November 7, 2018

DRIVE FOR FIVE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer Brooke Smukler, left, goes after a ball in a game earlier this fall. Last Wednesday, senior forward Smukler, who had been sidelined earlier this fall with mono, ended her career with a bang, scoring two goals as top-seeded PDS defeated second-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy 4-2 in the state Prep B title game. It was the fifth straight Prep B title for the Panthers, who ended the fall at 14-4-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In mid-October, Brooke Smukler was diagnosed with mononucleosis and feared that she might be sidelined for the rest of her senior season on the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team.

At the time, doctors advised Smukler that she was likely to be out for around four weeks. But getting cleared after two weeks, Smukler got a chance to return to action for the postseason. more

KICKSTARTER: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Jules Romano controls the ball in recent action. Last Wednesday, sophomore midfielder Romano scored a goal and had an assist in the first half to give top-seeded PDS a 2-0 halftime lead over second-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in the state Prep B final. The Panthers went on to prevail 4-2, winning their fifth straight Prep B crown. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Goals have been hard to come by when the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team battled Montclair Kimberley Academy in the last three state Prep B finals.

In 2015, the two rivals played to a 0-0 tie through regulation before Hannah Bunce blasted in a goal to give PDS a 1-0 overtime victory. more

IN THE CLEAR: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Lauren Rougas clears the ball up the field in recent action. Junior defender Rougas starred as PHS advanced to the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals where the eighth-seeded Little Tigers lost 4-0 at top-seeded Hunterdon Central last Friday. PHS finished the fall with a 9-7-2 record.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Lauren Rougas and her fellow defenders on the Princeton High girls’ soccer team knew they faced a challenge when they played at high-powered Hunterdon Central in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals last Friday.

“Our defensive game plan was to just play as a unit and pass the ball around and keep possession on the offense,” said Rougas.”We wanted to keep our defensive stance and play as hard as we could.” more

By Bill Alden

After the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team dropped the first set of its Group 4 state tournament opening round match against visiting Cherokee, Natalia Drobnjak knew the season was on the line.

“In the second set we just tried to come out with a bit more fire, energy, and a sense of urgency,” said senior libero Drobnjak

The 16th-seeded Little Tigers fought hard but came up short, falling 2-0 (25-17, 25-16) to 17th-seeded Cherokee to end the fall with a 20-6 record. more

FINAL DRIVE: Hun School football player Josh Henderson heads upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, senior running back Henderson finished his Hun career in style, scoring two touchdowns as the Raiders defeated the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 48-20 in their season finale. Hun improved to 8-1 with the victory and clinched the outright Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Josh Henderson’s final appearance for the Hun School football team proved to be a fitting culmination to his stellar career.

With Hun hosting the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) last Sunday to end the 2018 campaign, senior running back and co-captain Henderson scored two touchdowns to help the Raiders roll to a 48-20 triumph as they improved to 8-1 and cliched the outright Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title in the process. more

October 31, 2018

ON HER GAME: Princeton High field hockey player Mariana Lopez-Ona, right, heads upfield in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior star Lopez-Ona scored two goals to help top-seeded PHS defeat eighth-seeded Monroe 4-1 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals.  The Little Tigers, now 15-1, were slated to host fifth-seeded Rancocas Valley in the sectional semis on October 30 with the victor advancing to the title game on November 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High field hockey team locked in a tense 1-1 battle against visiting Monroe in the second half of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals last Friday, PHS got a golden opportunity as it was awarded a penalty stroke.

Little Tiger senior star Mariana Lopez-Ona bent over the ball, fired it to the  goal and then put her head in her hands in dismay after the shot was stopped. more

FINAL PUSH: Princeton Day School field hockey Sasha Sindhwani dribbles the ball upfield in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior star Sindhwani scored in double overtime to help second-seeded PDS edge third-seeded Morristown Beard in the state Prep B semifinals. On Sunday, Sindhwani and the Panthers couldn’t repeat those heroics as they fell 2-0 at top-seeded Montclair Kimberly Academy in the Prep B title game. The defeat left the Panthers with a final record of 11-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Lawrenceville in the Mercer County Tournament championship game on October 20, the Princeton Day School field hockey team was seconds away from another agonizing playoff setback as it hosted Morristown-Beard in the state Prep B semis last Wednesday.

