 and advanced to the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) final for the second straight year.
Led by All-Ivy performers Maggie O’Connell, Jessie Harries, Claire Lenihan, Devin Peterkin, and Natasha Skov, women’s volleyball produced a memorable campaign. Overcoming losses to Cornell and Yale, the Tigers caught fire down the stretch and tied the latter for the Ivy regular season title. Princeton proceeded to top Yale 3-1 in a playoff match for the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers ended up falling 3-0 to Penn State in the NCAA tourney to end the fall at 17-8 for coach Sabrina King.
MAKING A SPLASH: Hun School girls’ swimmer Marie-Eve Hebert heads to victory in the 200-meter freestyle at the Mercer County Championships in January. Junior Hebert also prevailed in the 400 free, helping Hun to the team title, its first county crown in program history. The Raiders piled up 207 points in taking the championship with WW/P-South coming in second at 175. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Led by the big four of Marie-Eve Hebert, Becca Della Rocca, Abby Danko, and Izzy Peel, Hun School girls’ swimming rolled to the team title at the Mercer County Championships. Coach Joan Nuse’s squad piled up 207 points with runner-up and perennial power WW/P-South well behind at 172 as the Raiders won the first county crown in program history.
Arturo Rodrigues and Josh Nguyen were standouts for boys’ swimming as it enjoyed a solid season. Coach Joan Nuse’s squad lost only one dual meet over the winter.
Brian Nelson saved his best for last as boys’ hockey won its sixth straight Mercer County Tournament. Senior forward Nelson tallied 50 points on 24 goals and 26 assists, including three goals in the MCT final, as Hun defeated Princeton High 9-4. Coach Ian McNally’s team ended the winter with a 15-8-1 record as defenseman Eddie Evaldi, forward Matt Argentina, and goalie Jackson Cole also starred for the Raiders.
Seniors Myles Bostic, Eric Fleming, Shamar Florence, and Andrew Seager led the way for boys’ basketball. Coach Jon Stone’s team went 11-14 on the way to making the semis of both the state Prep A tournament and the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) tourney.
Jada Jones and Kennedy Jardine provided scoring punch for girls’ basketball. Coach Bill Holup’s team ended the winter going 9-14.
Producing a dominant campaign, baseball posted a 22-2 record as it won its fourth straight state Prep A title. Andy Blake, McGwire Tuffy, Jack Erbeck, Blaney Soper, and Danny Melnick were among the stars for the talented squad, which also advanced to the MCT semis under the leadership of coach Tom Monfiletto.
Devon Cowan, Grant Hansen, and Trevor Deubner sparked the attack while defender Jack Ruddy and goalie Gabe Craven anchored the defense as boys’ lacrosse enjoyed another big season. Coach MV Whitlow guided the Raiders to a second straight state Prep A title and a 12-3 record.
Junior transfer Ally Cowan gave the girls’ lacrosse team a lift, scoring 57 goals to establish herself as the team’s go-to finisher. Coach Rachel Hickey guided the Raiders to a 5-9 mark in her debut season at the helm of the program.
Shortstop Gigi Venizelos and center fielder Abby Zucatti enjoyed outstanding seasons with the bat and glove for softball. Coach Kathy Quirk guided her team to a 9-6 record and a trip to the state Prep A semis.
Star running back Ian Franzoni produced a huge senior campaign for football, rushing for 1,178 yards and 12 touchdowns. Coach Todd Smith’s team went 5-2 in games it played, picking up two other wins by forfeit.
Harry Carter emerged as a star for the cross country program under the tutelage of new head coach Kurt Wayton. Sophomore Carter placed 11th at the Mercer County Championships and third at the state Prep A championship meet.
Wayton’s boys’ team placed eighth at the county meet and fifth at the Prep A competition.
Goalie Alex Donahue, midfielder Tishe Olaleye, and defender Brian Spencer earned All-Prep A honors for boys’ soccer. Coach Pat Quirk guided his squad to the Prep A semis and the MCT quarterfinals on the way to a 6-10-3 record.
Senior midfielder Nicole Angelini and senior Hannah Cavanaugh both enjoyed a superb final campaign for girls’ soccer, earning All-Prep A honors. Coach Jenn Barrett led the Raiders to a 5-11 record in her first season at the helm of the program.
Led by seniors Gabby Samano, Emily Albanese, Emma Caforio, and Catherine Argiriou, field hockey stuck together after an 0-9 start, coming up with some wins down the stretch. Coach Tracey Arndt’s squad ended up at 3-15 in her first campaign guiding the Raiders.
