HAMMER TIME: Princeton University women’s track star Julia Ratcliffe is all smiles after winning the hammer throw this June at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Ratcliffe’s victory marked the 43rd straight year that Princeton has produced at least one team or individual national champion. (Photo by Kristy McNeil Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
Winds of Change Hit Local Sporting Scene in 2014, As New Faces, Surprising Teams Garnered Headlines
Winds of change swept across the local sporting landscape in 2014. As for Princeton University, a major change came at the top as Mollie Marcoux, a 1991 Princeton alum who starred in ice hockey and soccer for the Tigers, was named in April as the University’s new Ford Family Director of Athletics. She succeeded Gary Walters, who announced in the fall of 2013 that he would be stepping down after leading the athletics program at Princeton for 20 years. Marcoux is the first woman to hold the post.
There were a number of moves among the coaching ranks at Princeton. Bob Prier resigned as the men’s hockey coach and was replaced by Ron Fogarty, the architect of a successful Division 3 program at Adrian College. Longtime women’s soccer coach Julie Shackford announced in the summer that she would be retiring in the fall after 20 seasons at the helm of the program. Sean Wilkinson started his tenure as men’s squash coach, succeeding legendary Hall of Famer Bob Callahan.
HERE’S MOLLIE: Mollie Marcoux smiles during her press conference this April after being named as Princeton’s new Ford Family Director of Athletics. Marcoux, a 1991 Princeton alum who starred in ice hockey and soccer for the Tigers, is succeeding Gary Walters, who retired after 20 years at the helm. Marcoux is the fifth Director of Athletics in school history and the first female to hold the post. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
In terms of wins and losses, there were some surprising developments. The wrestling program had one of its best seasons in years, posting an 11-4 record after going 2-13 a year earlier. The men’s volleyball team went 16-10, tying a program record for second most wins in a season. Posting a 7-0 mark in Ivy play, the women’s tennis team topped Arizona State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, giving the program its first-ever win in that competition. Sophomore Julia Ratcliffe won the NCAA championship in the hammer throw, becoming the first Tiger women’s track athlete to win an individual national crown. The women’s basketball team saw its Ivy title streak end at four as it finished second to Penn. The Tigers, though, did bounce back to top Virginia Commonwealth in the WNIT to earn the program’s first triumph in postseason play.
On the high school scene, change was also a major theme. Longtime Princeton High swimming and girls’ soccer head coach Greg Hand retired from teaching and coaching. Carly Misiewicz took the helm of the swimming program while former PHS standout Val Rodriguez went from assistant to head coach for girls’ soccer. The Little Tiger girls’ tennis team produced a breakthrough as it won its first Mercer County Tournament team title since 1984. The PHS football team authored a dramatic reversal of fortune, going 8-2 and winning a division crown after going 0-10 in 2013.
Over at Hun, it was musical chairs for coaches. Cheryl Beal took the helm of girls tennis while Hun Hall of Famer Joan Nuse moved from the girls’ program to become the head coach of the boys’ team in place of Todd Loffredo. Haley Sanborn stepped down from guiding the girls’ lacrosse program and was replaced by longtime Princeton Day School assistant Liz Cook. Todd Smith became the new head football coach and led the Raiders to a 7-1 season and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title. Two Hun programs produced landmark wins as the girls’ soccer team topped perennial power Pennington in the state Prep A title game, ending its 11-year championship reign, while the boys’ hockey team defeated Notre Dame to win the program’s second-ever county crown.
Across town at Princeton Day School, Rob Tuckman retired as the head coach of the boy’s lacrosse team. Tuckman went out in a blaze of glory, guiding the Panthers to a 10-8 win over Rutgers Prep in the state Prep B title game, giving the program its first state crown since 1996.
On the other side of Great Road at Stuart Country Day School, Justin Leith was named as the new director of athletics, replacing Kim Ciarrocca, who moved to Michigan where her husband coaches for the Western Michigan football team. Leith later took over the basketball program as head coach Dana Leary decided to not come back for a third season.
PUMPED UP: Princeton University women’s tennis player Lindsay Graff enjoys herself on the court this spring. Junior standout Graff was named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2014, helping the Tigers go 7-0 in league action on the way to the team crown. She helped Princeton beat Arizona State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, giving the program its first-ever win in that competition. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
Going after a fifth straight Ivy League title, the Princeton University women’s basketball team found itself locked in a tie for first with Penn and hosting the Quakers in the regular season finale. Digging an early hole in the title showdown, coach Courtney Banghart’s team tried to rally but fell short in an 80-64 defeat.
Showing its championship pride, Princeton bounced back by beating Virginia Commonwealth 94-76 in the first round of the WNIT, earning the first postseason win in program history. The Tigers ended the winter with a 21-9 record after they fell 75-74 to Seton Hall in the second round of the WNIT. Senior Kristen Helmstetter capped her career by earning second All-Ivy honors while junior guard Blake Dietrick was a first-team choice and sophomore Alex Wheatley earned honorable mention.
The men’s hoops team was essentially eliminated from Ivy title contention by starting 0-4 in league play. But with senior T.J. Bray putting together one of the better seasons in recent program history, the Tigers won eight of its last 10 games to earn a bid in the CBI. Guard Bray led Princeton in scoring (19.2 points per game), steals (21, 1.5 spg), assists (59, 4.2 apg) and rebounds (5.5 rpg) in earning first-team All-Ivy honors. He also passed the 1,000-point milestone in his career.
