April 24, 2019

ATTACK MODE: Hun School boys’ lacrosse player Trevor Deubner looks for an opening in recent action. Junior attacker Deubner has triggered the offense for Hun as it has produced a 7-0 start. In upcoming action, the Raiders play at Shawnee High on April 24 before hosting national powerhouse IMG Academy (Fla.) on April 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Trevor Deubner set up shop behind the Peddie goal, quarterbacking the offense for the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team as it hosted the Falcons last week.

With the Hun junior attacker deftly passing into the crease to set up teammates and darting in front of goal to take shots when lanes opened up, the Raider attack clicked on all cylinders as the rolled to a 17-1 win in the April 16 contest.

“I am just trying to let the game come to me and not turn over the ball too much,” said Deubner, who ended up with three goals and four assists in the victory. “I try to make plays when they are there and not force it.”

Having started since his freshman year, Deubner is more savvy with the ball.

“I would say attack is 100 percent mental,” added Deubner, who has committed to attending the University of North Carolina and play for its high-powered men’s lacrosse program. more

April 17, 2019

GIVING DIRECTION: Princeton High softball head coach Marissa Soprano, right, instructs one of her players during a recent game. Going with a number of young players, PHS has taken it lumps in the early going this spring. The Tigers, now 0-6, host Hamilton on April 17 and then play at Notre Dame on April 18, at WW/P-South in April 22 and at Steinert on April 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Marissa Soprano chattered constantly to the players on her Princeton High softball team as it hosted Allentown last Friday afternoon.

PHS head coach Soprano positioned her players, gave them fielding and hitting tips, and told them to take a deep breaths as part of her running commentary.

“The team is really new, we are doing a lot of teaching this year,” said Soprano, whose starting lineup against the Redbirds included three freshmen and two sophomores.

“We are just trying to teach them the basics of the game. It is hard when you play against girls who have been playing long time.” more

BIG BEN: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Ben Quinones carries the ball up the field in recent action. Junior defender Quinones has emerged as leader on the PHS back line this season. Last Saturday, Quinones chipped in a goal and an assist and scooped up six ground balls to help PHS defeat South Brunswick 12-6 and post its second straight victory. The Tigers, now 3-5, host WW/P-N on April 18 and Hightstown on April 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mired in a five-game losing streak coming into its game against visiting Robbinsville last Thursday, the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team was looking for a fresh start.

“It was ‘take it like the first game of the season and just play with fire,’” said PHS junior defender Ben Quinones. “We wanted to come out calm and collected but intense.”

Displaying intensity at both ends of the field, the Tigers jumped out to a 5-1 lead over the Ravens nearly 15 minutes into the contest.

“It is not something we have been accustomed to this season; it was something we were all excited to see happen,” said Quinones. more

FIELD DAY: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Ellie Schofield races up the field in a game last year. Last Friday, junior star Schofield tallied four goals and an assist to help PDS defeat Hopewell Valley 19-14. The Panthers, who improved to 5-3 with the win, host Hun on April 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team tied with Pennington 5-5 late in the first half last Wednesday, Ellie Schofield took matters into her own hands.

The PDS junior attacker/midfielder scored twice in the last five minutes of the half to help spark a 4-1 run as the Panthers built a 9-6 lead at halftime.

“We were really controlling the draw,” said Schofield. “Once we got the draw that led to our offense and scoring off the fast break.” more

ALL IN: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Ally Cowan, left, goes after the ball last Saturday against Blair. Junior midfielder Cowan scored five goals in a losing cause as Hun fell 13-11 to the Buccaneers. The Raiders, now 2-4, play at Princeton Day School on April 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ally Cowan singlehandedly kept the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team in the game early on as it hosted Blair last Saturday.

Junior transfer Cowan scored all three goals for Hun as it fell behind 7-3 midway through the first half.

“I know that it is better if I can take control and just be a leader on the field,” said Cowan. “That is the best for the whole team.”

The rest of the Hun team, though, came alive as it went on a 4-3 run to make it a 10-7 game at half.

“Once we got a few goals in, that brought the energy and everybody was just hyped up,” said Cowan. “We could move forward from there.”