FOUR OF A KIND: Players on the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team celebrate after they rallied to defeat Notre Dame 7-6 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game in May. It marked the fourth straight MCT title for PDS, which ended the spring with a 13-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
A trio of senior stars, Coby Auslander, Ty Eastman, and Chip Hamlett, came up big for Princeton Day School boys’ hockey. Their production and leadership helped coach Scott Bertoli’s club go 14-12-1 and make the semis of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) tournament.
Julie Patterson enjoyed an impressive final season for girls’ hockey, leading the Panthers with 37 points on 25 goals and 12 assists. Coach Lorna Cook led the squad to a 12-12 record. She later stepped away from the program and was succeeded by John Ritchie.
David “Diggy” Coit and Freddy Young Jr. formed a potent one-two punch in the backcourt for boys’ basketball. Coach Doug Davis guided PDS to a 12-13 record and a spot in the state Prep B semis in his debut season at the helm of the program.
Seniors Brooke Smukler and Gwen Allen helped set a positive tone as girls’ basketball took its lumps. Coach Liz Loughlin’s team posted a 2-19 record in her first season as head coach of the program.
Maintaining its winning tradition under new head coach Joe Moore, boys’ lacrosse won its fourth straight MCT title. Senior goalie Connor Green spearheaded the defense while Coby Auslander, Jake Bennett, Jimmy O’Connor, and Cal Caputo triggered the offense as the Panthers went 13-3.
Zoe Cook, Ellie Schofield, Elle Anhut, and Maddy Birch provided offensive production while Val Radvany anchored the back line for girls’ lacrosse. Coach Jill Thomas guided her squad to an 8-7 record and an appearance in the state Prep B semifinals.
Sparked by its seniors, baseball enjoyed an improbable run to the state Prep B championships game. The Panthers were led by senior standouts Matt Nyce, Brendan
Bucceri, and Vinny Gasparro with juniors John Carroll and Tom Bocian also having big years. Coach Brian Dudeck’s squad ended the spring with an 8-10 record.
Julie Patterson starred with the bat and the glove at catcher for softball. Coach Paul Lano guided the team to a 2-8 record and stepped down from the program after the season to coach college volleyball.
The second doubles team of Jake Harris and Shai Fruchter provided a highlight for boys’ tennis as they won their flight at the state Prep B tournament. Coach Jen Johnson’s squad took third in the team standings at the Prep B tourney. Johnson left the program after the season as she moved to Florida.
Cementing its status as a dynasty, girls’ soccer won its sixth straight state Prep B title. The Panthers were led by seniors Ariana Jones, Tulsi Pari, Bri Astbury, and Riley Felsher with juniors Jules Romano and Kelly Beal also making big contributions. Coach Pat Trombetta guided the squad to a 16-3-1 record and a deep run in a second tournament as the Panthers made the MCT semis.
Junior midfielder Alex Liu-Nowakowski and junior defender Jacques Hughes earned Prep-B All-State honors for boys’ soccer. Coach Ollie Hilliker led the Panthers to a 5-12 record.
A trio of seniors — Skylar Mundenar, Caroline Haggerty, and Lexie Hausheer — held things together as field hockey overcame a shaky start and advanced to the state Prep B final for the fourth straight year. Coach Heather Farlow led the team to an 8-7-3 record.
Freshman Neha Khandkar made an immediate impact in her debut season for girls’ tennis, winning the third singles title at both the MCT and state Prep B tourney. Coach Will Asch led the Panthers to a second place finish in the Prep B tournament and fifth place in the MCT.
The cross country program made strides under coach John Woodside. With junior Gunnar Clingman taking second, the boys’ squad placed fourth in the team standings at the state Prep B championship meet. On the girls’ side, sophomore Meghan Rentner took fifth individually at the Prep B competition to help the Panthers place fifth in the team standings.
TRIPLE THREAT: Princeton High star Shaylah Marciano heads up the field last spring for the Tiger girls’ lacrosse team. Midfielder Marciano helped PHS win its second straight Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title. In the winter, Marciano’s work at point guard helped the Tigers’ girls’ basketball team advance to the sectional semis. This past fall, Marciano starred at goalie for the Tiger girls’ soccer team, getting named as Mercer 33 all-star. She will be heading to the University of Michigan in 2020 where she committed to play for its women’s lax program. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
With star forward Aidan Trainor sparking the offense and defenseman Rocco Salvato anchoring the blue line, PHS boys’ hockey produced another superb campaign. Coach Tim Chase guided the Tigers to the MCT championship game and the state Public B quarterfinals on the way to a 14-10-3 record. After the season, Chase stepped down as coach and was succeeded by Joe Bensky. Led by a group senior stalwarts including Erin Devine, Catherine Dyevich, Ella Kotsen, and the Intartagilia twins, Anna and Olivia, girls’ basketball produced one of the best campaigns in program history. Coach Dave Kosa led the squad to an 18-8 record and a spot in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals.