Coach Mitch Henderson’s squad posted a final record of 21-9 after falling 72-56 to Fresno State in the CBI quarterfinals.
Over at Baker Rink, the Princeton women’s hockey team returned to the ECAC Hockey playoffs after a one-year absence. Coach Jeff Kampersal’s team was led by a pair of senior forwards, Denna Laing and Sally Butler, who scored 27 and 23 points, respectively. The Tigers were swept by sixth-ranked Cornell in the ECACH best-of-3 quarterfinal series and ended the winter with
a 14-13-4 overall record.
Unable to generate much offense, the Princeton men’s hockey team suffered through a long winter. The Tigers went 6-26 and coach Bob Prier stepped down in May after three seasons at the helm of the program. He was replaced by Ron Fogarty, who came from Adrian College where he guided the program to a 167-23-10 record in seven years and to the NCAA Division 3 championship game in the 2010-11 season.
The men’s squash team welcomed a new coach, Sean Wilkinson, the replacement for Hall of Fame coach Bob Callahan, who retired after 32 seasons at the helm and leading Princeton to 314 victories, 11 Ivy League titles, and national championships in 1982, 1993, and 2012. The Tigers took their lumps in the transition to the new coach, going 8-7 overall and 3-4 Ivy. Princeton did end the season on a high note as it won the Hoen Cup at the CSA competition for the teams seeded 9-16. Juniors Samuel Kang and Tyler Osborne earned first-team All-America honors while senior Dylan Ward was a second-team choice.
Freshman Maria Elena Ubina made an impact right from the start for the women’s squash team. She earned All-American honors and was named the Ivy Rookie of the Year, helping the Tigers go 11-5 overall and 4-3 Ivy. Coach Gail Ramsay’s team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Howe Cup national championships where it fell in a 5-4 thriller to Yale. Libby Eyre and Nicole Bunyan joined Ubina in earning All-American recognition.
Under the leadership of dynamic head coach Chris Ayres, the Princeton wrestling team continued its rise up the Ivy ladder. The Tigers tied for second in the league, posting an 11-4 record in dual match competition. The program had both double-digit wins and fewer than five losses for the first time since the 1980-81 season. Junior Adam Krop earned second-team All-Ivy League honors, while sophomores Abram Ayala and Kevin Moylan both earned Ivy League honorable mention. Ayala finished fifth at the EIWAs at 197 pounds and went on to the NCAA championships where he fell in the second round of consolation matches.
The Tiger fencing program had another big year, taking second at the NCAA championships. Coach Zoltan Dudas’ squad fell just short of defending their 2013 title as they came within three wins of national champion Penn State.
The men’s team featured three All-Americans, including freshman Pete Pak at saber, sophomore Michael Dodey at foil and sophomore Jack Hudson at epee. On the women’s side, sophomore Gracie Stone and senior Diamond Wheeler earned All-American honors at saber while junior Ambika Singh and junior Sharon Gao were All-Americans at foil. Susannah Scanlan earned her fourth All-American honor epee while junior Katherine Holmes got her third All-American honor in the weapon.
Senior Lisa Boyce ended her women’s swimming career on a high note, wining a ninth Ivy title with a victory in the 100 freestyle at the league championships. Boyce’s heroics weren’t enough as coach Susan Teeter’s team finished second to Harvard. Boyce went on to finish seventh at the NCAA championships in the 100 butterfly, earning her second All-American honor and becoming the first Tiger NCAA finalist since Alicia Aemisegger ‘10, who reached 10 NCAA championship finals.
Tiger men’s swimming saw its streak of five straight Ivy titles come to an end as it was edged by Harvard in the league championship meet. Coach Rob Orr’s squad got an Ivy title from sophomore Teo D’Allesandro in the 200 individual medley while sophomore En-wei Hu-Van Wright set a Princeton record in the 200 back, going 1:43.44 as he placed second in the league meet.
Coach Fred Samara guided the men’s track and field team to a second place finish at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championship. It marked the 21st year the Tigers have finished either first or second at the competition.
UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE: Princeton University sophomore wrestler Abe Ayala gets his arm raised in triumph after winning a match last season. Ayala starred at 197 pounds, helping Princeton go 11-4. He capped his season by making the NCAA championships. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
All-Ivy performers for Princeton included sophomore Adam Bragg in the pole vault, senior Tom Hopkins in the 4×400, 500, and long jump, sophomore Jabari Johnson, in the 4×400,senior Daniel McCord, 4×400, freeman Ray Mennin in the 4×400, senior Damon McLean in the triple jump and long jump and junior Stephen Soerens in the heptathlon. McLean won his fourth straight triple jump, becoming just the second athlete in Heps history to sweep the event.
Samantha Anderson provided a highlight with a win in the pole vault as the Tiger women’s track team took fourth at the Indoor Heps. Coach Peter Farrell’s squad boasted six other All-Ivy performers besides senior Anderson including sophomore Inka Busack in the high jump, freshman Megan Curham in both the 3,000 and 5,000, freshman Allison Harris in the pole vault, senior Beth McKenna in the pentathlon, senior Imani Oliver in the triple jump, and sophomore Julia Ratcliffe in the weight throw.
