November 18, 2015

First place finisher for PHS

LEAD GROUP: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth, left, races with the frontrunners in a recent meet. Last Saturday, junior star Roth took sixth individually at the Group 4 state championship meet at Holmdel, covering the 5-kilometer course in a time of 16:11. Roth’s heroics helped PHS finish fifth in the team standings and earn a wild card spot in the Meet of Champions (MOC), slated for November 21 at Holmdel. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton High boys’ cross country team hit the track to sharpen up for the Group 4 state championship meet with its final speed session, it was met with a drenching rain. more

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KNOCKED OUT: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Alex Ratzan, left, battles for the ball in recent action. Last week, Ratzan and third-seeded PHS fell 3-1 to seventh-seeded Freehold Township in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals. The defeat in the November 10 contest left the Little Tigers with a final record of 16-2-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

A downpour pelted the players the Princeton High boys’ soccer team as it hosted Freehold Township last week in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals. more

November 11, 2015

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TITLE FIGHT: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Hannah Bunce, left, fights for the ball in recent action. Last week, junior star Bunce scored the winning goal as top-seeded PDS defeated second-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy 1-0 in overtime in Prep B title game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

On paper, the 2015 state Prep B girls’ soccer championship game had the makings of a nail biter as top-seeded Princeton Day School hosted second-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy. more

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LAX BROS: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse stars, from left, Bobby Campbell, Chris Cahill, and Johnny Morris pose for the team photo before their senior season in 1978. The trio of Campbell, Cahill, and Morris were team tri-captains and formed one of the great midfield units in program history. This Saturday, Morris will be inducted into the tenth class of the PHS Athletics Hall of Fame.

As a kid growing up in Princeton in the late 1960s, Johnny Morris gave baseball a try but things didn’t go well.

“My father and brother would throw a baseball at me and I would put my head away,” said Morris. “I was scared to death of a fly ball.” more

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RISING TO THE OCCASION: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nick Halliday, left, heads the ball in recent action. Last Friday, senior midfielder Halliday helped set up two goals as third-seeded PHS topped sixth-seeded East Brunswick 3-1 in the Central Jersey Group 4 section quarterfinals. The win earned the Little Tigers a spot in the sectional semifinals where they were slated to host seventh-seeded Freehold Township on November 10 with the winner advancing to the title game on November 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although Nick Halliday isn’t one of the headliners on the Princeton High boys’ soccer team, he has a vital role on the squad. more

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ON THE BEAM: Princeton High quarterback Dave Beamer fires a pass in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior star Beamer connected on a touchdown pass in a losing cause as PHS fell 48-38 to WW/PN. The Little Tigers, who finished the regular season with a 4-5 record, will host Millburn on November 14 in a NJSIAA regional crossover game to wrap up the fall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Even though the Princeton High football team was trailing WW/P-N 48-38 when it got the ball with 54.7 seconds remaining in regulation, Dave Beamer wasn’t about to give up. more

Start of the boys race

PACK MENTALITY: Princeton High boys’ cross country runners take off at the start of the county meet last month at Thompson Park in Jamesburg. Last Saturday, PHS returned to Thompson Park for the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet and took third in the team standings to earn a spot in the upcoming state Group 4 meet at Holmdel. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After finishing second in the county meet at Thompson Park in Jamesburg in late October, the Princeton High boys’ cross country team posted slower times on the course last Saturday in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet. more

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FRONTRUNNERS: Princeton High girls’ cross country runners, Lou Mialhe, left, and Chloe Taylor compete in a recent race. Last Saturday at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet, senior Mialhe placed ninth individually and sophomore Taylor took 10th to help PHS finish fifth in the team standings and secure the last qualifying spot for the upcoming state Group 4 meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton High girls’ cross county team competed at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet last Saturday, its frontrunners did their job. more

November 4, 2015

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HAIL STORM: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Haley -Bodden boots the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, senior midfielder Bodden contributed a goal and an assist as fifth-seeded PHS routed No. 12 Sayreville 8-2 in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. PHS, now 10-4-1, is slated to play at fourth-seeded Monroe in the sectional quarterfinals on November 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Haley Bodden was ready to leave it all on the field as the Princeton High girls’ soccer team faced Sayreville in the first round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional last Monday.