The second-seeded Panthers trailed the third-seeded Crimson in the waning moments of regulation before Panther junior star Caroline Haggerty scored with 11 seconds left to force overtime. PDS prevailed 2-1 in double overtime as senior standout Sasha Sindhwani notched the game winner. more

FAST LANE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer Kelsey Lane goes after the ball as PDS faced Pennington in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last week. Senior defender Lane spearheaded the back line as the sixth-seeded Panthers battled valiantly in falling 2-0 to the second-seeded and eventual champion Red Raiders. PDS produced another superb defensive effort last Thursday as the top-seeded Panthers edged fifth-seeded Morristown-Beard 1-0 in the state Prep B semifinals. PDS, now 13-4-1, will host second-seeded Montclair Kimberly Academy in the Prep B final on October 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Blood streamed down Kelsey Lane’s face after taking an elbow to the nose as Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team battled Pennington in the first half of the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last week.

PDS senior defender Lane wasn’t about to let the knock keep her out of the action. more

THROWING IT DOWN: Hun School boys’ soccer goalie Coleman Chiurco chucks the ball upfield in a game earlier this fall. Last Wednesday, senior star Chiurco made 13 saves to help third-seeded Hun defeat sixth-seeded Peddie 2-1 in the opening round of the state Prep A tournament. The Raiders, who improved to 9-8 with a 2-1 win over Peddie in a regular season contest last Saturday, were slated to play at second-seeded Pennington in the Prep A semis on October 30 with the victor advancing to the title game on November 1. In addition, Hun will be hosting Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in its season finale on November 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coleman Chiurco is saving his best for last in his senior season for the Hun School boys’ soccer team.

After seeing little action as a back-up goalie for Hun in 2017, Chiurco has stepped into the starting role this season. more

CHIMING IN: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Stephen “Chima” Chukumba, right, dribbles the ball last Thursday as PDS hosted Rutgers Prep in the state Prep B semifinals. Sophomore forward Chukumba scored the go-ahead goal as second-seeded PDS defeated third-seeded Rutgers Prep 3-1. The Panthers, who improved to 8-6-3 with the won, were slated to play at top-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in the Prep B final on October 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having moved into the starting lineup for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer varsity squad this fall after playing mainly for the JV team in 2017, Stephen “Chima” Chukumba took a while to get up to speed.

“It is just having to play a little longer game,” said sophomore forward Chukumba, who scored 20 goals for JV team. “It is greater intensity, it is a lot quicker pace.” more

October 24, 2018

LINE OF FIRE: Princeton Day School field hockey player Caroline Haggerty goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior star Haggerty helped spearhead a terrific defensive effort as third-seeded PDS fell 1-0 to top-seeded Lawrenceville in the Mercer County Tournament championship game. The Panthers, now 10-4, will be competing in the state Prep B tournament where they are seeded second and host third-seeded Morristown-Beard in the semis on October 24 with the victor advancing to the title game on October 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In late September, the Princeton Day School field hockey team fell 3-0 at Lawrenceville.

When the local rivals met again last Saturday evening in the Mercer County Tournament title game, PDS was determined to turn the tables on the powerhouse Big Red, who had won six of the last seven county crowns coming into the contest. more

IN STRIDE: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Tucker Zullo, left, takes off at the start of a 2017 race.Last Friday at the Mercer County championship meet, senior Zullo placed fifth individually with classmate Jackson McCarthy right behind him in sixth as PHS took fourth in the team standings. The Little Tigers will look for another big effort as they compete in the state sectional meet slated for November 3 at Thompson Park in Jamesburg. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tucker Zullo had a simple race plan as he toed the starting line for Princeton High boys’ cross country team at the Mercer County championship meet last Friday.