The contest turned into a nail-biter down the stretch as Hun narrowed the gap to 10-9 and 11-10 on goals by Cowan only to end up losing 13-11 as it moved to 2-4 on the season. more

April 10, 2019

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Princeton University women’s open crew varsity eight churns through the water in a regatta this spring. Last Sunday, the top boat excelled at the Ivy League Invitational on Lake Carnegie, moving to 7-0 on the season and retained both the Class of 1984 Plaque and the 1975 Cup against a quartet of Ivy League opponents. The fifth-ranked Tigers are next in action when host Yale and Texas in the race for the Eisenberg Cup. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

As Lori Dauphiny assesses her Princeton University women’s open crew team this spring, she believes the program’s Class of 2019 is poised to go out in a blaze of glory.

With stars Claire Collins and Emily Kallfelz setting the tone, the team’s senior group brings a lot to the table.

“It is a very strong senior class. Claire and Emily are our co-captains; they also went to U23 and have done well,” said Dauphiny.

“Others around that class are also strong kids and leaders in their own right. I love every class, but this class definitely has many attributes. They are talented, they are achievers, they are strong, they are academically savvy so they have it all going on.” more

TED TALK: Princeton High baseball star Teddy Durbin fires a pitch in a game last year. Senior first baseman/pitcher Durbin has been making an impact with his bat so far this spring. Last week, Durbin hit triples in consecutive games for the Tigers, who are now 2-3. In upcoming action, PHS hosts WW/P-South on April 10 and Allentown on April 12, plays at Princeton Day School on April 13, and then hosts Nottingham on April 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Teddy Durbin has found a comfort level as he has moved into the number two spot in the batting order for the Princeton High baseball team this spring.

“I am mainly a fastball hitter, that is what I am best at,” said the senior first baseman/pitcher Durbin. “In the two spot, you usually get a first pitch fastball which is ideal for me.”

Last Wednesday against visiting Piscataway, Durbin got PHS started in the first inning, stroking a single and then coming around to score after an error, balk and wild pitch. more

SHOWTIME: Princeton Hugh girls’ lacrosse player Shoshi Henderson heads to goal in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, sophomore attacker henderson tallied three goals to help PHS defeat Notre Dame 12-6. The Tigers, now 3-1, plays at Allentown on April 11, hosts Columbia on April 13, and then plays at Princeton Day School on April 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Shoshi Henderson didn’t have to rack her brain to know the game plan for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team as it hosted Notre Dame last Monday.

The words “cohesive” and “unit” were scrawled in black magic marker on her hands.

“We just had to work together,” said Henderson, noting that all of her teammates had the message written on their hands. “We had to spread out everything and we did a great job of doing that.” more

OUT OF THE GATE: Hun School baseball player Carson Applegate takes off after hitting the ball in recent action. Freshman center fielder Applegate has been a catalyst in the leadoff spot as Hun has gotten off to a 7-0 start. In upcoming action, Hun hosts Princeton Day School on April 10, plays at Pennington on April 11, plays at Blair Academy on April 13, and then faces Immaculata High on April 15 at Diamond Nation. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carson Applegate hasn’t wasted any time making an impact this spring for the Hun School baseball team.

The precocious freshman, who has already committed to attend the University of Kentucky and play for its Division I baseball program, has been the leadoff batter and starting center fielder for the Raiders from day one of his debut campaign.

Applegate has enjoyed carving out a role for the Raiders. “As long as I fit into the team, whatever works best for team,” said Applegate.

“We are practicing every day and getting better as a team, working to be the best we can.” more

J-TRAIN: Stuart Country Day School lacrosse player Jaelyn Bennett brings the ball up the field in the team’s season opener against Pennington last week. Freshman attacker Bennett scored three goals in a losing cause as the Tartans fell 14-5. Stuart, now 0-3 after being defeated 16-4 by Princeton Day School last Monday, will look to get on the winning track as it hosts Hamilton on April 11 and Hightstown on April 15 before playing at Rutgers Prep on April 16.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There were some opening day jitters for the Stuart Country Day lacrosse team as it hosted Pennington to start the 2019 season last week.

Having trouble getting possession of the ball, Stuart fell behind 11-1 by halftime.