“Definitely as a senior I wanted to put my all into this game,” said Bodden. more

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FIGHTING ON: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player David Cedeno heads upfield in a game earlier this fall. Last Sunday, junior midfielder Cedeno, who was sidelined earlier in the season with a knee injury, contributed an assist as third-seeded PDS fell 2-1 to top-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s in the state Prep B championship game. The Panthers, who won seven of their last 10 games, ended the fall with an 11-7 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

David Cedeno could have given up on his junior season with the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team when he injured his right knee earlier this fall.

Cedeno was sidelined for nearly two months with a torn ligament but gamely returned to action in time to play for PDS in its Mercer County Tournament quarterfinal clash at Princeton High. more

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BLACK AND BLUE: Hun School football star Owen Black was patrolling the field in recent action. Last Saturday, senior Black returned a fumble for a touchdown to help key a bruising defensive effort as Hun defeated Peddie 40-13. Hun, now 7-0 overall and 4-0 Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL), plays at Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on November 8 in its season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For the Hun School football team, the formula was simple as it looked to beat visiting Peddie last Saturday in a showdown for first place in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL).

“We wanted to come out and set the tone by running the ball, just establishing that we were going to own the line of scrimmage,” said Hun head coach Todd Smith. more

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SAVING GRACE: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer goalie Grace Barbara makes a stop in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, sophomore star Barbara made five saves to help first-seeded PDS edge No. 4 Wardlaw Hartridge 1-0 in the state Prep B semis. The Panthers, who improved to 16-2-1 with the win, were slated to host No. 2 Montclair Kimberly on November 3 in the Prep B championship game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After suffering a disappointing 3-0 loss to Notre Dame in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team got another shot to make a title game as it hosted Wardlaw Hartridge in the state Prep B semis last Thursday. more

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IN FOCUS: Princeton High field hockey player Trish Reilly focuses on the ball last Thursday as PHS hosted East Brunswick in the North 2 Group 4 sectional quarterfinals. Senior star midfielder Reilly chipped in a goal and an assist to help the third-seeded Little Tigers cruise to a 6-1 win over sixth-seeded East Brunswick. The victory improved PHS to 13-5-2 and set up a sectional semifinals matchup at second-seeded Hunterdon Central slated for November 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Trish Reilly brought a special sense of urgency as the Princeton High field hockey team hosted East Brunswick in the North 2 Group 4 sectional quarterfinals last Thursday.

“Today was my last time playing on this turf so there was a lot of emotion on on the line, a lot of nostalgia,” said PHS senior midfielder Reilly. more

November 2, 2015

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton Day School field hockey player Rowan Schomburg, second from right, goes after the ball as PDS played Stuart Country Day School last Wednesday in the opening round of the state Prep B tournament. Senior star Schomburg chipped in an assist as fourth-seeded PDS prevailed 3-2 in overtime over the fifth-seeded Tartans. PDS, which defeated Steinert 7-1 in a Mercer County Tournament consolation last Thursday to improve to 6-11-1, is slated to play at top-seeded Montclair Kimberley in the Prep B semis on October 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

As the Princeton Day School field hockey team prepared to play local rival Stuart Country Day in the opening round of the state Prep B tournament last Wednesday, the emphasis was on striking quickly.

“We wanted to get out of the gate strong,” said PDS senior star Rowan Schomburg. “We knew our mindset had to be score first and score often.”

The Panthers accomplished that goal, jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a first half goal by senior Katie Shih. After Stuart answered with a tally 10 minutes into the second half, Schomburg helped get PDS back in the lead as she assisted Val Radvany on a goal off a penalty corner.

“Inserting, I always want to get to the post and that is what happened,” said Schomburg. “Everyone was in the right spot at the right time.”
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October 28, 2015

Chloe Taylor came into the Mercer County Cross Country Championships looking to play a supporting role in the pack for the Princeton High girls’ team.

But when PHS senior star Lou Mialhe started to struggle late in the race at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, sophomore Taylor assumed the frontrunner mantle for the Little Tigers.

The willowy Taylor floated past Mialhe and took fifth overall to help PHS take second behind champion WW/P-S.

“Lou didn’t do as well as we hoped,” said Taylor, who clocked a time of 19:41.43 over the 5-kilometer course with Mialhe taking seventh in 19:53.12.

