September 18, 2019

STARTING POINT: Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace makes a point to reporters at the program’s recently-held media day. Coming off a 10-0 season in 2018, the program’s first perfect campaign since 1964, Surace will be looking for the program to make more history this fall in conjunction with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the sport which started when Princeton played Rutgers in November, 1869. The Tigers kick off their 2019 season by hosting Butler University (1-2) on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University football players file into their locker room tucked in the bowels of Princeton Stadium, they pass by a sign that reads “Where Football Began.”

With college football celebrating the 150th anniversary of the sport, which started when Princeton played a game at Rutgers on November 6, 1869, the milestone holds special meaning for the Tigers.

“Players need to understand how important it is to Princeton as a university; those early years really started what we now have in this game,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace ’91, a star offensive lineman for the Tigers during his college days. more

READY TO BALL: Princeton University football senior tight end Graham Adomitis, center, poses with classmates and fellow team captains, defensive lineman Jake Strain, left, and linebacker John Orr at the program’s recently-held media day. Returning first-team All-Ivy League performer Adomitis will looking to help the Tigers make history this fall as the program celebrates its 150th season. The Tigers kick off their 2019 season by hosting Butler (1-2) on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Graham Adomitis was a member of the supporting cast last fall as the Princeton University football team rolled to a 10-0 record, achieving the program’s first perfect season since 1964.

With such heralded stars as quarterback John Lovett along with receivers Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson sparking a high-powered offense that set a slew of school and league records, tight end Adomitis quietly went about his business, earning All-Ivy League honors mainly due to his stellar blocking.

Looking back to 2018, Adomitis credited the squad’s seniors with setting a winning tone.

“It was an extremely special group; we just had so much buy in and a lot of great senior leadership that just trickled town all the way to the freshman class,” said Adomitis. more

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth hits the ball against Penn State last Sunday. Junior star striker Roth scored both goals for fifth-ranked Princeton as it rallied for a 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions. The Tigers, now 3-1, host No. 21 Rutgers on September 20 and No. 3 UConn on September 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Clara Roth emerged as a force last fall for the Princeton University field hockey team, scoring 13 goals on the way to being named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

As junior striker Roth started the 2019 season, she had a quiet first weekend, picking up one assist as Princeton fell 4-3 to North Carolina on September 6 before edging Wake Forest 2-1 in double overtime two days later.

With Princeton hosting Albany last Friday and Penn State on Sunday, Roth displayed the form that earned her accolades last year. She had three assists in a 4-3 win over Albany and then scored both goals as Princeton rallied from a 1-0 deficit to edge Penn State 2-1. more

FEELING AT HOME: Princeton University men’s soccer player Walker Gillespie heads the ball last Wednesday evening against Rider University. Freshman forward Gillespie enjoyed a memorable home debut, tallying a goal and an assist to help Princeton edge Rider 2-1. Princeton, which dropped to 1-2 with a 2-0 loss at Loyola last Friday, plays at Monmouth on September 18 and at FDU on September 21 before hosting Drexel on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Walker Gillespie didn’t see himself being an impact player as he made his home debut for the Princeton University men’s soccer team last Wednesday evening when it hosted Rider.

“I really wasn’t thinking I was going to play that much today,” said freshman forward Gillespie, a 6’3, 185-pound native of Charlotte, N.C. “Once I got in there I just wanted to give 100 percent.”

Gillespie got on the pitch at Roberts Stadium in the first half but didn’t get to play many balls as the Tigers were stymied by the Broncs for much of the first half as the local rivals played to a scoreless draw heading into intermission. more

STRONG RETURN: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Spencer Watts displays a strong forehand earlier in her career. After taking a hiatus from the team last fall, senior Watts has returned to the squad and is playing at first singles. PHS, who improved to 4-0 with a 5-0 win over Hopewell Valley last Monday, hosts Ewing on September 19 before competing in the Mercer County Tournament which starts on September 23 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Featuring a blend of battle-tested seniors and promising sophomores, the Princeton High girls’ tennis team has the formula for another winning campaign

In the first week of the 2019 season, PHS defeated Lawrence High 4-1 and then edged WW/P-North 3-2.

“We were definitely pleased with the opening two matches,” said PHS head coach Sarah Hibbert, whose team improved to 4-0 with a 5-0 win over Hopewell Valley last Monday.

“Lawrence and North are two strong competitors. North was missing their first singles that day due to an injury but they are still a very formidable team. We still had to work hard to win.” more

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Princeton High football player Matt Perello, center, races up the field last Friday night at Hightstown in the season opener. Senior receiver/defensive back Perello, who is also a star sprinter for the PHS track team, used his speed to provide a highlight for the Tigers, returning a kickoff for a touchdown in the first quarter during a 49-8 loss to the Rams. PHS hosts Pemberton on September 21. (Photo by Joseph Perello)

By Bill Alden

Matt Perello displayed flashes of brilliance for the Princeton High football team as a freshman in 2016, going long for a 40-yard touchdown reception against Pemberton in the season opener.

