September 30, 2015


LOCKING HORNS: Princeton High star lineman Noah Ziegler, left, battles a Hightstown blocker last Friday night. Senior tri-captain Ziegler starred at defensive end and offensive tackle in a losing cause as PHS fell 35-21 to the visiting Rams under the lights at Harris Field. The Little Tigers, now 1-2, play at Lawrence on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As a three-year starter for the Princeton High football team, senior lineman Noah Ziegler strives to set a daily tone for the squad. more

Avery Peterson is only a junior but she sees herself filling the big sister role for the Princeton High field hockey team.

“Last year, two captains, Lucy Herring and Campbell McDonald, were on my line and I was the underclassman,” said Peterson.

“Now as an upperclassman, I take it as my role to help the other forwards. I hope to improve Maggie Lynch, who is a senior, and Mariana Lopez-Ona. I look at them as little sisters this year. I feel that I really need to step up and be the one the team can rely on.”

Last Saturday morning against visiting Ewing, Peterson stepped up early tallying a goal four minutes into the contest, setting the tone as PHS cruised to a 6-0 win over the Blue Devils.

“This was our homecoming game so we wanted to come out with a strong mentality,” said Peterson. “That goal was more of a scrum on the goal line and I pushed it in. I had a lot of help from Mariana Lopez-Ona and Jordyn Cane.”

In Peterson’s view, PHS is coming on strong, having learned lessons from early-season defeats to Lawrenceville, Allentown, and Peddie.

“We started with some really tough games; it helped our mentality and fired us up,” said Peterson, who added two more goals last Monday as PHS edged Hopewell Valley 3-2 to win its third straight game and improve to 5-3-1.

“We took those losses as learning opportunities and we continued to expand on things that we learned from each game. It has really helped us that we had strong challenges in the beginning.”

PHS head coach Heather Serverson is pleased with the way Peterson has expanded her role on the team.

“I think that being the only returning forward, she has a lot of weight on her shoulders and she is starting to relax a bit,” said Serverson.

“She has been on lately, she is getting a lot of tips. Basically the other forwards are all brand new and she is trying to help them all along while trying to  perform well herself. It is a lot of work that she has to do. She is doing very well.”

In reflecting on the win over Ewing, Serverson saw it as a positive step for her squad.

“In general, they did improve on some things we have been working on from the losses we have already had,” said Serverson.

“It is the passing game and not dribbling so much and really making sure you look up and are aware of the next pass before you have the ball. Those things were good today and I think we executed some corners well.”

Senior midfielder and Lehigh-bound Trish Reilly has been executing particularly well for PHS.

“Trish is our anchor in the middle, she is kind of like the quarterback who plays halfway up in the group,” explained Serverson of Reilly, who tallied two goals and an assist in the win over Ewing and then contributed a goal in the victory over HoVal.

“She is able to keep everyone calm, she is a great communicator. She has a good mind-set for someone who needs to make others look good, she understands that and she isn’t always trying to score the goals.”

Another player who has been looking good for the Little Tigers is versatile junior Jordyn Cane, who had two goals against Ewing and an assist against HoVal.

“We have been moving Jordyn around a little bit; she is the kind of player who can do that so she has been a good person to have on the team,” added Serverson.

“She is willing to do whatever I need her to do and she always steps up to the plate. I am happy with the way she is playing.”

Overall, Serverson is happy with her team’s progress. “I think we are starting to find our new normal, which is what we have been working on this season,” said Serverson, whose team hosts WW/P-N on September 30 before playing at WW/P-S on October 2, and at Hun on October 5.

“We lost key players and that is hard. I think they relied on them a lot more than I thought they did. I think the key piece of that is that they played together so long. It is more than losing the players, we lost their tightness on the field.”

Peterson, for her part, feels that PHS is developing into a tight unit. “It is a newer team, almost half the team is new girls,” said Peterson. “I think we are really coming together now especially with those hard losses in the beginning.”


GIFT OF GAB: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Gabrielle Deitch, right, chases after a ball in a 2014 game. Last Saturday against visiting Ewing, senior midfielder and tri-captain Deitch scored a goal but it wasn’t enough as PHS fell 3-2 to the Blue Devils. PHS, which dropped to 3-1 with the setback, was slated to play at Lawrence on October 1 before hosting Steinert on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Hosting Ewing last Saturday, the Princeton High girls’ soccer team got an early wake-up call as it yielded two unanswered goals in the first five minutes of the contest. more

For John Woodside, taking the helm of the Princeton Day School cross country program this fall was a matter of coming through for a good friend.