The men’s volleyball enjoyed a thrilling season, knocking off national power Penn State 3-2 in a regular season match. The Tigers went on to make the EIVA title match where they fell to Penn State. Princeton concluded its season with an overall record of 16-10 under coach Sam Shweisky, tying for the second-most single-season wins in program history since the team earned varsity status in 1997. It was the fourth Tiger team to advance to the EIVA final and it was only the second Princeton team during that time period to defeat Penn State.
TOM TERRIFIC: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Tom Schreiber heads upfield in a game this spring. Senior Schreiber was named as the winner of the Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award given to the nation’s top midfielder. Four-time All-American Schreiber was the 2013 winner as well, making him just the sixth player — and second Tiger player after Josh Sims — to win it twice. Schreiber had 30 goals and 21 assists in 2014 and ended his career with 200 points on 106 goals and 94 assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Sophomore hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe captured headlines all spring long. The New Zealand native went undefeated in regular season meets. She then won the hammer throw title at both the Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Championships and culminated the college season by winning the NCAA title in her event with a throw of 219’5. Her victory extended Princeton’s streak to 43 consecutive years with at least one individual or team national championship. She placed second in the Commonwealth Games in July in Scotland, taking another key step in her drive to represent New Zealand in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Ratcliffe was hardly the only star for coach Peter Farrell and his women’s track team as the Tigers took fifth at the Heps. All-Ivy performers for Princeton besides Ratcliffe included senior Imani Oliver in the long jump and triple jump, senior Samantha Anderson in the pole vault, freshman Megan Curham in the 10,000, and senior Beth McKenna in the Heptathlon. Curham went on to take 11th in the 10,000 at the NCAA championships to earn second-team All-American honors.
The men’s track team fell just short of its fourth straight Heps Outdoor title, placing second to Cornell by less than seven points. Coach Fred Samara’s squad boasted a number of stellar performers. All-Ivy honorees for the team included senior Chris Bendsten in the 10,000, sophomore John Hill in the 100 and 4×100, senior Damon McLean in the triple jump, senior Tom Hopkins in the 400, 200, long jump and 4×100, sophomore Greg Caldwell in the 110 hurdles, junior Stephen Soerens in the decathlon, junior Daniel McCord in the 4×100 and 4×400, sophomore Dre Nelson in the 4×100, freshman Greg Leeper in the 4×400, and freshman Bryant Switzer in the 4×400.
Led by a trio of All-Americans, sophomore goalie Ashleigh Johnson, senior Katie Rigler, and senior Molly McBee, the women’s water polo team enjoyed a record-breaking campaign. Coach Luis Nicolao’s team went 31-2, setting the program mark for most wins and fewest losses. The season did end in disappointment, however, as the Tigers fell 11-10 to Indiana in the CWPA final, just missing out on a bid to the NCAA tournament.
The women’s lacrosse team made the NCAA tournament, earning an at-large bid after a superb regular season and advancing to the Ivy League title game. Coach Chris Sailer’s squad topped Penn State 16-13 in the opening round of the NCAAs as it made the program’s 22nd appearance in the national tournament. The Tiger’s NCAA run ended in the second round when they fell 13-11 to Virginia to end the season with a 12-7 record. The squad boasted four first-team All-Ivy performers in senior midfielder Sarah Lloyd, junior midfielder Erin Slifer, junior attacker Erin McMunn, and senior defender Colleen Smith while sophomore defender Liz Bannantine earned second-team honors.
Senior midfielder Tom Schreiber earned a slew of honors as he wrapped up one of the best careers in the history of the men’s lacrosse program. Schreiber won the Lt. j.g. Donald McLaughlin Jr. Award for the nation’s top midfielder for the second time, was USILA first-team All-America for the third straight year and a four-time first-team All-Ivy selection. He had 30 goals and 21 assists in 2014 and ended his career with 200 points on 106 goals and 94 assists.
Unfortunately, Schreiber’s heroics weren’t enough for coach Chris Bates’ squad to earn a bid in either the Ivy or NCAA tournament as the Tigers went 7-6 overall and 2-4 Ivy. Princeton lost three games by one goal and two others by two goals. Joining Schreiber on the All-Ivy team were sophomore attackman Ryan Ambler, junior attackman Mike MacDonald, and sophomore midfielder Jake Froccaro, who were second-team selections, while senior longstick midfielder Derick Raabe was named honorable mention.
The women’s open crew team won its second straight Ivy team championship, paced by the first varsity 8, which set an Ivy course record in defeating Brown and Harvard. The performance at the Ivy regatta clinched the program’s 18th straight trip to the NCAA championship regatta, making it one of just three programs along with Brown and Washington to compete in the event every year since is started in 1997.
Princeton, though had mixed results at the national regatta at Eagle Creek Park at Indianapolis, Ind. Coach Lori Dauphiny’s second varsity eight took second place while the first varsity just missed the final and ended up seventh. The team placed sixth overall in the team standings. Seniors Angie Gould and Kelsey Reelick joined junior Faith Richardson on the CRCA 2014 Pocock All-American Team.
Gaining some valuable experience, a young women’s lightweight varsity 8 took fifth in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championship regatta. Coach Paul Rassam’s top boat had just two seniors, Maggie Stroebel and Emily Hill, so the future looks bright for the program. One of the returning rowers, junior co-captain Becky Kreutter, was named to the CRCA 2014 Pocock Lightweight All-American Team.