But sustaining a concussion that fall in a JV game, Perello opted not to play football after that and turned his attention to track, developing into a brilliant sprinter.

In the spring of 2018, Perello starred as the PHS boys’ track team placed first in the Mercer County championship meet, the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, and the state Group 4 meet. He placed first in the 100 (11.07) and fourth in the 200 (22.60) at the county meet and took third in the 200 in the sectional meet and helped the 4×100 relay to victory, and then ended up third in the 200 at the group meet. more

By Bill Alden

Youth is being served this fall for the Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team.

With sophomore Robyn Karchere-Sun playing at first singles and a pair of freshmen, Amy Zhou and Neha Khandkar, competing at second and third singles, respectively, PDS boasts some young talent in key spots.

With PDS head coach Will Asch returning from a sabbatical last spring, he is stepping into a good situation.

“It is nice to be back and coaching the girls,” said Asch, whose team topped Stuart Country Day 5-0 last Monday to improve to 4-1. “It is nice weather, a nice season, and nice girls.” more

BALL CONTROL: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Nas Amer controls the ball in recent action. Last week, senior midfielder Amer scored two goals to help PDS defeat the George School (Pa.) 4-0. The Panthers, who moved to 2-2 with a 3-0 loss to Hillsborough last Thursday, host Germantown Academy (Pa.) on September 19 before playing at the Blair Academy ion September 21 and at Peddie on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With prolific scorer Wesley Leggett having graduated and now playing at the University of Connecticut, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team will have to spread the wealth offensively this fall.

“We lost a big player in our striker Wesley so we have to make up for it somewhere, said PDS senior midfielder Nas Amer. “I think this year we are more rounded as a team, more balanced.”

Last week as PDS hosted George School (Pa.), Amer helped make up for the loss of Leggett, scoring two first half goals to help the Panthers jump out to a 3-0 halftime. more

IN THE ZONE: Hun School football star Ian Franzoni races up the field last Saturday as Hun defeated Canada Prep 50-8. Senior running back Franzoni rushed for 275 yards and three touchdowns on  nine carries in the victory as Hun improved to 2-0. The Raiders head south next weekend to play at Life Christian Academy (Va.) on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three years, Ian Franzoni paid his dues for the Hun School football team as a back-up running back.

Playing behind Josh Henderson, Franzoni didn’t get a lot of carries but he was productive when he did get his chance, steadily increasing his workload.

With Henderson graduating and joining the University of North Carolina football program, senior Franzoni was primed to make the most of his final high school campaign.

“Last year Josh was here but when I got my carries, I felt like I did a lot of good running,” said Franzoni. “This year, I knew it was my time and I had to step up when I could.” more

September 11, 2019

SPLIT DECISION: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey goes after the ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore star midfielder Davey tallied a goal and an assist to help fifth-ranked Princeton edge No. 10 Wake Forest 2-1 in double overtime to wrap up its opening weekend. The Tigers, who fell 4-3 to No. 1 North Carolina on Friday to begin is campaign, host No. 20 Albany (1-2) on September 13 and No. 17 Penn State (0-3) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing in 90 degree heat as it opened its season at top-ranked North Carolina last Friday, the No. 5 Princeton University field hockey team got off to a sizzling start.

Princeton jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Tar Heels 21:47 into the contest on goals by freshman Sammy Popper and senior Taylor Nolan and built a 3-1 advantage by halftime as Popper added another tally.

“We got off to a great start, we were very productive in the circle and we got a couple on the board,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente. more

WORLD VIEW: Princeton University men’s volleyball star Parker Dixon (No. 22) tracks the ball in a game last season. Over the summer, rising senior Dixon competed for USA Volleyball at the World University Games in Naples, Italy. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Parker Dixon is returning to Princeton University this fall with his first international volleyball experience.

The senior from Dallas, Texas was selected as one of 12 players to compete for USA Volleyball at the World University Games in Naples, Italy.

“It was a huge honor to be selected to this team,” said Dixon, the outside hitter who led the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) in total attacks last year.

“There are a lot of great players around the country and to be selected as one of the ones to be able to represent the U.S. in this type of event is a huge honor. I was really excited to get that chance to go and put a USA jersey on and play.” more

HEWING TO THE LINE: Princeton University women’s soccer player Eve Hewins, left, battles a Rutgers player for the ball last Saturday night at Roberts Field. Junior defender Hewins came up big as Princeton battled No. 21 Rutgers to a scoreless draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. The Tigers, now 2-1-1, play at No. 15 Georgetown (3-2-1) on September 12 and at Maryland (3-2-1) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After it was over, Eve Hewins collapsed to the turf at Roberts Field, unable to stand up for several minutes.