“We scored first and then we were really challenged from that point,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik.

But showing progress within the game, the Tartans outscored Pennington 4-3 in the second half to make it a 14-5 final.

In Bruvik’s view, the Tartans gained some important lessons from the loss.  more

ON FIRE: Hun School softball player Meghan Donohue hits the ball in a game last spring. Senior first baseman Donohue went 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs, and one RBI as Hun defeated Doane Academy 17-6 last Monday. The Raiders, now 4-2, play at Northern Burlington on April 10, at WW/P-South on April 11, at Blair Academy on April 13 and at the Peddie School on April 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Hun School softball team trailed visiting Lawrenceville 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning last Thursday, Meghan Donohue wasn’t about to give up.

The Hun senior first baseman smashed a double off the left field fence, attempting to spark a rally for the Raiders.

“We worked the pitcher to be up more than she was,” said Donohue. “A lot of that hit had to do with seeing the ball and taking one that was good. It felt good. This is my senior season. I am just out here having fun; that takes a lot of the pressure off for me.” more

April 3, 2019

OPENING SALVO: Princeton High baseball player Tommy Reid follows thorough on a swing in a game last spring. Senior outfielder Reid helped PHS give new head coach Dominic Capuano a memorable debut as the Tigers routed Trenton 17-2 in its season opener last Monday.  Reid went 2-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBIs in the win. In upcoming action, PHS hosts Piscataway on April 3, plays at Steinert on April 5 and Hightstown on April 6, and then hosts Notre Dame on April 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Dominic Capuano, coaching is a family business.

“My dad coached in baseball for 30 years in the American  Legion league and my uncle still coaches,” said Capuano.

“I started coaching when was still in school, playing summer ball.”

After graduating from The College of New Jersey in 2012, Capuano took a job as a physical education teacher at Johnson Park Elementary and then moved to Princeton High. Once at PHS, Capuano plunged into coaching, serving as an assistant for field hockey, girls’ hockey, and baseball. more

PARK AVENUE: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Alex Park heads to goal in recent action. Last Thursday, senior attacker and Williams College-bound Park tallied four points on two goals and to assists at PHS edged WW/P-South 7-5 in its season opener. The Tigers, who moved to 1-2 with a 17-3 loss to Princeton Day School last Monday, will look to get back on the winning track as they host North Hunterdon on April 4 and Scotch Plains-Fanwood on April 6 before playing at Hopewell Valley on April 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse team coming off disappointing 5-12 campaign in 2018, Alex Park and his fellow veterans on the squad were determined to bring about an attitude adjustment around the program this spring.

“There is a lot of hunger and we just focused on being positive,” said senior attackman and tri-captain Park.

“We are creating a new culture here and it has really taken root. We are all being positive, we are all getting up for each other. We can see it already that it is working.” more

CRAVING SUCCESS: Hun School boys’ lacrosse goalie Gabe Craven guards the cage last Thursday as Hun hosted Princeton Day School in its season opener. Junior star Craven made 11 saves to help Hun prevail 13-5. The Raiders, who improved to 2-0 with a 16-2 win at Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) last Saturday, host Lawrenceville on April 6 and then play at Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on April 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gabe Craven was looking to fit in last year as he joined the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team and took over the starting goalie role.

“As a younger player last year, I was learning it all, being new to the program,” said Craven.

Craven learned those lessons well, helping Hun win the state Prep A title, making 15 saves as Hun defeated Lawrenceville 9-6 in the championship game.

This spring, Craven has assumed a take charge attitude. “I think I have done a better job of being a leader on the field,” said Craven, who has committed to attend the Naval Academy and play for its men’s lax program. “If we are not loud and playing hard, I have got to help pick them up.” more

ON THE BALL: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Lauren Johns  brings the ball  upfield in a game last season. Hun will looking for senior star midfielder Johns to have a big final campaign. The Raiders, who have gotten off to a 1-2 start, hosts Lawrenceville on April 3 and Stuart Country Day on April 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Rachel Hickey is emphasizing a pair of cardinal principles as she takes the helm of the Hun School girls’ lacrosse program.