Continuing its climb back to championship level, the men’s open crew enjoyed a solid performance at the IRA championship regatta. Coach Greg Hughes’ varsity 8 placed fourth in the grand final, its best finish in the race since 2006. The second varsity 8 placed second while third varsity 8 took sixth.
Enjoying a superb season that saw them ranked at No. 2 nationally after the regular season, the men’s lightweight varsity 8 placed fifth in the grand final at the IRA national championship regatta. With every rower returning from the top two boats, coach Marty Crotty’s program should continue to be a national title contender.
It was a rough spring for the baseball team as it went 14-26 overall and 8-12 in Ivy play. Coach Scott Bradley’s squad got big years from senior pitcher Mike Fagan (4-2, 2.33 ERA) and senior infielder/outfielder Alec Keller (.327, 48 hits). Keller was named Ivy Player of the Year and first-team All Ivy while Fagan joined him as a first-team All-Ivy selection. Freshman first baseman Zack Belski was an All-Ivy honorable mention choice.
Senior star Kelly Shon ended her career women’s golf team in style, finishing second at the Ivy championship and getting named as the Ivy Player of the Year for the second straight year. Princeton finished second in the team standings at the Ivy event, 21 strokes behind champion Harvard. After the season, head coach Nicki Cutler stepped down after four years guiding the program and was replaced by Erika DeSanty, who spent the last five seasons leading the Williams College women’s golf program. Shon, for her part, achieved LPGA Tour status in December battling through three stages of qualifying.
Like Shon, Greg Jarmas ended his Tiger golf career on a high note. Firing a final round 69 at the Ivy men’s golf championship, Jarmas charged up the leaderboard to tie for ninth and earn second-team All-Ivy honors. Coach Will Green’s squad placed fourth in the Ivy team standings of the competition, which was won by Columbia. After graduation, Jarmas made his pro debut, competing on the eGolf Professional Tour.
Led by Ivy League Player of the Year, junior Lindsay Graff, the women’s tennis team rolled to the league title, going 7-0 in Ivy play. Coach Laura Granville’s squad made program history edging Arizona State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, earning Princeton’s first match win in the national tourney. The Tigers went on to fall 4-2 to Alabama in the second round to finish with a final record of 19-6.
Fighting through an uneven season, the men’s tennis team went 13-11 overall and 3-4 Ivy. Coach Billy Pate’s team featured two All-Ivy performers in junior Zack McCourt and freshman Tom Colautti.
Fueled by the finishing skill of senior star Cameron Porter, the men’s soccer team enjoyed a terrific season. Coach Jim Barlow’s squad produced a late surge, going 8-0-1 in its last nine games to end the season at 11-3-3 overall and 5-1-1 Ivy. The Tigers shared the Ivy title with Dartmouth but the Big Green got the league’s automatic bid to the tournament by virtue of beating Princeton 2-1 in overtime in regular season play.
The Tigers didn’t receive an at-large bid to the national tourney but the honors kept pouring in for Porter, who was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. He was the NCAA leading points scorer with 2.00 points per game and .88 goals per game, and tied for first in total goals with 15 and second in total points with 34. Porter completed his career with 75 points on 31 goals and 13 assists in 67 games. He was also a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-America and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Offensive Player of the Year.
Another prolific scorer, sophomore Tyler Lussi, triggered the offense for the women’s soccer team. Lussi, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, had 18 goals and three assists, tying for the second-most goals in a season in program history as the Tigers went 7-6-3 overall and 3-3-1 Ivy.
Senior Lauren Lazo helped Lussi up front, finishing the year with eight goals and 10 assists, the most assists in the Ivy League this season and the second-most assists in a season in program history behind the 12 from Esmeralda Negron ’05 in 2004. Lazo also finished with 26 career assists, tying her for the program record now shared with Diana Matheson ’08. Lazo finished her career with four All-Ivy League honors and her second first-team all-league recognition, making her the first Tiger since Matheson to earn All-Ivy recognition all four years.
It was the final season for longtime Tiger head coach Julie Shackford, who announced her retirement before the season began. She ended her 20-season tenure with a record of 203-115-29. Her legacy includes six Ivy League championships, eight NCAA tournament appearances (the most by an Ivy women’s soccer coach), a national Division I Coach of the Year Award, three regional Coach of the Year honors and the distinction of having won more games coaching soccer at Princeton than any coach with either the men’s or women’s program. She took her team to the 2004 NCAA College Cup Final Four, something unmatched in Ivy League women’s soccer history.
As for the football team, it was a defensive player, senior linebacker Mike Zeuli, who earned many of the headlines. Zeuli was named as the co-winner of the Bushnell Cup Ivy League defensive Player of the Year along with Harvard’s Zach Hodges and was a third-team All-American. A defensive back-turned-linebacker, Zeuli led the Ivy League with 16.5 tackles for loss, ranked second with 8.7 tackles per game and tied for fifth in sacks with four. He had 16 tackles in his final collegiate game, which moved him over the 200-tackle mark for his career.