When previous PDS head coach Merrell Noden realized last year that he might be losing his valiant battle with cancer, he reached out to Woodside, a running buddy and former Princeton High boys’ cross country and track coach.

“Last winter I would officiate at some of the Lawrenceville meets and Merrell came to watch (his son) Sam run,” recalled Woodside, who first met Noden, a former Lawrenceville and Princeton University running star, in the 1970s, striking up a friendship through racing against him and running together through the years.

“He said to me, ‘John, look the truth is, I don’t really know if I am going to be able to coach next year because physically I am not able to so if I can’t coach, I really want you to take over.’”

While Woodside didn’t want things to come to that, by late April, Noden formally stepped down from his coaching duties. PDS contacted Woodside and he was quickly hired to guide the Panther boys’ and girls’ cross country programs.

Initially, Woodside believed that Noden would be available to assist him.

“I had expected him to be around and I was really looking forward to it because the kids would really like it and it would have been great for him,” said Woodside, who stopped coaching at PHS after the 2012 cross country season.

“We planned on having the team meeting the last week of school. Merrell had said it would be nice if we all could meet and he could introduce me as the new coach but that didn’t happen.”

Noden died in late May, leaving a huge void in the PDS and local running community.

Woodside acknowledges that the transition was a bit rocky as he succeeded the beloved Noden.

“I am a very different coach; Merrell and I were good friends but we coach differently,” said Woodside.

“I have to coach them the way I coach them. I have a way of coaching that is different so there is an adjustment but I think that is coming along now. They are getting used to what I expect of them. We are working with a good group of kids, the kids that really want to run and to compete are there.”

In Woodside’s view, that work is starting to pay dividends. “You understand the situation and you just work with what you have and we did,” said Woodside, noting that he had runners joining the team at different times, starting with the first day of preseason in late August through the first week of school.

“We have some kids who can run and they are learning my system. They are taking to it. I feel like it is finally kicking into gear.”

As for the PDS boys’ squad, junior Kevin Sun is hitting a higher gear at the head of the pack, followed by junior Russell Kirczow and sophomore Nicholas McLean.

“Kevin is our top runner; he is a true distance runner,” said Woodside. “He truly loves running long distances. We are trying to work on getting his 5k faster. He is adjusting to that. He is very, very dedicated to cross country. He is running well and I think he is going to run even better. Russell was one who came out when school started. He is a good runner. He is a good baseball player so this is his second sport. He is getting in shape. He really wants to get in there and compete. He has been making strides. Nick McLean has been running very well, he is going to be even better.”

On the girls’ side, junior Morgan Mills has been running very well for the Panthers, along with sophomore Bridget Kane and senior Emma Sharer.

“Morgan is solidly our top girl,” asserted Woodside. “She is very competitive, she plays lacrosse as well. She has really taken to the new style and the more competitive focus. She loves it, she really wants to do well. She really wants to improve herself and she is making strides. I am hoping that as we get into October here, her times will come down further. Emma Sharer and Bridget Kane are running similar times, they have been improving. They plateaued a little and now they are getting better.”

With PDS hosting Lawrenceville for a dual meet on October 3, Woodside believes his runners will be primed to compete.

“We are going to run hard and be ready to run what I consider our first real race,” said Woodside, whose team has previously taken part in the George School (Pa.) Invitational and the Newark Academy Invitational along with a dual meet against Rutgers Prep.

“The races we did already were just training. We had so much work to do we couldn’t stop training just to do races. We trained through the races; they weren’t really race ready.”

Woodside is confident that PDS will be ready to peak when it ends the fall with the Prep B championship meet on October 28 at Blair Academy.

“There is no question that the Prep B is the focus of our season,” said Woodside, who is also looking for a good effort in the county meet which takes place five days before. “That meet is the culmination; that is the holy grail.”

l-r #10 and #20

COLE POWER: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Cole Snyder, right, fights for the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, senior forward and tri-captain Snyder scored a goal and added two assists to help PHS top Ewing 4-1. Two days later, Snyder chipped in a goal as the Little Tigers defeated the Lawrenceville School 2-0. PHS, which improved to 6-0-1 with the win over the Big Red, hosts Lawrence High on October 1 before playing at Steinert on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As a senior and a battle-tested veteran on the Princeton High boys’ soccer, Cole Snyder is taking charge on the field this season for the squad. more