“I just thought if we are going to win we need to get as far up there in the pack as possible. I think I passed her going down the last hill. I like running the downhills.”
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HEADY PLAY: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Drew Beamer heads the ball up the field in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore Beamer scored on a header to provide the margin of victory as top-seeded PHS edged No. 8 Princeton Day School 2-1 in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. PHS fell 2-1 to No. 4 Pennington in the MCT semis last Monday and will start play in the state tournament next week. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Andrew Beamer was thrust into a critical role for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team as it hosted Princeton Day School last Saturday in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals.

When PHS senior star defensive midfielder Pete Luther was unable to play in the game due to illness, sophomore Beamer took his spot in the lineup.

Making the most of his opportunity, Beamer produced some stellar defensive work and headed in a second half goal that proved to be the margin of victory as top-seeded PHS edged No. 8 PDS 2-1.

Beamer enjoyed the intensity of the rivalry game, which featured some physical, skilled play.

“It was a good competition,” said Beamer. “We moved the ball well through the middle and we got it out to the flanks pretty well and then our crosses were key. It really put us in some good goal scoring opportunities.”

Some eight minutes into the second half, Beamer cashed in an opportunity as he headed in a Sam Serxner free kick to give PHS a 2-0 lead.

“I waited back post for the ball to come in and then I just jumped and headed it,” said Beamer.

Things got a little dicey for the Little Tigers as PDS answered with a David Cedeno goal a minute later.
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In an early September clash, the Princeton High field hockey team fell behind Allentown 3-0 at halftime on the way to a 4-1 loss.

Things were a lot different when the teams met in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals last Thursday at Mercer County Community College.

Through 30 minutes, fifth-seeded PHS battled top-seeded and undefeated Allentown tooth-and-nail and the teams headed into halftime knotted in a scoreless stalemate.

PHS head coach Heather Serverson liked the way her players rose to the occasion in the rematch.
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CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Head coach Ed Tseng, far left, and the members of the Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team celebrate after the Panthers won the state Prep B tournament last Thursday at the Garden State Tennis Center in Edison. PDS scored 10 points with runner-up Gill St. Bernard’s tallying 8 as it won its fourth straight Prep B crown. The team included Sydney Vine, Tarika Kumar, Touria Salvati, Devika Kumar, Anna Kovacevich, Arya Jha, and Renee Karchere-Sun.

Heading into the final day of the state Prep B girls’ tennis championships, the Princeton Day School team knew it wasn’t a lock in its bid to win a fourth straight crown.

While PDS held a slim one point lead over Gill St. Bernard as the players took the courts at the Garden State Tennis Center in Edison last Thursday for the championship round, both teams were alive in three finals.

PDS head coach Ed Tseng realized his squad was in a dogfight. “I knew anything was possible,” said Tseng, who had Sydney Vines in the second singles finals while the first doubles of the Kumar sisters, Devika and Tarika, and the second doubles team of Anna Kovacevich and Tauria Salvati also advanced to the championship round.
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While the Princeton Day School boys’ and girls’ squads finished well out of the running at the Mercer County Cross Country Championships last Friday, they gained a lot from the experience.

The PDS boys took 16th of 18 teams with junior Kevin Sun leading the way, taking 81st individually as he posted a time of 18:57.55 over the 5-kilometer course at Thompson Park in Jamesburg.

“This race for them is very, very fast because there are so many good teams,” said PDS head coach John Woodside.

“Competitively they get swept up. Their first miles were really, really good but I think it was the price and they fell apart. They fell apart more than we expected.”
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MAKING STRIDES: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth heads to the finish line last Friday at the Mercer County Cross Country Championships. Junior star Roth took third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In 2014, Alex Roth couldn’t run in the Mercer County Cross Country Championships due to injury.

Last Friday, Princeton High boys’ junior star Roth was thrilled to toe the starting line at this year’s county meet.

“It is a great environment,” said Roth. “It was super cool to run with all of these competitive teams and competitive guys. It was great experience.”

Roth proved to be one of the top competitors on the course at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, taking third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville.

Coming into the race, Roth was focused on going after WW/P-S senior star Tim Bason, who ended up taking first.

“I wasn’t really worrying about time; I was trying to get in the mix to get a top position,” said Roth, who covered the course in 15:59.61. “I basically went out and just tried to hang with Tim Bason and just tried to go with it after that in the second half.”

Roth hung with Bason for about half of the race before getting edged  by 1.40 for second place by Zach Michon of Robbinsville down the final straightaway.