Despite Zeuli’s exploits, Princeton ended up in the middle of the Ivy pack with a 5-5 overall record and a 4-3 league mark coming off a title campaign in 2013. Coach Bob Surace’s squad got great work offensively from two of Zeuli’s classmates as senior receivers Matt Costello and Conner Kelley capped their careers in style with big final campaigns. Costello finished his career third on Princeton’s all-time receptions list (154), and he finishes fourth on the all-time receiving yards list (1,721) while Kelley finished seventh in receptions (129) and 11th in receiving yards (1,392).
Working some younger players into the rotation, the field hockey team underwent a transition season. Coach Kristen Holmes-Winn’s club struggled to a 3-9 start but then caught fire down the stretch as it won four of its last five regular season games to earn the program’s 20th Ivy crown in the last 21 seasons. Princeton edged Monmouth 4-3 in an NCAA play-in game before falling 5-1 to Maryland in a first-round contest as it finished the season at 8-11 overall and 6-1 Ivy. Seniors Sydney Kirby and Allison Evans earned first-team All-Ivy recognition while sophomore Cat Caro, sophomore Annabeth Donovan, and junior Kate Ferrara were second-team selections and freshman Ryan McCarthy earned honorable mention. Kirby was also named as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Led by senior star and co-captain Drew Hoffenberg, the men’s water polo team enjoyed a superb campaign as it was ranked in the top 10 nationally most of the fall. Coach Luis Nicolao’s team won the Southern Division championship and brought a 23-3 record into the CWPA title game against Brown. With a berth to the NCAA tourney on the line, the Tigers fell 7-6 to the Bears. Hoffenberg was named the Southern Player of the Year and was joined on the all-league first team by teammates Vojislav Mitrovic and Thomas Nelson.
Coming up big when it counted most, junior Michael Sublette produced a second-place finish at the Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country championships to help Princeton win the men’s team title. Senior Sam Pons followed in third place with seniors Eddie Owens and Matt McDonald sixth and seventh, respectively for coach Jason Vigilante’s squad.
Megan Curham set the pace all fall long for the women’s cross country team. She placed first individually at the Heps championships to help Peter Farrell’s squad take second in the team standings at the meet. Curham took 18th place at the NCAA championships to earn All-American honors.
Junior Kendall Peterkin produced 423 kills, eighth-most in program history, to help women’s volleyball take third place outright in the Ivy standings. Coach Sabrina King’s squad finished the season with a 14-10 overall record and a 9-5 league mark. Peterkin and senior Nicole Kincade earned first-team All-Ivy honors with sophomore Brittany Ptak earning honorable mention.
AMAZING JOURNEY: Hun School girls’ soccer player Ashley Maziarz dribbles a ball in a game this fall. Senior star and Lehigh-bound Maziarz helped Hun produce a historic triumph as the Raiders stunned perennial champion Pennington 2-0 in the state Prep A title game, ending its 11-year championship reign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
A trio of freshman forwards, Evan Barratt, Jon Bendorf, and Blake Brown, helped transform the Hun School boys’ hockey team into a power. With the so-called Killer B’s line comprised of the three freshmen supplying much of the firepower, the Raiders won the program’s second Mercer County Tournament title and its second straight Independence Hockey League (IHL) crown.
Coach Ian McNally’s squad finished the winter with a 20-7 record. Each of the freshman phenoms tallied at least 60 points with Barratt scoring 61 points on 28 goals and 33 assists, Bendorf adding 66 on 36 goals and 30 assists and Brown contributing 60 on 32 goals and 28 assists.
It was a season of near misses for the Hun boys’ basketball team. Coach Jon Stone’s squad posted an 8-13 record, advancing to the semis of both the state Prep A and Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tourneys.
Going through some growing pains with a young lineup and getting hampered by an injury to senior star Johnnah Johnson that sidelined her for much of the season, the Hun girls’ hoops team took its lumps. Coach Bill Holup’s team went 10-11. Johnson did return late in the season and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in her career.
Fueled by a blend of talented newcomers and some battle-tested veterans, the Hun boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed a terrific campaign. Coach MV Whitlow’s squad went 13-7 and advanced to the state Prep A title game where it fell to perennial power Lawrenceville. The squad’s attack was bolstered by transfers Drake Roy, Jon Levine and Cole West while veterans Tucker Stevenson, Brendan Black, and Owen Black provided production and leadership.
Senior star and Syracuse-bound Brianna Barratt produced a superb final campaign to provide a highlight in a rough spring for the Hun girls’ lax team. Coach Haley Sanborn’s team posted a 1-11 record. Sanborn stepped down after the season and was replaced by longtime Princeton Day School assistant coach Liz Cook.
Sparked by shortstop Julia Blake, the Hun softball team proved to be competitive. Coach Kathy Quirk’s team went 9-8 and advanced to the state Prep A semifinals.
It was an uneven spring for the Hun baseball team as coach Bill McQuade’s squad produced moments of brilliance but was inconsistent. The Raiders went 8-12 as the program underwent a youth movement.
Continuing its rebuilding efforts, the Hun boys’ tennis team placed 11th of 17 teams at the MCT under coach Todd Loffredo. After the season, Loffredo stepped aside and was replaced by Joan Nuse, a Hun Hall of Fame girls’ tennis coach.
Building on a late surge in the 2013 campaign, the Hun girls’ soccer team took things to the next level and made history. Coach Joanna Hallac’s team posted wins over such formidable foes as Princeton Day School, Pennington, East Brunswick, Hill School (Pa.) in regular season play.