“I ask for two things every single day – I ask them to give 100 percent in their effort and their attitude because those are two things that each of us can control,”said Hickey, who is succeeding Liz Cook as the head coach of the Raiders.

Those lessons were reinforced for Hickey as she competed for the Rutgers University women’s lacrosse team from 2010-13.

“Playing at the Division I level, you are pushing every single day; you are going against athletes just as competitive and skilled as you are,” said Hickey.

“Having to show up every single day and compete and knowing that if you don’t give your best every day, you are not only giving less to yourself but giving less to you team. At the Division I level, it is all year.” more

STARTING WITH A BANG: Hun School softball player Abby Zucatti takes a cut in a game last spring. Junior outfielder Zucatti starred as Hun got its 2019 season started with a bang by sweeping Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 16-0 and 19-4 in a doubleheader last Saturday. The Raiders will look to keep on the winning track as they host Lawrenceville on April 4 and Penn Charter (Pa.) on April 6 before playing at Doane Academy on April 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Many coaches believe that defense wins championships and the Hun School softball team is testing that theory this spring.

“Our defense has been very solid,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, whose team went on its annual spring training trip to Florida in mid-March

“The hitting has been starting to come around. We have some new, young kids so it is a little bit of a challenge but that is what is all about.”

One of those young kids, freshman Lexi Murdock, will be handling the pitching duties for the Raiders along with senior Erin Harrigan.

“For a freshman, she throws very hard. She has a little bit of a control problem but is working hard everyday on it,” said Quirk. more

By Bill Alden

Joe Moore knew what he was getting into when he made his debut as the head coach of the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team for its season opener at the Hun School last Thursday.

“It was pretty much what was I was expecting – high tempo, high speed, and a high level of lacrosse,” said Moore.

Hun took control of the tempo early on, jumping off to a 3-0 lead and while PDS pushed back, pulling to within 4-2 midway through the second quarter on a goal by Cal Caputo, it never got closer than that on the way to a 13-5 loss.

“We knew Hun was going to try to get out to an early start on us and they did,” said Moore. “Unfortunately we couldn’t rally back.” more

NYCE AND SMOOTH: Princeton Day School baseball star Matt Nyce fires a pitch in a 2018 game. Senior standout Nyce figures to provide production with his arm and bat this spring for the Panthers. PDS, which opened its 2019 campaign by losing 10-4 to Pennington last Monday, plays at Monroe on April 3 before hosting Lawrenceville on April 4 and St. Joe’s Metuchen on April 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton Day School baseball team doesn’t feature a dominant mound ace or a powerful slugger, it does boast a versatile group of seniors who can do just about anything on the diamond.

“I don’t think we have a guy this year who can change things with one swing or maybe go out on the mound and shut people down, but we have five seniors and they all have plenty of experience,” said PDS head coach Brian Dudeck, referring to his Class of 2019 which includes Matt Nyce, Brendan Bucceri, Tommy Sarsfield, Kevin Flahive, and Vin Gasparro.

“It is just a question of them putting everything together and getting out on the field and executing all of the stuff we have been practicing.”

Dudeck is looking for two of those seniors, Nyce and Bucceri, to lead the Panther pitching staff. more

March 27, 2019

ALEC THE GREAT: Princeton High senior wrestling star Alec Bobchin, top, battles a foe in a bout this season. Bobchin produced a memorable final campaign, placing fourth in the NJSIAA Championships at 138 pounds, winning his second straight Region crown, and fourth consecutive Mercer County Tournament title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Alec Bobchin didn’t achieve the ultimate goal of winning a state championship in his senior season for the Princeton High wrestling team.

But what he did accomplish this winter marks him as one of the greatest, if not greatest, wrestlers to ever hit the mat for PHS.

Competing at 138 pounds, Bobchin won his fourth straight Mercer County Tournament title, won his second straight Region title, getting named as the Most Outstanding Wrester at the competition, and then culminated his season by heading to Atlantic City and taking fourth the NJSIAA Championships.