Hewins was demonstrating the effects of having played all 110 minutes for the Princeton University women’s soccer team as it battled No. 21 and undefeated Rutgers to a scoreless draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime.

Getting tended to by the trainer and gulping some Gatorade, junior defender Hewins finally got to her feet and reflected on the effort as the Tigers moved to 2-1-1. more

GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT: Princeton High football head coach Charlie Gallagher encourages his players during a preseason practice. PHS, which went 2-7 last fall as it snapped a 21-game losing streak, kicks off its 2019 campaign by playing at Hightstown on September 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having snapped a 21-game losing streak last September and ending up with two wins on the fall, the Princeton High football team is bringing an upbeat mentality into the 2019 season.

“It is hard to compare preseasons to other preseasons, but this has been a really great preseason,” said PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher, whose team posted a 2-7 record in 2018.

“It is well organized. The kids are there to learn and to compete, which has been really great.” more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nick Petruso controls the ball in a preseason training session. Last Thursday, junior striker Petruso scored a goal as PHS topped Nottingham 2-0 in the season opener for both teams. The Tigers, who dropped to 1-1 after falling 7-3 to Gill St. Bernard’s last Saturday, play at Robbinsville on September 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nick Petruso was determined to get the season off on the right foot for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team.

As PHS hosted Nottingham in its season opener last Thursday, junior striker Petruso took off on several runs to the goal in the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net.

“In the beginning it was frustration,” said Petruso. “Towards the end of the first half, we started getting more chemistry going forward.” more

By Bill Alden

Over her first three years with the Princeton High field hockey team, Morgan Swanke played mainly in the midfield.

This fall, Swanke has been moved to forward and has quickly found a home in her new spot on the field.

“I was really excited to play for my senior year,” said Swanke. “I usually play midfield but since I have started on forward this year, it has been a lot of fun.”

Swanke got off to a sizzling start in the first week of her senior campaign, tallying four goals in a season-opening 8-0 win over Nottingham last Wednesday and then adding two more in a 3-0 victory at crosstown rival Princeton Day School last Friday.

In the win over PDS, Swanke got the Tigers on the board, scoring off of a penalty corner with 11:26 left in the first half. more

KEEPING UP WITH JONES: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Cailyn Jones boots the ball up the field in a 2018 game. Last Saturday, sophomore defender Jones tallied a goal and sparked the back line to help PDS defeat Princeton High 3-1. The Panthers, who improved to 3-0 with the win, hosts the Hun School on September 12 and then play at Steinert on September 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Cailyn Jones saw an opening in the first half for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team as it hosted crosstown rival Princeton High last Saturday afternoon.

With PDS taking a corner kick with 11 minutes into the contest, sophomore defender Jones made a beeline for the box.

“We have those far crosses into the 18 and I knew that spaces were going to be open,” said Jones.

“It was running through my head that we have had plays like that before where no one was there so I knew I had to be there and just get something on it.” more

By Bill Alden

Heather Farlow could have been disappointed after her Princeton Day School field hockey team lost 3-0 to crosstown rival Princeton High last Friday.

Instead, PDS head coach Farlow was all smiles as she assessed the effort she got from her young squad.

“We played the passing game that we wanted to play; we had possession,” said Farlow, whose team dropped to 1-1.

“I think we are only going to get better, A.B. [assistant coach Annabeth Donovan] and I are really excited about where we are. It is only September 6 and we lost five starters from last year.” more

CLEAR LEADER: Hun School boys’ soccer player Brian Spencer clears the ball in a game last season. Senior defender and four-year starter Spencer will be counted on to spearhead Hun’s back line this season. The Raiders, who fell 3-1 to Haddonfield last Saturday in their season opener, are scheduled to face Putnam Science Academy in the Main Line High School Jamboree at the United Sports Center on September 15 and host Pennington on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Fueled by an unselfish mentality, the Hun School boys’ soccer team produced a solid campaign last fall, going 9-10 and advancing to the state Prep A semifinals.

As Hun starts the 2019 season, Pat Quirk is hoping that attitude has become a staple of the program.

“I think what the kids returning from last year learned is that everybody has to be playing together,” said Hun head coach Quirk.

“The one thing we praised last year was that there wasn’t anybody with a big ego. They were OK with another kid scoring as long as the team was playing well together.” more

September 4, 2019

STRIKING PRESENCE: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth, right, goes after the ball in 2018 game. Junior striker Roth figures to be a go-to finisher for the Tigers after leading the team with 13 goals last fall. Princeton, ranked fifth nationally, starts its 2019 season by playing at No. 1 North Carolina on September 6 and No. 10 Wake Forest on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton University field hockey program views itself as a national title contender, having made two of the last three NCAA Final 4s, visions of a crown are on hold as the squad rushes to prepare to open regular season play this weekend.

