September 11, 2019

CLEAR LEADER: Hun School boys’ soccer player Brian Spencer clears the ball in a game last season. Senior defender and four-year starter Spencer will be counted on to spearhead Hun’s back line this season. The Raiders, who fell 3-1 to Haddonfield last Saturday in their season opener, are scheduled to face Putnam Science Academy in the Main Line High School Jamboree at the United Sports Center on September 15 and host Pennington on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Fueled by an unselfish mentality, the Hun School boys’ soccer team produced a solid campaign last fall, going 9-10 and advancing to the state Prep A semifinals.

As Hun starts the 2019 season, Pat Quirk is hoping that attitude has become a staple of the program.

“I think what the kids returning from last year learned is that everybody has to be playing together,” said Hun head coach Quirk.

“The one thing we praised last year was that there wasn’t anybody with a big ego. They were OK with another kid scoring as long as the team was playing well together.” more

September 4, 2019

STRIKING PRESENCE: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth, right, goes after the ball in 2018 game. Junior striker Roth figures to be a go-to finisher for the Tigers after leading the team with 13 goals last fall. Princeton, ranked fifth nationally, starts its 2019 season by playing at No. 1 North Carolina on September 6 and No. 10 Wake Forest on September 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton University field hockey program views itself as a national title contender, having made two of the last three NCAA Final 4s, visions of a crown are on hold as the squad rushes to prepare to open regular season play this weekend.

“It has been in the conversation since we stepped off the field last year in November through the spring until now,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, who guided the team to 15-5 record in 2018 and a trip to the NCAA semis where the Tigers fell 1-0 to Maryland.

“It is definitely in everyone’s mind but it is not something that we articulate and talk about this preseason. The focus is getting prepared and getting everyone on board. That is the pie in the sky goal at this point. Right now it is just one day at a time. It is always a challenge because we are more than a week behind all of the non-Ivy League schools so we have got to hit the ground running and catch up.” more

TOOLING AROUND: Princeton University men’s soccer player Kevin O’Toole, right, battles for possession in a 2018 game. O’Toole was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and the junior midfielder/forward figures to be a go-to scorer for the Tigers again this fall. Princeton kicks off its 2019 season by playing at No. 10 Duke (2-0) on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University men’s soccer team was thrilled to win the Ivy League title last fall, Jim Barlow knows that triumph will make things harder on this year’s squad.

“There has never been a Princeton men’s soccer team that has won back-to-back Ivy Titles,” said Princeton head coach Barlow, who guided the Tigers to a 10-5-3 overall record and 5-1-1 Ivy in 2018, winning the fifth league title in his 23-season tenure guiding the program.

“It is pretty rare in our league because there is so much parity in our league. The big challenge for us is understanding how difficult it was to win the league last year and not taking anything for granted this year. The target is going to be on us. Every team is going to know who won the league last year and rise to give a great effort against us. We have got to be prepared for that and have the right mentality to deal with that.” more

HIGH NOON: Princeton University women’s soccer player Caroline Noonan, right, goes up for a ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore midfielder Noonan notched the first goal of her career in a losing cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to Boston College in its home opener. The Tigers, now 1-1, host Boston University (0-3-1) on September 5 and Rutgers (4-0) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University women’s soccer team hosted Boston College last Sunday night in its home opener, it was locked in a scoreless battle with the Eagles an half hour into the contest,

But then BC struck for two goals in a three-minute span as Sam Smith scored at the 30:39 mark and then at 33:43 and the game became an uphill battle for the Tigers.

Princeton responded with a goal by sophomore midfielder Caroline Noonan late in the first half and applied pressure on the Eagles for the rest of the night but couldn’t break through with the equalizer in losing 2-1. more

SAVING GRACE: Princeton High field hockey goalie Grace Cooke tracks the ball in a game last fall. Senior star and tri-captain Cooke has emerged as a leader of the PHS defensive unit. The Tigers, who went 15-2 last year and reached the semis of both the Mercer County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, host Nottingham on September 4 to open their 2019 campaign. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Suffering some heavy graduation losses from a squad that went 15-2 last year, the Princeton High field hockey team will have a different look this fall.