“It was run hard, run fast,” said senior star Zullo. “I knew that Jackson [McCarthy] and I wanted to be together the whole race.” more

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton Day School field hockey player Val Radvany, right, controls the ball against Princeton High in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last Thursday. Senior star Radvany chipped in an assist to help third-seeded PDS upend second-seeded and previously undefeated Princeton High 3-0. PDS went on to fall 1-0 to top-seeded Lawrenceville on the MCT final. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Val Radvany, helping the Princeton Day School field hockey team return to the Mercer County Tournament final was a key goal in her final campaign with the program.

After getting an assist to help third-seeded PDS upend second-seeded and previously undefeated Princeton High 3-0 in the MCT semis last Thursday, a smiling Radvany reflected on the team’s achievement. more

SAVING GRACE: Princeton High field hockey goalie Grace Cooke prepares to make a save last week in Mercer County Tournament action. Junior star Cooke made five saves in a losing cause as second-seeded PHS fell 3-0 to third-seeded Princeton Day School in the MCT semifinals, suffering its first defeat of the season. The Little Tigers, now 14-1, will start play in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional this week where they are seeded first and slated to host eighth-seeded Monroe in a quarterfinal contest on October 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Rolling to a 14-0 record as it advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semis, the Princeton High field hockey team had enjoyed a smooth ride this fall.

But as second-seeded PHS faced third-seeded Princeton Day School last Thursday evening in the semis at Lawrence High, it ran into some turbulence, falling behind 1-0 to its crosstown rival five minutes into the contest. more

HEADS UP: Hun School girls’ soccer player Nicole Angelini heads the ball in a game earlier this fall. Last Thursday, junior midfielder Angelini scored the lone goal for Hun as it fell 4-1 to Oak Knoll. The Raiders, who lost 3-1 to Lawrenceville last Saturday to move to 3-9, will start play in the state Prep A tournament this week where they are seeded sixth and slated to play a first round contest at third-seeded Oak Knoll on October 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Siena Moran hit the road this summer to prepare for her senior season on the Princeton High girls’ cross country team.

“This was my first summer training; I did really low mileage at first because I had never done summer training before,” said Moran. more

FRONTRUNNER: Hun School cross country runner Charlotte Bednar displays her form in a recent race. Last Friday, freshman Bednar placed first in the girls’ varsity race at the Mercer County championship meet. Bednar will look for another title as she competes in the state Prep A meet on October 24 at the Blair Academy.

By Bill Alden

Watching the Hun School cross country team train, there is often a tiny blonde girl running at the head of the pack along with the boys.

Possessing a light, bouncy stride, freshman Charlotte Bednar can hold her own with any runner in the program. more

October 17, 2018

PERFECT STORM: Princeton High field hockey player Isabel Kinney (No. 19) shoots the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior forward and co-captain Kinney scored a goal to help second-seeded PHS defeat 15th-seeded Hun 5-0 in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. A day later, Kinney scored two goals to help the Little Tigers defeat Nottingham 8-1 in a regular season contest and improve to 13-0. PHS is slated to host seventh-seeded Allentown on October 16 in the MCT quarterfinals with the victor advancing to the semis on October 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Isabel Kinney was holding an ice bag to the left side of her face in the waning moments of the contest last Friday as the second-seeded Princeton High field hockey team hosted No. 15 Hun in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. more

GOAL ACHIEVED: Princeton High boys’ soccer players Nick Petruso, left, and Atticus Lynch celebrate after a goal in a game earlier this fall. Last Monday, sophomore striker Petruso scored the lone goal as PHS defeated Nottingham 1-0 to improve to 7-4-2. The Little Tigers start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week when seventh-seeded PHS hosts 10th-seeded Hightstown on October 18 in an opening round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Murphy’s Law has prevailed so far this fall for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team.

