PDS Field Hockey Excited For a Busy Fall, Facing New Challenges in Joining NJSIAA
HALE STORM: Princeton Day School field hockey player Haley Sullivan heads to goal in a game last fall. Senior star Sullivan figures to be a key weapon on the forward line for PDS this fall. The Panthers open their 2021 campaign by hosting WW/P-North on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
After having an abbreviated season in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, the Princeton Day School field hockey team is looking forward to being busy this fall.
“There is a sense of excitement,” said PDS head coach Heather Farlow, who guided the Panthers to 5-4-1 record last season.
“We have joined the other state association (the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) so that means that we are averaging three games a week, which is a lot.”
PDS boasts some exciting performers in the forward line in senior Ally Antonacci, senior Haley Sullivan, sophomore Tessa Caputo, senior Kacey Fisher, and senior Gabriella Thomas.
“We have only had one scrimmage against Florence and we won 6-3,” said Farlow, whose team opens its 2021 campaign by hosting WW/P-North on September 8. “Ally, Haley, and Tessa have stood out, they are finishers.”
In the midfield, the Panthers will rely on a quartet of standouts in junior Jadyn Huff, senior Maggie Zarish-Yasunas, senior Franny Gallagher, and freshman Charlotte Mullen.
“They are experienced,” added Farlow. “Jadyn, Franny, and Maggie are all returning veteran players and good athletes. Charlotte plays club at Princeton Field Hockey Club so she is adjusting to the speed of play.”
The Panther back line features a mix of talented young players and veterans.
“I have got Logan Harrison and Katie Zarish-Yasunas returning in the back,” said Farlow of the two sophomore stars.
“Kelly Christie is a sophomore and plays lacrosse as well. She is transitioning from being more of a midfielder to a back. She has got great speed, we are just working on the tackling. Lauren Frank is a senior and is transitioning from forward to back. She has got great speed as well. We have Rebecca Willner, she is a senior and is getting in there. I have a freshman Peyton Richardson who is also getting used to the speed of play.”
Frances Bobbit and Molly Hall will be handling the goalie duties this fall for PDS.
“We have a senior, Frances, and Molly, who is a freshman, at goalie,” said Farlow. “They are competing for varsity time.”
In Farlow’s view, being sharp around the goal will be the key to competing well as PDS deals with the challenges of starting NJSIAA play.
“We are hoping to generate a strong offensive output; it is just strengthening our play in the 25 at both ends, offensive and defensive,” said Farlow.
“We don’t know what to expect since we are in this new state association. We are taking on more public schools; I think that we will be competitive.”