“We lost nine seniors and have had some injuries during preseason; we have some juggling around to do,” said PHS head coach Heather Serverson, who guided the Tigers to the semis of both the Mercer County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional in 2018.

“As usual, I don’t get to pick my players, so every season is the same for me. I figure out what we have and where to put them.”

PHS does return some skilled offensive players in a trio of seniors Ria Sharma, Ellie Wilkinson, and Ava Greene, along with junior Shoshi Henderson.  more

IN CONTROL: Princeton Day School field hockey player Caroline Haggerty controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior defender/midfielder Haggerty will be leading things in the defensive half of the field for the Panthers this fall. PDS was slated to start 2019 regular season action by playing at Mount Saint Mary Academy on September 3 and then hosting Princeton High on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three years, the Princeton Day School field hockey program developed into a powerhouse, going 39-15 as it won the state Prep B title in 2016 and reached the final in the other two seasons and also advanced to a pair of Mercer County Tournament title games.

In enjoying that run of success, PDS was fueled by its big three of Gwen Allen, Val Radvany, and Sasha Sindhwani.

But with those three having graduated, the Panthers know that things might not got as smoothly this fall. more

GOAL-ORIENTED: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Ariana Jones goes to goal in a preseason scrimmage last week. Jones emerged as a key finisher for Panthers last fall and is looking to have a big senior year. PDS is getting its 2019 season underway this week by playing at Kent Place on September 3 before hosting Moorestown Friends on September 6 and Princeton High on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having won five straight Prep B state titles, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team has a major bull’s eye on its back coming into the 2019 campaign.

“We have played a couple of scrimmages and teams are coming at us like it is tournament time because of our reputation,” said PDS head coach Pat Trombetta, who guided the Panthers to a 14-4-1 record last fall and an appearance in the Mercer County Tournament semis as well as sharing the Prep B title.

“We played Rutgers Prep in a scrimmage the other day and they had a group of fans there, yelling and supporting like it was a tournament game. I was amazed. I am looking at kids, we haven’t even finalized our varsity roster yet. It was good for the kids to get that kind of experience.” more

KICK START: Hun School girls’ soccer player Allison Cowan, left, kicks the ball in 2018 action. Senior Cowan proved to be a spark for Hun last fall in her first campaign with the program. Hun, which is being led by new head coach Jenn Barrett, kicks off its 2019 season by hosting Ewing on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Jenn Barrett takes the helm of the Hun School girls’ soccer team this fall, she is emphasizing a holistic approach.

“My main message is that better people make better athletes and I am really working on shifting the focus to being better than yesterday,” said Barrett, who served as an assistant coach for the program the last two seasons and is succeeding Joanna Hallac.

“It is putting in your best effort and eventually things will fall into place. It is also working on leadership skills.” more

FRONT RHO: Hun School field hockey player Allison Rho heads after the ball in a 2018 game. Junior Rho figures to be a key player on the front line for Hun this fall. Hun, which is being guided by new head coach Tracey Arndt, hosts Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on September 10 in its season opener. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After guiding the Princeton Day School field hockey program from 2012-14, Tracey Arndt left the school and focused her efforts on younger players, coaching for the Princeton Field Hockey Club.

But while Arndt enjoyed working with the club’s U-10, U-12 and U-14 squads, she realized it wasn’t quite the same as coaching at the high school level.

“There is something about a high school season; that is where the friendships are made,” said Arndt.

“There is something so unique about the relationships that you can form; you find out things about yourself that you didn’t know before. I think that is really cool.” more

FIRING LINE: Stuart Country Day School midfielder Caroline Mullen fires the ball up the field in a game last fall. Senior star Mullen figures to be a catalyst for Stuart again this season. The Tartans open their 2019 season by hosting South Hunterdon on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team went through its preseason practices over the last two weeks of August, the focus was on sharpening fundamentals.