Sparked by point guard Tim Evidente and forward Gabriel Bar-Cohen, boys’ basketball showed marked progress. Coach Pat Noone’s squad posted a 12-14 record, tripling its win goal from 2017-18 when it went 4-21.
Victoria Zammit produced a stellar campaign for girls’ hockey, tallying 33 points on 26 goals and seven assists. Coach Christian Herzog’s team went 0-13 against varsity competition, picking up three wins against the Lawrenceville ‘B’ team.
Cammie Davis, Abby Walden, Katie DiVenti, and Tracey Liu all had top-six finishes to help the girls’ swimming place sixth in the Mercer County Championships. Coach Carly Misiewicz’s team posted a record of 7-5 in dual meets, falling to Manasquan in the first round of the Central Jersey Public B sectional.
Jehsurun Reyen took third in the 50 freestyle, Owen Tennant placed in the top six in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke and the 200 free relay placed first to provide highlights for boys’ swimming at the county meet as the Tigers ended up fifth in the team standings. Coach Carly Misiewicz guided the squad to an 8-4-1 record and Central Jersey Public B sectional quarterfinals.
WILD RIDE: Princeton High boys’ track star Nils Wildberg flies through the air in a long jump competition. In June, Wildberg took fifth place in the Championship Long Jump at the New Balance National Championships. The Dartmouth-bound Wildberg jumped a personal best of 24’ 3.5, good for a school and Mercer County all-time record as he earned All-America status. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Star thrower Paul Brennan and standout jumper Nils Wildberg had some big performances for boys’ indoor track. Brennan took the sectional title in the shot put while Wildberg placed first in the inaugural Meet of Champions long jump showcase. Coach Ben Samara’s team placed second at the county championship meet, and sixth at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet.
The 4×400 relay quartet of Kendal Williamson, Raina Williamson, Gabby Goddard, and Colleen Linko enjoyed a big winter for girls’ track, placing first at the county and sectional meets and ended up taking eighth at the Meet of Champions. Coach Ben Samara’s squad finished sixth in the county meet and seventh in the sectional.
Alec Bobchin and Chloe Ayres emerged as standouts at the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships. Senior Bobchin placed fifth in 138 pounds in the boys’ tournament while sophomore Ayres won the title at 105 pounds in the first-ever girls’ state competition. Coach Rashone Johnson’s squad produced some highlights at the county tournament as well, with Bobchin winning his fourth straight MCT crown and Daniel Monahan prevailing at 126.
With a formidable attack featuring Mariana Lopez-Ona, Shaylah Marciano, Shoshi Henderson, Kathryn DeMilt, and Eva Petrone together with a stingy defense spearheaded by defender Lila Doran and goalie Gigi Peloso, girls’ lacrosse produced another championship campaign. First-year coach and PHS alumna Meg Reilly guided the Tigers to the final of the MCT and to the program’s second straight Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title. PHS fell 9-8 to Eastern in the state Group 4 semis to end the spring at 18-3.
Senior tri-captains Alex Park, Dylan Westerman, and Carson Giles helped hold things together as boys’ lacrosse battled through injuries. Coach Chip Casto’s squad posted a final record of 6-9.
Teddy Durbin, Ben Amon, Owen Seals, Tommy Reid, and Eli Okoye all had solid senior campaigns for baseball. Coach Dom Capuano led the Tigers to 9-13 record and to the MCT quarterfinals in his first season at the helm of the program.
Working through a rough spring as number of young players got experience, the softball team posted a 1-18 record under coach Marissa Soprano.
Adam MacMillan starred for boys’ golf as it paced first in Central Jersey at the NJSIAA South/Central Group 4 sectional. MacMillan carded a two-over 74 to take third individually and went on to place 51st at the state Tournament of Champions for coach Sheryl Severance.
Simon Schenk, Nils Wildberg, and Paul Brennan each won titles as boys’ track came in third at the Mercer County Championships. Schenk won the pole vault while Wildberg prevailed in the long jump and Brennan won the discus.
Coach Rashone Johnson’s squad took third at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet and then placed second at the state Group 4 meet, missing the title by one point as it scored 43 points with winner Franklin getting 44. Brennan went on to win the discus at the Meet of Champions while Wildberg took fifth place in the long jump at the New Balance National Championships with a school and county record of 24’3.5.