BRIGHT HUE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Cate Donohue goes after the ball in a 2014 game. Last Saturday, senior forward and tri-captain Donohue contributed an assist to help Stuart top WW/P-S 2-0 as it earned its first win of the season. The Tartans, who improved to 1-6-1 with the victory, are slated to host the George School (Pa.) on October 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team trailing Blair Academy 1-0 in the the early going last Wednesday, Cate Donohue saw an opportunity and seized it. more

September 23, 2015


ROARING BACK: Princeton High running back Rory Helstrom heads upfield in 2014 action. Last Friday at Ewing, senior star Helstrom rushed for 236 yards to help PHS rally from a 20-7 first half deficit and pull out a 34-27 victory. The Little Tigers, now 1-1, host Hightstown on September 25 under the lights at Harris Field. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After losing to Hamilton in its season opener on September 12, the Princeton High football team felt a heightened sense of urgency as it got ready for its game at Ewing last Friday night. more

#12 gets congrats after she scored a 2nd half goal for PDS

TIME TO CELEBRATE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer star Damali Simon-Ponte celebrates after a goal in a game earlier this fall. Last week, sophomore star Simon-Ponte scored the winning goal as PDS edged Hun 2-1 in a battle of defending state prep champions. The Panthers, who topped Montgomery 1-0 last Monday to improve to 3-0-1, host Peddie on September 24, play at Blair Academy on September 26, and host Hamilton on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It was a clash of defending state prep champions last week as the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team, the 2014 Prep B victor, hosted the Hun School, the winner of last year’s Prep A tournament. more

l-r #11 PDS and #23 Stuart

FORWARD PROGRESS: Princeton Day School field hockey player Madison Mundenar goes after the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, sophomore forward Mundenar chipped in a goal and an assist in a losing cause as PDS fell 7-2 to Germantown Academy (Pa.). The Panthers, who lost 1-0 to Hun last Monday to move to 1-4, play at Peddie on September 24 and at Blair on September 26 before hosting Morrisville High (Pa.) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Coming into its game against visiting Germantown Academy last Thursday, the Princeton Day School field hockey team had one main point of emphasis. more

Last fall, the Hun School girls’ soccer team started the season with a 2-1 defeat to South Brunswick but hardly lost again, going 14-4-1 on the way to the state Prep A title.

Playing at Princeton Day School, the defending Prep B champs, on September 15 to open its 2015 campaign, Hun dropped a 2-1 nail-biter. more


ON THE MOVE: Hun School football player Luke Apuzzi makes a move last Friday in Hun’s 70-6 season-opening win over Wyoming Seminary. Senior wide receiver Apuzzi, a transfer from rival Lawrenceville, made five receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Hun plays at Poly Prep (N.Y.) on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

There is no doubt that one of the more heated rivalries in local high school football circles pits the Hun School against the Lawrenceville School. more


SERVICE ORIENTED: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Sam Servis surveys the action in a game earlier this season. Senior midfielder and co-captain Servis has been a steadying force for Stuart this season. The Tartans, who fell to 0-5 with a 4-0 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday, host Blair Academy on September 23, WW/P-S on September 26, and Hun on September 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team has gotten off to a 0-5 start this season, Missy Bruvik is far from discouraged.

“I think what is exciting is that we have kids who are learning and each game we take something from it,” said Stuart head coach Bruvik. more

September 16, 2015


GREEN DAY: Princeton High football player Jakob Green punts the ball during a preseason scrimmage. Sophomore receiver/defensive back Green made a solid debut last Saturday as PHS fell 10-7 at Hamilton in the season opener for both teams. Green had four catches for 66 yards and capably handled the kicking duties for the Little Tigers. PHS will look to get on the winning track when it plays at Ewing (1-0) on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As it rolled to an 8-2 campaign last fall, the Princeton High football team was held to seven points just once. more


USING HIS HEAD: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Isaac Rosenthal heads the ball against the George School (Pa.) last Friday. Senior star Rosenthal scored on a header in the game to give PDS a 1-0 victory. The Panthers, who improved to 2-0 with the triumph, play at Hamilton on September 18 and at Hopewell Valley on September 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Displaying its skill, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team dominated possession from the opening whistle last Friday as it hosted the George School (Pa.). more


MOVING FORWARD: Hun School field hockey player Julie Fassl patrols the field in action last season. Hun is looking for junior Fassl to be a catalyst on the forward line this season. The Raiders start their 2015 season by hosting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Pa.) on September 16 and Pennington on September 17 before playing at WW/P-S on September 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

While the Hun School field hockey team boasts plenty of depth, Kathy Quirk is still figuring out the best way to utilize her  resources. more