“I am really proud of the kids and how hard they are working and the improvement that we are seeing in the last couple of weeks,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik.

“It is getting down all of those basic skills and to make sure that we are sound in them. The kids are putting in a good effort.” more

August 28, 2019

HOLDING COURT: Princeton University women’s soccer player Courtney O’Brien controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior midfielder/forward O’Brien has emerged as a key attacking player for the Tigers, earning second-team All-Ivy League honors last fall as Princeton won its second straight Ivy title and third in the four years. The Tigers kick off their 2019 campaign this week by playing at St. Joseph’s (1-0-1) on August 30 and then hosting Boston College (2-0) on September 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, the Princeton University women’s soccer team displayed resolve and grit after it started 1-1-1 in Ivy League play.

Catching fire down the stretch, Princeton won its last four league games to earn its second straight Ivy crown and third in the four years.

But the excitement of that title run was dampened by how the season ended as Princeton fell 3-0 at Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“We didn’t give a very good account of ourselves and that left a really bad taste in everybody’s mouths,” said Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll, reflecting on the loss to the Red Raiders which left the Tigers with a final record of 11-4-2.

“There is something to be said for winning a couple of Ivy League championships in a row and still not being very satisfied. That is a good thing. In that sense, it has been positive motivation.” more

WILL TO SUCCEED: Will Hare competes in a race last spring during his freshman year with the University of Pennsylvania men’s track team. Former Princeton High track and cross country standout Hare is heading into his sophomore year with the Quakers. During his first year of collegiate competition, Hare scored in one cross country race last fall before setting a personal record of 8:21.47 in the 3,000 meters indoors in the winter and then taking 10th in the steeplechase at the Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track Championships. (Photo provided by Penn’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

On a drive to Colorado this summer, Penn distance runner Will Hare and a teammate stopped in Terre Haute, Ind. to look at the NCAA championship cross country course.

“It’s kind of funny how it’s this off in the middle of nowhere town and you take this side road and all of a sudden you’re at the NCAA cross country course,” said former Princeton High cross country and track standout Hare.

“It was cool seeing it with no one there, nobody around. I think there was one other person walking around. We talked about how cool and meaningful it would be a part of a team to qualify to go there to the biggest race in the country. As a team that’s our goal.” more

DOUBLE PLAY: Gwen Allen shows her form in lacrosse and field hockey during her Princeton Day School career. Allen, a 2019 PDS grad, is heading to Amherst College, where she will be playing for both its field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs. She starts preseason practice this week for field hockey as the Mammoths prepare for their season opener at Mount Holyoke on September 5. (Photos by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gwen Allen displayed a special versatility during her athletic career at the Princeton Day School.

Allen developing into a field hockey and lacrosse standout through her four years for the Panthers while also playing one season of ice hockey and two seasons of basketball for good measure.

For Allen, keeping busy all year led to improvement in her two main sports.  more

TOUGH DEFENSE: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Greta Bush, left, battles a foe for the ball in a game last season. Junior defender Bush will help lead the back line again this fall for the Tigers. PHS opens its 2019 campaign by playing at Nottingham on September 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Val Rodriguez likes the vibe around her Princeton High girls’ soccer team as it prepares for the 2019 season.

“The preseason has been good; the seniors and the captains have been setting the tone really nicely,” said PHS head coach Rodriguez, whose quartet of senior captains includes Shaylah Marciano, Lauren Rougas, Morgan Beamer, and Kirin Kunukkasseril. “It is good work ethic and good team chemistry so far.”

After making the quarterfinals of both the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional and the Mercer County Tournament last year on the way to a 9-7-2 record, the squad’s returners are brimming with confidence. more

STRIKING BACK: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nick Petruso goes after the ball in a game last year. Junior striker Petruso figures to be a go-to scorer this fall for PHS. The Tigers open their 2019 campaign by hosting Nottingham on September 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Although the Princeton High boys’ soccer team posted another winning season last year as it went 8-6-3, the proud program was frustrated by its lack of postseason success.