Led by senior co-captains Ashley Maziarz and Jess Sacco, the Raiders saved their best for last, stunning perennial champion Pennington 2-0 in the state Prep A title game, ending its 11-year championship reign. Maziarz scored a first half goal on a brilliant free kick and freshman Kara Borden added a late tally to seal the historic win, which was witnessed by a throng of around 1,000 ringing the field. Hun ended the fall with a 14-4-1 record.
IRON MIKE: Princeton University linebacker Mike Zeuli heads up the field in a game this fall. Senior star Zeuli was named as the co-winner of the Bushnell Cup Ivy League defensive Player of the Year along with Harvard’s Zach Hodges and was a third-team All-American. A defensive back-turned-linebacker, Zeuli led the Ivy League with 16.5 tackles for loss, ranked second with 8.7 tackles per game and tied for fifth in sacks with four. He had 16 tackles in his final collegiate game, which moved him over the 200-tackle mark for his career. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
The arrival of new head coach Todd Smith gave the Hun football program a major shot in the arm. Led by running back Chris Sharp and quarterback Simon Vadas, the Raiders offense became a juggernaut, averaging more than 46 points a game on the way to a 7-1 record and an undefeated MAPL campaign. The Hun defense, which was sparked by Kyle Horihan, Cameren Kitchen, and Jordan McGriff, stymied the opposition as the Raiders only gave up 121 points all fall.
A trio of stellar seniors, goalie Reina Kern, midfielder Julia Blake and forward Vicki Leach, led the way as the Hun field hockey team enjoyed a solid season. Coach Kathy Quirk’s squad posted an 8-11 record and advanced to the state Prep A semis and the MCT quarters.
Cheryl Beal took the helm of the girls’ tennis team and guided the Raiders to sixth place of 18 schools in the team standings at the MCT. The second doubles team of Olivia Hartman and Nina Yao took fourth in their flight to lead the way at the county tournament.
Led by a group of overachieving seniors, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team won the state Prep title. Coach Scott Bertoli’s squad edged Morristown-Beard 4-3 in the championship game as seniors Sean Timmons, Lewie Blackburn, John Egner, and Connor Bitterman rose to the occasion. The Panthers also produced another major highlight, topping Lawrenceville 6-3 in January to post their first win over the Big Red since the 2000-01 season. The Panthers finished the winter with a 14-7-2 record.
Lifted by its quintet of seniors, Robin Linzmayer, Mary Travers, Mimi Mathews, Colby Triolo, and Abby Sharer the girls’ hockey team placed in the top 4 of the WIHLMA standings, earning a spot in the league ‘A’ bracket for the playoffs. Coach Lorna Cook’s team fell in the semis and ended the season with a record of 11-8-1.
Seniors Langston Glaude, Deante Cole, Chris Okorodudu, and Ford Schneider each averaged in double figures in scoring as the boys’ hoops program underwent a transition season. Coach Paris McLean’s team posted an 8-14 record, leaving the seniors with 58 wins in their career after they helped the program posts 15, 16, and 19 victories in their first three campaigns.
Kamau Bailey took the helm of the girls’ basketball team and helped a young squad gain valuable experience as it went 2-11.
DOUBLE THREAT: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Connor Fletcher heads up the field in a game this spring. Fletcher helped both the PDS boys’ lacrosse and hockey teams win state Prep crowns. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
It was coach Rob Tuckman’s last year guiding the boys’ lacrosse team and he went out in a blaze of glory as the Panthers topped perennial champion and nemesis Rutgers Prep 10-8 in the championship game. PDS was sparked by Connor Fletcher, Jonah Tuckman, Chris Azzarello, Ben Levine and Culver Duquette as it ended the spring with a record of 13-3. Tuckman will be succeeded by assistant Rich D’Andrea.
Hope Anhut, Lucy Linville and Morgan Foster starred for the girls’ lacrosse team. Coach Jill Thomas’s squad went 6-5 on the spring.
Hurt by an early season injury to junior pitching ace Cole McManimon, the baseball team struggled. Fellow juniors J.P. Radvany and Jake Alu had big years to keep the Panthers competitive as they posted a record of 4-12 for coach Ray O’Brien.
Senior Neeraj Devulapalli and sophomore Scott Altmeyer won state Prep B titles at second and third singles, respectively to help the boys’ tennis team win the team title for the second straight year. Coach Will Asch’s squad won nine of 10 matches on the first day of the Prep B tourney to clinch the title before the finals were even played.
After winning the county title in 2013, the girls’ soccer team added another championship as it won the state Prep B crown. Coach Pat Trombetta’s team edged Morristown-Beard 1-0 in the title game to end the season at 12-4-3. The team’s senior class of Erin Hogan, Kirsten Kuzmicz, Erin Murray, Kelly Tarcza, Jamie Thomas, and the Soltesz twins, Alexa and Stef, is leaving a championship legacy. Boasting such returning stars as Allison Klei, Abby Atkeson, Madison Coyne, Hannah Bunce, and Grace Barbara, the program should continue to be a title contender.
With seniors Maria Martinovich and Emily Dyckman winning titles at second singles and third singles, respectively, the girls tennis team won the Prep B title for the third year in a row. Coach Ed Tseng’s squad also had strong showing at the MCT, taking fourth of 18 schools in the team standings.