“It has been one of those seasons that we are not used to because we have had three major injuries to starters,” said PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe. more

MULTI-TASKING: Princeton High football player Stephen Hennessy carries the ball in a recent game. Last Friday, senior star and co-captain Hennessy starred as PHS rallied to edge West Windsor-Plainsboro 22-19. Hennessy returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and helped spark the Little Tiger ground attack from his running back spot. He also made two interceptions on the evening as the PHS defense held WW-P scoreless in the second half. The Little Tigers, now 2-4, play at Hopewell Valley on October 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Princeton High football team rallied to beat visiting West Windsor-Plainsboro 22-19 last Friday evening, the PHS players gathered in the end zone, grabbed tennis balls and threw them into the ground in unison, hollering in celebration. more

ON THE BALL: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis, left, battles for the ball in recent action. Freshman forward Lis has helped spark the PHS offense this fall and scored a goal in a losing effort as the Little Tigers fell 5-1 to Nottingham last Monday. PHS, now 6-5-2, will start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week where it is seeded eighth and slated to host ninth-seeded Lawrence in an opening round contest on October 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As a grade schooler, Sophia Lis helped out as a ball girl for the Princeton High girls’ soccer team, watching her older sisters Taylor and Devon star on the pitch for the Little Tigers.

Now as a freshman forward on PHS, Lis is following in her sisters’ footsteps.

“They teach me a lot, they are 100 percent my No. 1 role models and they are both so nice,” said Lis of Taylor, a junior midfielder for the Cornell women’s lacrosse program, and Devon, a freshman midfielder on the Georgetown women’s soccer team. “I played with them and tried to to get on their teams.” more

STEPPING IN: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Cailyn Jones sends the ball up the field in recent action. Freshman defender Jones played well in a losing cause as PDS fell 4-0 at Pennington last Saturday. The Panthers, who defeated Lenape 2-1 last Monday to improve to 10-3-1, start play in the Mercer County Tournament this week where they are seeded sixth and host 11th-seeded Hightstown in an opening round contest on October 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing at powerhouse Pennington this past Saturday evening, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team was at a disadvantage before the game even started as it was missing two key players.

With starters Brooke Smukler and Anna Ellwood sidelined for the rest of the fall due to illness and injury, PDS couldn’t afford any lapses if it wanted to upend the Red Raiders. more

By Bill Alden

On paper, it looked to be a total mismatch when the 15th-seeded Hun School field hockey team played at second-seeded Princeton High in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament last Friday.

Hun entered the game with a 2-7 record, having lost 7-0 at Blair and 6-0 at Princeton Day School in the previous week while PHS brought an unblemished  11-0 mark into the matchup. more

October 10, 2018

By Bill Alden

Jackson Barletta prides himself on being a multi-faceted threat for the Hun School football team.

“It is good to be all around the field and just impact the team however I can,” said senior star Barletta, who plays receiver, quarterback, and defensive back for the Raiders.

Last Saturday against visiting Blair Academy, Barletta made an impact in the first half with his arm and legs, throwing a touchdown pass to Nicholas DeGennaro and then catching a scoring strike from Logan Clouse as the Raiders built a 12-0 halftime lead. more

SETTING THE PACE: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Acasio Pinheiro (No. 858, second from right) competes in a 2017 race. Last Saturday, senior star Pinheiro took third individually in the Boys’ Varsity C race at the Shore Coaches Invitational in Holmdel Park to help the Little Tigers place third of 27 schools in the team standings in the race. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last several years, the individual brilliance of Alex Roth and and then Will Hare helped spark the Princeton High boys’ cross country team to county and state crowns.

This fall, a triumvirate of senior standouts, Acasio Pinheiro, Jackson McCarthy, and Tucker Zullo, have combined to make PHS formidable again. more

PLAYING SMART: Hun School boys’ soccer player Elijah Smarr controls the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, senior midfielder Smarr chipped in an assist to help Hun defeat Blair Academy 3-0 in its Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener. The Raiders, now 5-4, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 13 before hosting Northern Burlington on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School boys’ soccer team locked in a scoreless tie with Life Center Academy last week, Elijah Smarr had the ball on his foot near the goal.

But rather than firing away, Hun senior midfield Smarr saw teammate Amar Anand breaking free and slotted the ball to him and he found the back of the net.

“Jack Tarzy played me a nice ball in; I could have taken him on but I saw that Amar had a better angle so I just played it to him and he was able to put it away,” said Smarr of the score that came with 27:13 left in the half. more