TAYLOR SWIFT: Princeton High girls’ soccer Taylor Lis races up the field in action last fall. Senior midfielder and tri-captain Lis should be a top offensive weapon for PHS this fall. The Little Tigers were slated to get their 2015 season underway by hosting Robbinsville on September 15 and playing at Hamilton on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With the Princeton High girls’ soccer team boasting a slew of battle-tested players, Val Rodriguez sees a maturity around her squad. more


ON THE BALL: Hun School boys’ soccer player Alex Semler chases down the ball in a game last season. Senior defender Semler has been a mainstay on the back line for the Raiders since his freshman season. Hun gets its 2015 season underway this week by playing at Morristown-Beard on September 15 and at the Life Center Academy on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Hun School boys’ soccer team, the 2015 season couldn’t come soon enough. more

September 9, 2015


STANDING TALL Princeton High senior quarterback Dave Beamer unloads the ball during a recent scrimmage. Beamer’s passing prowess helped PHS go 8-2 last fall on the way to West Jersey Football League’s Valley Division title and an appearance in the state playoffs. The Little Tigers kick off 2015 regular season play with a game at Hamilton on September 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

There was some apprehension around the Princeton High football team as it entered the 2014 season. more

CLUTCH PLAY: Princeton High boys’ soccer goalie Owen Lindenfeldar clutches the ball last Saturday as PHS hosted Westfield in the season opener for both teams. Senior Lindenfeldar posted a shutout as the Little Tigers prevailed 1-0 in overtime. PHS is next in action when it hosts Trenton on September 11. (Photo by John Dowers)

Owen Lindenfeldar and his teammates on the Princeton High boys’ soccer team knew they were facing a challenge when they hosted Westfield last Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both squads. more


ON THE STICK: Princeton High field hockey star Trish Reilly, right, displays her stick work in a game last fall. Senior midfielder Reilly figures to be a key offensive threat for a powerful PHS team that is coming off an 18-4 season last fall that included a trip to the county final and sectional semis. PHS was scheduled to open its season by hosting Princeton Day School on September 8 and Allentown on September 10 before playing at Lawrenceville on September 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Heather Serverson is putting on her chef’s hat as she looks to find the recipe for success this fall for the Princeton High field hockey team, mixing and matching the ingredients at her disposal. more


IN CONTROL: Hun School girls’ soccer player Jess -Johnson controls the ball in action last fall. Senior defender -Johnson’s skilled play and calming presence on the back line will be critical as Hun looks to defend its state Prep A crown. The Raiders open their 2015 season by playing at Episcopal Academy (Pa.) on September 10 and at Princeton Day School on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Catching fire down the stretch last year, the Hun School girls’ soccer team emerged as one of the pleasant surprises of the fall season. more


READY TO STRIKE: Princeton Day School field hockey player -Elizabeth Brennan prepares to hit the ball in action last fall. Sophomore midfielder/back Brennan figures to be a key performer this fall for PDS. The Panthers were slated to get their 2015 campaign underway by playing at Princeton High on September 8 and at Stuart Country Day on September 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Heather Farlow, playing field hockey at Rutgers University in the mid-1990s was a transformative experience.  more


MADISON AVENUE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer star Madison Coyne controls the ball in a game last year. Sophomore standout Coyne will be spearheading the PDS back line as the Panthers look to defend their state Prep B title. PDS was scheduled to kick off its 2015 season by playing at the George School (Pa.) on September 8 and hosting the Hun School on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With only one senior on the roster this fall for the Princeton Day School girls’ team, it may appear that the squad lacks experience. more


LOOSE BALL: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tyler Lussi, left, battles for the ball in recent action. Last Sunday, junior star Lussi scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to visiting Duquesne. Princeton, now 2-2, hosts Delaware on September 10 before playing at Villanova on September 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After rolling to a 2-0 start, outscoring its foes 8-1 in the process, the Princeton University women’s soccer team hit some bumps in the road last week. more

September 2, 2015


HARD CHALLENGE: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Chris Harla thwarts a foe in a recent preseason scrimmage. Senior defender and tri-captain Harla figures to be a key performer this fall for the Little Tigers who are coming off a 2014 season that saw the squad win the county title and advance to the state Group 3 title game. The Little Tigers open their regular season play by hosting Westfield on September 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though the Princeton High boys’ soccer team is stocked with seniors and is coming off a season that saw the squad win the county title and advance to the state Group 3 championship game, Wayne Sutcliffe knows those factors don’t guarantee success this fall. more