Bouncing back from a 3-11-3 record in 2013, seniors Marco Pinheiro and Oscar Vik led the way as the Panthers went 11-6-2. Coach Malcolm Murphy’s team advanced to the state prep B semis and MCT quarterfinals. Pinheiro and Vik were both named as first-team All-Prep B performers.
With a roster stocked with freshmen and sophomores, the field hockey team underwent a rebuilding season. Coach Tracey Arndt’s squad went 2-15 as senior goalie Katie Alden held down the fort. Alden was named a first-team All-Prep B performer with junior star Rowan Schomburg getting honorable mention notice.
The trio of John Gudgel, Kevin Sun, and Peter Klein helped the boys’ cross country team place fifth at the state Prep B meet. Junior Gudgel placed 27th for coach Merrell Noden’s squad with sophomore Sun and junior Klein right behind, finishing 28th and 29th, respectively. As for the PDS girls’ team, junior Emma Sharer was the top finisher at the Prep meet, taking 22nd. The boys’ team was hurt by injuries to sophomore star Ian Moini while girls’ standout Morgan Mills was also hampered by injury after setting the pace in the early going.
BACK ON TOP: Members of the Princeton High boys’ soccer team celebrate after they beat Allentown in the Mercer County Tournament championship game in November. PHS went on to win the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional title and advance to the state championship game where they fell 4-3 to South Plainfield. The Little Tigers ended the fall at 18-3-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
For most of the winter, the Princeton High boys’ swimming team looked unbeatable. Led by a stellar group of seniors in Will Stange, Peter Kalibat, Colburn Yu, Matt Purdy, Avery Soong, and Scott MacKenzie, the Little Tigers roared through the regular season without a loss. They went on to win their fourth straight county title and a sixth straight Public B Central Jersey sectional title. Advancing to the Public B state championship meet, coach Greg Hand’s squad met its match in Moorestown, falling 87-83 to finish with a final record of 13-1.
Paced by a pair of standout juniors, Maddie Deardorff and Brianna Romaine, the girls’ swimming team also proved to be dominant. The squad went undefeated in regular season meets, won its second straight country title, and then defeated Lawrence to win the Public B Central Jersey sectional title. Coach Hand’s team finally tasted defeat when it lost 96-74 to Ocean City in the Public B state semis.
The squad finished the season with a 12-1 record.
GUIDING HAND: Greg Hand enjoying the moment at a Princeton High swim meet this past winter. Hand, the longtime head coach of the PHS boys’ and girls’ swimming teams and the girls’ soccer program, announced in June that he was retiring from teaching and coaching. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
After the season, the program suffered a major loss as longtime mentor Hand retired from teaching and coaching, leaving a special legacy as his boys’ squad has gone 202-46-3 with seven county crowns, 12 sectional titles, five appearances in the state finals, and a New Jersey Public B championship in 2012 while the Little Tiger girls’ team has posted a record of 152-63-2 with two county crowns, seven sectional titles, and four appearances in the Public B championship meet. He was succeeded by assistant coach Carly Misiewicz, a former Rider University swimming star.
A new head coach, Terence Miller, kept the boys’ hockey team on the winning track. Miller guided the Little Tigers to a 14-6-2 record as the team advanced to the county semis and the second round of the state Public B tourney. Senior star defenseman Patrick McCormick provided leadership and production to help lead PHS to the superb campaign.
The one-two punch of the Herring sisters, junior Lucy and freshman Maggie, helped the girls’ hockey team make progress. Coach Christian Herzog’s squad went 2-11 as the Herrings provided much of the offense.
The girls’ hoops program started a new era as Dan Van Hise took the helm as head coach. Guards Mary Sutton and Julia Ryan starred as the team struggled early but improved as the season went on, finishing with a 3-16 record.
A pair of guards, Matt Hart and Kevin Kane, had good seasons but the boys’ basketball team took its lumps, dropping a number of close games. Coach Mark Shelley’s team went 5-16 and did end the winter on a high note by beating PDS in a county tournament consolation game in its season finale.
Boasting more depth than in recent years, the wrestling team enjoyed one of its best seasons in years, going 11-9 in dual match competition. Coach Rashone Johnson’s squad got solid performances from Patrick Sockler, Tom Miers, Victor Bell, James Verbeyst, and Noah Ziegler.
Senior stars Kevin Halliday and Matt Purdy triggered the attack while junior Jackson Andres spearheaded the defense as the boys’ lacrosse team produced another championship campaign. Coach Peter Stanton’s team won the county title in an 11-10 overtime thriller against Allentown and then advanced to the sectional semis where it fell 10-8 to top-seeded Shawnee. The squad finished the spring at 16-4.
The girls’ lacrosse team also had a big season, riding the offensive prowess of senior stars Emilia Lopez-Ona and Liz Jacobs along with junior Gabby Gibbons. Coach Kelsey O’Gorman’s squad made it to the finals of both the county tournament and the sectional tourney as it went 17-4.
Sophomores Hayden Reyes and Colin Taylor along with junior John Reid starred for the baseball team. Coach Dave Roberts’ team posted a final record of 9-14.
With a number of younger players assuming prominent roles, the softball team also found the going tough as it lost 12 of its first 15 games. Coach Dave Boehm’s squad went 4-4 down the stretch to finish 7-16 and welcomes back such stars as Kayla Volante, Sarah Eisenach, Stephanie Wu, Kelli Swedish, and Nancy Gray.