“I definitely felt like I could have wrestled and placed higher than I was seeded,” said Bobchin in reflecting ion his performance at the state tournament. more

UP TO SPEED: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Mariana Lopez-Ona races to goal in a 2018 game. Senior star and Michigan-bound Lopez-Ona’s intensity all over the field is a key asset for PHS. The Tigers open up their 2019 season by hosting WW/P-South on March 27.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Meg Reilly caught the coaching bug as a teenager.

The 2010 Princeton High alumna started working with grade schoolers in the PGLax program in high school and then coached with Tri-State club in the summers while attending Muhlenberg College.

“I definitely fell in love with coaching early on,” said Reilly. “I played at Tri-State for Sue Montegary; she was my big coaching idol. She got me into it and continuing to want to pursue it.” more

BIG THREAT: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Gwen Allen heads upfield in a game last season. PDS will be looking for senior star and Amherst College-bound Allen to provide plenty of offense in her final campaign. The Panthers start the 2019 season by playing at the Hill School (Pa.) on March 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Saying goodbye to a core of seniors that helped the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team win three state Prep B titles in the last four years, the program is going to have a new look this spring.

While PDS head coach Jill Thomas acknowledges that team is undergoing a transition, she is seeing a lot of positives so far from a group that features a mix of veteran leaders and promising freshmen.

“You graduate nine and you have got to rebuild a little but things are going well, ” said Thomas, whose squad includes five freshmen and two transfers and worked on getting in synch with its annual preseason trip to Florida earlier this month. more

CO-STARRING: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Coby Auslander eludes a foe in action last spring. Senior standout and Christopher Newport University-bound Auslander brings skill and competitive fire for a PDS program that has won three straight Mercer County Tournament titles. The Panthers start the 2019 season by playing at Hun on March 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

During his days at WW/P-North High, Joe Moore enjoyed a transformative experience as he competed for the True North club lacrosse program.

“I look back my high school days and somebody that was huge influence for me on and off the field was Chris Sanderson,” said Moore, referring to the founder of True North who was a Canadian national team goalie and a star at Virginia who lost a valiant battle with brain cancer, dying in 2012 at age 38. “I think about him everyday and the impact he had on me.”

This spring, Moore will be looking to have a similar impact on some local high school players as he takes the helm of the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse program after serving as an assistant in 2018 to Rich D’Andrea, who stepped down after last season. more

TOUGH GUY: Hun School baseball player McGwire Tuffy takes a big swing in action last spring. Senior shortstop and team captain Tuffy figures to be a key catalyst for Hun this spring. The Raiders, who have won three consecutive state Prep A titles, host Lawrenceville in their season opener on March 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tom Monfiletto is dealing with a problem this spring that would be the envy of many coaches.

In assessing his Hun School baseball team, head coach Monfiletto notes that he has an abundance of talent at his disposal across the diamond.

“We have a lot of kids, it is going to be really difficult for us,” said Monfiletto, who has guided the Raiders to the state Prep A title in his first two seasons at the helm of the program with the team also winning the crown in 2016, the final campaign of legendary head coach Bill McQuade.

“We have 12 or more guys who we want to see contribute in games.” more

By Bill Alden

While the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team is stocked with players heading to such Division I college programs as North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, the Naval Academy, Yale, Marquette and Hobart, M.V. Whitlow doesn’t view talent as the group’s defining quality.

“As a coach, I am personally proud of our culture and the young men that are on our team,” said Hun head coach Whitlow, who is heading into his seventh season at the helm of the program. “They are good citizens and good student athletes of character.”

The Raiders feature a very good one-two punch at attack in UNC-bound junior Trevor Deubner and senior Devon Cowan, who is headed to Marquette. more

March 20, 2019

MAKING IT HAPPEN: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Victoria Zammit goes after the puck in a game this winter. Junior star defenseman and assistant captain Zammit produced a superb campaign, spearheading the Tiger defense and leading the team in scoring with 33 points on 26 goals and seven assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Christian Herzog emphasized development this winter as he guided his Princeton High girls’ hockey team.

“I knew in terms of talent, I was going to deal with a difficult year in terms of the wins,” said PHS head coach Herzog.

“I was looking for individual players to shine when given their moment.”

While the Tigers went 3-13, with all three wins coming against the Lawrenceville ‘B’ team, Herzog saw progress. more