September 25, 2019

SHOWING HIS WORTH: Princeton University defensive back Delan Stallworth corrals a Butler player last Saturday in the season opener for the Tigers. Junior Stallworth made a team-high eight tackles and had an interception to spearhead a stifling defensive effort as Princeton rolled to a 49-7 win over the Bulldogs. The Tigers, who have posted 11 straight victories, will look to keep on the winning track as they play at Bucknell (0-3) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall as the Princeton University football team rolled to a 10-0 record, the defense flew under the radar, overshadowed by an offensive unit that averaged an Ivy League-record 47 points a game.

Boasting eight returning starters, the Tiger defense was primed to come out flying as Princeton opened its 2019 campaign by hosting Butler University last Saturday evening.

“This camp, we emphasized running to the ball,” said junior defensive back Delan Stallworth. “When we came out here tonight, everybody was excited to play for the first game.” more

GEE WHIZ: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tatum Gee controls the ball in game last year. Last Sunday, junior Gee notched the first goal of her college career, scoring the lone tally of the game as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday. The Tigers, now 3-3-2 overall, host Yale (6-2) on September 28 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tatum Gee didn’t score a goal in her first 42 games for the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

The junior picked a good time to break the ice, scoring the lone tally as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday.

“I was so excited, it was a great pass; Olivia Kane just slipped it through and it wasn’t hard to put it in,” said Gee, a native of Buena Park, Calif. “It is an amazing feeling. I am hoping the team can ride this kind of high and start a winning streak.”

Gee acknowledged that Princeton was primed to resume its winning ways on a day when the program welcomed back its all-time winningest coach, Julie Shackford (203-115-29 in 20 seasons at Princeton, including an NCAA College Cup semifinal appearance in 2004 and eight NCAA tournament bids), who is now guiding William & Mary. more

HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Kirin Kunukkasseril, right, battles for the ball in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior midfielder and Gettysburg College-bound Kunukkasseril scored a goal to help PHS defeat Trenton 6-0. The Tigers, who defeated WW/P-North 3-0 last Friday to improve to 5-1-1, are playing at Ewing on September 26 before hosting Hamilton West on October 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High girls’ soccer team wasn’t pushed as it cruised to a 6-0 win over Trenton last Wednesday, Kirin Kunukkasseril saw the victory as a valuable effort despite the lopsided score.

“We were just learning, working off passes together, getting runs together for future games,” said PHS senior midfielder and co-captain Kunukkasseril. “We just need to get the basics down, this is a game where we could work on that.”

Kunukkasseril got something that she needed in the win when she tallied the second goal of the game. more

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High boys’ soccer team trailing WW/P-North 1-0 heading into the second half last Friday, defender James Novak got new marching orders.

“They wanted me to push higher and go forward up the flank,” said PHS junior Novak, recalling the halftime message from the Tiger coaching staff.

Novak executed those instructions with aplomb early in the second half, heading into the box, taking a feed from Ian Pompliano, and slotting it into the back of the net to knot the contest at 1-1.

“I just saw a bunch of space,” said Novak. “I was hoping that the ball would pop out, it did, and I got a goal.” more

AVIS TRYING HARD: Princeton High football player Stephen Avis heads upfield last Saturday as PHS hosted Pemberton High in its home opener. The Tigers were unable to get their offense going as Pemberton pulled away to a 53-0 win. PHS, now 0-2, plays at Hamilton West (1-1) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into this fall, Charlie Gallagher was looking for his Princeton High football team to be more competitive.

Hosting Pemberton in its home opener last Saturday, PHS hung tough in the early going, trailing only 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

But the roof fell in on the Tigers over the next 12 minutes of action as the Hornets tallied 21 unanswered points and never looked back on the way to a 53-0 win.

PHS head coach Gallagher acknowledged that his squad failed to develop a rhythm against the Hornets.

“I didn’t like the way our offense started; our offense is really struggling,” said Gallagher, whose team dropped to 0-2 with the defeat. “Until we get some first downs, we are going to struggle.”

After a 49-8 opening night loss at Hightstown on September 13, Gallagher was looking for PHS to make some progress from the first game but he conceded that didn’t happen. more

LIFE OF RILEY: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer goalie Riley Felsher goes up for a save in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, senior star and NYU-bound Felsher made nine saves to help PDS defeat Pennington 3-1. The Panthers, who moved to 6-1 with a 6-3 loss at Blair Academy last Saturday, are slated to host Lawrenceville School on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Riley Felsher had a good feeling as the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team hosted powerhouse Pennington last Wednesday afternoon.

Even though PDS had lost four in row in the rivalry, including defeats last year in a regular season meeting and Mercer County Tournament semifinals, senior goalie Felsher and her teammates were ready to turn the tables on the Red Raiders.

“Knowing we have been close to beating them and how the competition has been in the last couple of years that we have seen them, we were confident,” said Felsher. more

ON THE BALL: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Molly Lagay controls the ball in recent action. Last week, junior star Lagay scored the winning goal as Stuart edged the George School (Pa.) 1-0 in overtime. The Tartans, who defeated Hamilton West 3-0 last Friday to improve to 4-1-1, are next in action when they play at Peddie on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Molly Lagay got herself in the right spot at the right time as the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team battled visiting George School (Pa.) in overtime last week.

With the teams knotted in a scoreless tie as the extra session began, Stuart junior star and co-captain Lagay headed to the corner of the goal and pounced on a rebound and blasted it home to give Stuart a 1-0 victory.

“On the first shot we did on the corner, I saw Kaitlyn [Magnani] hit it right and it was so close, I almost got it on the post,” recalled Lagay.

“I saw that Caroline [Mullen] was coming in and was heading toward that post. I sat there and got in that space where I thought it was going to go. It went right there and I hit it in.” more

KICKING IN: Hun School girls’ soccer player Hannah Cavanaugh, left, battles a foe for the ball in recent action. Hun, which moved to 2-3 with a 3-0 loss to Monroe last Saturday, hosts Friends Central (Pa.) on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jenn Barrett didn’t have to wait long to earn the first win of her tenure as the head coach of the Hun School girls’ soccer teams.

Hun started the fall with a bang, defeating Ewing 6-1 in its season opener on September 7 and followed that up with a 2-1 win over the George School (Pa.) three days later.

“We played really well in our first game, we got the kinks out in the first half and in the second half we just opened up and exploded,” said Barrett.

“Against George we came out a little flat; they had really improved since last year. That was a little more of a challenge in that game but we came through and worked really hard and worked well together. It was a good game.”

The Raiders produced another good game in a losing cause as it fell 2-0 to Princeton Day School on September 12. more

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