A girl, senior star Laura Burke, was top player for the PHS boys’ golf team. Burke placed in the boys’ country tourney was consistently the low scorer for coach Sheryl Severance’s team.
ROARING AGAIN: Princeton High football player Rory Helstrom breaks through the defense in a game this fall. Junior running back Helstrom rushed for more than 1,000 yards as PHS produced one of the top turnarounds of 2014, going 8-2 after posting a 0-10 record in 2013. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Conor Donahue and Joe Gray starred for the boys’ track. Gray placed third in the 400 at the sectional meet while Donahue took second in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600. The 4×400 relay placed second. Coach Rashone Johnson’s squad ended up 10th of 18 schools in the team standings at the sectionals.
Senior throwing star Michelle Bazile produced one of the finest campaigns in the history of the girls’ track program. She won both the discus and the shot put at the sectional meet as coach Jim Smirk’s PHS placed 10th of 20 schools in the team standings. The Brown-bound Bazile went on to win the shot put at the Meet of Champions, producing a school-record heave of 43’6.25 in taking the title.
It was a banner fall for PHS athletics. One of the school’s most storied programs, the boys’ soccer team, regained its championship form. Coach Wayne Sutcliffe’s team won division, county, and sectional titles. It advanced to its third Group 3 state title game in the last six seasons, dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker to South Plainfield in the finales. Senior Chase Ealy triggered the attack for the Little Tigers while junior defender Chris Harla and senior goalie Laurenz Reimitz solidified the defense as PHS ended the fall at 18-3-2.
Led by junior superstar Christina Rosca and senior standouts, Rory Lewis, Zhenia Dementyeva, and Katelyn Hojeibane, the girls’ tennis team had another big season. Coach Sarah Hibbert’s team won the county title for the first time since 1984 and then won the sectional title. The team advanced to its second straight state final, where it fell to perennial power Millburn. It ended the fall with a 19-3 record.
The girls’ cross country team placed second in the county, won the sectional meet, and then took second in the state Group 3 meet to earn a spot in the prestigious Meet of Champions for the first time since 2010. Espousing a pack mentality, coach Jim Smirk’s team saw seniors Mary Sutton, Julie Bond and Paige Metzheiser along with juniors Lou Mialhe and Emma Eikelberner stick together among the leaders in most races.
Producing the most remarkable turnaround of the fall, the football team went from a dismal 0-10 campaign in 2013 to a remarkable 8-2 season. Coach Charlie Gallagher’s team was led by senior stars Sam Smallzman, Colin Buckley and Joe Hawes along with juniors Rory Helstrom and David Beamer. The Little Tigers won the West Jersey Football League’s Valley Division title and made the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
A core of battle-tested veterans, Julia DiTosto, Lucy Herring, Campbell McDonald and Trish Reilly, set the tone as the field hockey team solidified its place among the elite teams in the area. Coach Heather Serverson’s squad won a division title, placed second in the MCT, and advanced to the sectional quarterfinals and ended the fall with an 18-4 record.
A season-ending leg injury to senior star striker Shannon Pawlak hampered the girls’ soccer team. But with Pawlak’s twin sister, senior defender Emily, having a big year, the Little Tigers remained competitive under first year head coach Val Rodriguez. The squad finished with a 9-7-2 record and advanced to the second round of the state tournament.
The boys’ cross country team was also slowed by injury as two of its top performers, senior Jacob Rist and sophomore Alex Roth, were sidelined for much of the fall. With some younger runners stepping up, coach Mark Shelley’s team placed fifth in the county meet, second in the sectionals, and 13th in the Group 3 state meets.
HITTING HER STRIDE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Tori Hannah dribbles the ball upfield this fall. Junior Hannah, a first-team All Prep B performer along with classmate Sam Servis, helped Stuart make strides this fall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Quadrupling its win total, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team posted an 8-8 record after going 2-13 in the 2012-13 campaign. Coach Dana Leary’s squad featured a potent inside-out attack with Kate Walsh and Nneka Onukwugha providing punch in the paint with guards Harlyn Bell and Harley Guzman starring on the perimeter. Leary left the program after the season and was succeeded by the school’s new athletics director, Justin Leith.
With an attack paced by senior Amy Hallowell and sophomore stars Sam Servis, Julia Maser, and Tori Hannah along with rock-solid goalie play from Harlyn Bell, the lacrosse team enjoyed a solid campaign. Coach Caitlin Grant’s team won its last four games to end the spring at 8-6, the program’s first winning season in seven years.
The pair of Servis and Hannah triggered the offense for the field hockey team as they both earned first-team All-Prep B honors. Coach Missy Bruvik’s squad showed progress, going 2-2-1 down the stretch to post a 6-14-1 record.
Casey Nelson set the pace as Stuart placed fifth in the state Prep B championship. Sophomore Nelson placed 12th individually while junior Lindsay Craig finished 16th and senior Emily Morgan took 19th for coach Len Klepack’s squad.
Senior co-captain Maya Huang and Julia Rourke provided solid leadership and play as the tennis team went 4-6 in dual match action. Coach Katherine Stoltenberg’s squad finished 10th of 18 teams at the Mercer County Tournament.