Siena Moran and Colleen Linko starred as girls’ track placed second at the Mercer County Championships. Moran won both the 800 and 1,600-meter races while Linko prevailed in the 200 and 400. Coach Jim Smirk’s team placed eighth at the sectional meet.
Simon Hwang and Aryaman Babber starred at singles while the second doubles team of twin brothers, Dylan and Ethan Parker came up big for boys’ tennis. Coach Sarah Hibbert’s squad placed sixth in the Mercer County Tournament and then advanced to the final of the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional as it posted an 11-5 record in dual matches.
Led by senior standouts Morgan Swanke, Grace Cooke, Eleanor Wilkinson, Ava Greene, and Ria Sharma, field hockey enjoyed another superb campaign. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals of both the MCT and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. Coach Heather Serverson’s squad finished the fall with a 14-4-1 record.
Stephen Avis carried the load at running back as football struggled through a rough fall. Coach Charlie Gallagher’s squad went 0-9.
With junior star Nick Petruso triggering the offense, boys’ soccer made strides. The Tigers advanced to the MCT semis and the Central Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals. Coach Wayne Sutcliffe guided his team to a 14-7 record.
Senior midfielder Lauren Rougas, senior goalie Shaylah Marciano, and junior defender Greta Bush had big campaigns as girls’ soccer advanced to the MCT quarterfinals. The trio of Rougas, Marciano, and Bush were named as Mercer 33 all-stars. Coach Val Rodriguez’s team ended the fall at 8-6-3.
Led by senior star Gillian Hauschild, girls’ volleyball produced another winning campaign. The Tigers won the Burlington County Scholastic (BCSL) tournament and advanced to the second round of the state Group 4 tourney. Coach Patty Manhart guided her squad to a final record of 19-8.
With Sophia Kim and Lucia Marckioni prevailing at first doubles and Bella Lependorf winning at second singles, girls’ tennis won the team title at the MCT for the first time since 2014. Coach Sarah Hibbert’s squad went on to advance to the Central Jersey Group 4 semis and ended the fall at 14-1.
Jacob Bornstein was consistently at the front of the pack for boys’ cross country this fall. Coach Jim Smirk’s squad placed fifth in the Mercer County Championships and took eighth at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional.
Charlotte Gilmore emerged as a star for girls’ cross country. The junior took third individually at the county meet, fifth at the sectional meet, and 23rd at the state Group 4 meet. Coach Jim Smirk guided the team to a fourth-place finish at the county meet, third at the sectional, and 10th at the group meet.
BACK TO BACK: Members of the Stuart Country Day School basketball team show off the trophies they earned after defeating Morristown-Beard 71-63 in the state Prep B final in February. It marked the second straight Prep B title for Stuart, who ended the winter at 17-10. (Photo provided courtesy of Stuart Country Day)
Led by the inside-out combination of forward Bey-Shana Clara and guard Nia Melvin, the Stuart Country Day basketball team won its second straight state Prep B title. The Tartans also made a run to the Mercer County Tournament semis as they went 17-10 under the guidance of coach Justin Leith.
Emerlee Simmons set the pace as the track team won its second straight state Prep B indoor title. Simmons won both the 200 and 400-meter dash events at the competition. Coach Len Klepack’s squad piled up 103 points in winning the meet, well ahead of runner-up Morristown-Beard’s total of 58.50.
Overcoming a shaky 1-4 start, the lacrosse team ended up with a 6-7 record. Coach Missy Bruvik’s team got big senior years from Grace Sheppard and Bre Williams as it caught fire down the stretch.
Displaying its depth and talent, the track team cruised to a second straight state Prep B outdoor title. Coach Len Klepack’s squad had top six finishes in 15 of 17 events as it scored 150 points with Villa Walsh coming in second at 98. Alex Ottomanelli came up big for the Tartans at the meet, winning both the 100 meter hurdles and 800 run.
With senior star Caroline Mullen providing production and leadership, field hockey produced a memorable postseason run. In the MCT, the seventh-seeded Tartans knocked off the No. 2 seed and No. 3 seed on the way to the final where it lost 1-0 to top-seeded Lawrenceville. In the Prep B tournament, Stuart advanced to the semis. Coach Missy Bruvik’s squad ended the fall with an 11-4-1 record.
Alex Ottomanelli starred for cross country, taking 12th individually at the state Prep B meet. Coach Len Klepack’s squad placed seventh in the team standings at the meet.