“It has been in the conversation since we stepped off the field last year in November through the spring until now,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, who guided the team to 15-5 record in 2018 and a trip to the NCAA semis where the Tigers fell 1-0 to Maryland.

“It is definitely in everyone’s mind but it is not something that we articulate and talk about this preseason. The focus is getting prepared and getting everyone on board. That is the pie in the sky goal at this point. Right now it is just one day at a time. It is always a challenge because we are more than a week behind all of the non-Ivy League schools so we have got to hit the ground running and catch up.” more

TOOLING AROUND: Princeton University men’s soccer player Kevin O’Toole, right, battles for possession in a 2018 game. O’Toole was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and the junior midfielder/forward figures to be a go-to scorer for the Tigers again this fall. Princeton kicks off its 2019 season by playing at No. 10 Duke (2-0) on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University men’s soccer team was thrilled to win the Ivy League title last fall, Jim Barlow knows that triumph will make things harder on this year’s squad.

“There has never been a Princeton men’s soccer team that has won back-to-back Ivy Titles,” said Princeton head coach Barlow, who guided the Tigers to a 10-5-3 overall record and 5-1-1 Ivy in 2018, winning the fifth league title in his 23-season tenure guiding the program.

“It is pretty rare in our league because there is so much parity in our league. The big challenge for us is understanding how difficult it was to win the league last year and not taking anything for granted this year. The target is going to be on us. Every team is going to know who won the league last year and rise to give a great effort against us. We have got to be prepared for that and have the right mentality to deal with that.” more

HIGH NOON: Princeton University women’s soccer player Caroline Noonan, right, goes up for a ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore midfielder Noonan notched the first goal of her career in a losing cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to Boston College in its home opener. The Tigers, now 1-1, host Boston University (0-3-1) on September 5 and Rutgers (4-0) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University women’s soccer team hosted Boston College last Sunday night in its home opener, it was locked in a scoreless battle with the Eagles an half hour into the contest,

But then BC struck for two goals in a three-minute span as Sam Smith scored at the 30:39 mark and then at 33:43 and the game became an uphill battle for the Tigers.

Princeton responded with a goal by sophomore midfielder Caroline Noonan late in the first half and applied pressure on the Eagles for the rest of the night but couldn’t break through with the equalizer in losing 2-1. more

SAVING GRACE: Princeton High field hockey goalie Grace Cooke tracks the ball in a game last fall. Senior star and tri-captain Cooke has emerged as a leader of the PHS defensive unit. The Tigers, who went 15-2 last year and reached the semis of both the Mercer County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, host Nottingham on September 4 to open their 2019 campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Suffering some heavy graduation losses from a squad that went 15-2 last year, the Princeton High field hockey team will have a different look this fall.

“We lost nine seniors and have had some injuries during preseason; we have some juggling around to do,” said PHS head coach Heather Serverson, who guided the Tigers to the semis of both the Mercer County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional in 2018.

“As usual, I don’t get to pick my players, so every season is the same for me. I figure out what we have and where to put them.”

PHS does return some skilled offensive players in a trio of seniors Ria Sharma, Ellie Wilkinson, and Ava Greene, along with junior Shoshi Henderson.  more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

GOAL-ORIENTED: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Ariana Jones goes to goal in a preseason scrimmage last week. Jones emerged as a key finisher for Panthers last fall and is looking to have a big senior year. PDS is getting its 2019 season underway this week by playing at Kent Place on September 3 before hosting Moorestown Friends on September 6 and Princeton High on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having won five straight Prep B state titles, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team has a major bull’s eye on its back coming into the 2019 campaign.

“We have played a couple of scrimmages and teams are coming at us like it is tournament time because of our reputation,” said PDS head coach Pat Trombetta, who guided the Panthers to a 14-4-1 record last fall and an appearance in the Mercer County Tournament semis as well as sharing the Prep B title.

“We played Rutgers Prep in a scrimmage the other day and they had a group of fans there, yelling and supporting like it was a tournament game. I was amazed. I am looking at kids, we haven’t even finalized our varsity roster yet. It was good for the kids to get that kind of experience.” more

KICK START: Hun School girls’ soccer player Allison Cowan, left, kicks the ball in 2018 action. Senior Cowan proved to be a spark for Hun last fall in her first campaign with the program. Hun, which is being led by new head coach Jenn Barrett, kicks off its 2019 season by hosting Ewing on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Jenn Barrett takes the helm of the Hun School girls’ soccer team this fall, she is emphasizing a holistic approach.

“My main message is that better people make better athletes and I am really working on shifting the focus to being better than yesterday,” said Barrett, who served as an assistant coach for the program the last two seasons and is succeeding Joanna Hallac.

“It is putting in your best effort and eventually things will fall into place. It is also working on leadership skills.” more