“I thought it was a good race; I felt confident,” said Roth. “The Robbinsville guy got me at the end but I felt like I ran the race I was looking for.”

While PHS entered the day looking for the team title, Roth saw the second-place finish as a positive.
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HOLY MOSES: Princeton High running back Moses Mahiri heads upfield against WW/P-S last Friday. Sophomore Mahiri had a breakout game against the Pirates, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on three carries to help PHS to a 34-7 win. The Little Tigers, now 3-4, host Robbinsville on October 31. (Photo by John Dowers)

Moses Mahiri was pumped up as the Princeton High football team got ready to play at WW/P-S last Friday evening.

“I was hyped before the game,” said PHS sophomore running back Mahiri.

“The whole team together was trying to get up our energy because coach (Charlie Gallagher) has always been talking about getting your energy up before the game, during games and after games and keep it going.”

Mahiri ended up providing plenty of energy at tailback, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on three carries as PHS posted a convincing 34-7 win over the Pirates in moving to 3-4 and snapping a two-game losing streak.

With PHS clinging to a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter, Mahiri got things going, taking off on a 44-yard run to the WW/P-S 9-yard line. On the next play, senior star Rory Helstrom bolted nine yards for a touchdown as PHS increased its lead to 14-0.
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SHOWING HEART: Princeton High girls’ soccer goalie Rachel Eberhart goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior Eberhart made six saves to help sixth-seeded PHS edge No. 11 WW/P-N 1-0 in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. Two days later, Eberhart made seven saves but it wasn’t enough as the Little Tigers fell 2-1 to third-seeded Allentown in the MCT quarterfinals. PHS, now 9-4-1, will start play in the state tournament next week. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Rachel Eberhart sensed that it was going to be a pressure cooker when the Princeton High girls’ soccer team hosted WW/P-N last Wednesday in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament.

With the rivals having played to a scoreless draw through two overtimes on October 8 in a regular season meeting, sixth-seeded PHS expected a tough battle from the 11th-seeded Northern Knights.

“We remembered the last game, we knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Eberhart.

“We knew they were going to put the pressure on us. We had to keep the ball on our feet and play our possession game and not get frantic and let them disrupt it and push us into doing long balls because that is not our game.”

In the rematch, the teams were still scoreless nearly 70 minutes into the contest and Eberhart had several big stops.

“I would say the game was very even and I definitely had a couple of shots to handle,” said Eberhart. “We had a couple of shots. It was a back and forth game.”
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Bringing an undefeated record into its game at Lawrenceville last Saturday, the Hun School football team didn’t look like a juggernaut in the early stages of the contest.

The rivals were tied at 0-0 after the first quarter with the Raiders squandering some opportunities through some sloppy play.

Hun post-graduate running back/linebacker Imamu Mayfield acknowledged that the Raiders got off to a sluggish start.

“We started off flat, we can attribute that to having a pretty bad week of practice leading into this game,” said Mayfield.

“Our coaches have been telling us play like you practice and that is why we started out pretty slow.”

Early in the second quarter, a 68-yard touchdown pass from Simon Vadas to Josh Henderson got the Raiders up to speed.
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October 22, 2015

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GETTING DEFENSIVE: Princeton High field hockey player Julia Snyder heads up the field on a penalty corner in recent action. Senior defender and co-captain Snyder has helped solidify things on the back line for PHS as it has enjoyed another winning season. The Little Tigers improved to 11-4-2 and posted their fifth straight shutout with a 5-0 win over Ewing last Saturday in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. Fifth-seeded PHS was slated to play at No. 4 Pennington in the MCT quarterfinals on October 20 with winner advancing to the semifinals on October 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Julia Snyder, the Senior Day ceremony for the Princeton High field hockey team last Wednesday helped put in perspective how far she has come during her career. more

October 21, 2015

Coming into the fall, Jim Smirk sensed that people had doubts as to whether his Princeton High girls’ cross country team could regain its standing as a perennial power.

“We have been working all season on trying to put together our identity; we had a lot of seniors last year and they were a good group of seniors,” said PHS head coach Smirk.

“There were a lot of question marks, more so from other people than ourselves, about how good we could be. A lot of people were floating around that it is a rebuilding year; there was this idea that it was OK if we weren’t very good.” more