After having won the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title on the way to the final of state Group 4 tourney and making the Mercer County Tournament semifinals in 2017, the Tigers didn’t mount a deep playoff run last year, losing in the first round of the states and getting eliminated in the county quarterfinals.

Longtime PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe is happy to turn the page on 2018. more

August 21, 2019

HOMECOMING: Max Veronneau skating for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League this past winter. Former Princeton University star Veronneau ’19 tallied two goals and two assists in 12 games for the Senators, joining the team in late March days after the end of the Princeton season. Next month, Veronneau, an Ottawa native, will be heading to his first NHL training camp, looking to earn a spot with his hometown club. (Photo provided courtesy of the Ottawa Senators)

By Bill Alden

Max Veronneau grew up rooting for his hometown Ottawa Senators of the NHL.

“I was always a big Sens fan,” said Veronneau “I cheer for the Sens, I went to a lot of their games.”

After finishing a stellar career for the Princeton University men’s hockey team in March, Veronneau went through a whirlwind process in joining the NHL along with classmates and fellow Tigers stars Josh Teves and Ryan Kuffner and ended up by making a homecoming as he inked a deal with Ottawa. more

DETROIT TIGER: Ryan Kuffner heads up the ice last winter for the Detroit Red Wings. Former Princeton University standout Kuffner ’19 played in 10 games for the Red Wings after wrapping up a Tiger career that saw him set the program record for career goals with 75. Kuffner will be starting training camp with the Red Wings on September 13, looking to earn a spot with the club. (Photo provided courtesy of Detroit Red Wings)

By Bill Alden

Ryan Kuffner accomplished a lot individually during his career with the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

The 6’1, 195-pound forward ended his Princeton career this past March with program records in career goals (75), goals in a season (29 in 2017-18), and games played (132). He is second in career points with 152 and was a two-time All-American.

But looking back on his career, Kuffner credits his teammates with making those individual achievements possible

“It is more of a testament to who I was able to play with over the last four years,” said Kuffner, a native of Ottawa, Ontario.

“It is really incredible looking back on it, I was so lucky that we had such a great group of guys, especially our senior class. I got to play with Max [Veronneau], Alex [Riche], Spencer [Kryczka], and Josh [Teves]. Being the recipient of some of the awards is very special; I also think it can be attributed to the entire class.” more

KICKING OFF: Madi Coyne clears a ball in action last fall during her freshmen season on the George Washington University women’s soccer team. The former Princeton Day School star played in nine games last fall at center half for the Colonials, making three starts. She is currently going through preseason practices with GW slated to open regular season action by playing at William and Mary on August 22.  (Photo provided by George Washington University)

By Bill Alden

Madi Coyne never doubted that she would end up as a college soccer player.

“I knew because of my skill level, I could play in college; it was never not an option,” said Coyne, a star defender for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team who helped the Panthers win four straight state Prep B crowns from 2014-17.

“I never thought maybe I should do this is in college, it was I am going to do this in college.”

After considering a number of Division I programs, Coyne’s choice came down to George Washington and Georgetown and she ended up opting for GW. more

SPARTAN EFFORT: Val Radvany controls the ball in game last fall during her senior season for the Princeton Day School field hockey team. Star defender/midfielder Radvany is currently in preseason training for Michigan State’s D-I field hockey program as she prepares to make her college debut with the Spartans.Michigan State set to scrimmage Michigan on August 24 and then start open regular season action by playing St. Francis on August, 31 in Kent, Ohio. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though it was bumpy ride for Val Radvany during her freshman season with the Princeton Day School field hockey team in 2015, she had faith that the program would get on the winning track.

“My class, Gwen [Allen], Sasha [Sindhwani], and me was always so close,” said Radvany, looking back on a debut campaign that saw the Panthers post a 6-13-1 record.

“From where we started our freshman year and the year before, the program wasn’t doing so well. So when we got there, we were really able to build it.” more

August 14, 2019

CAN DO: Josh Teves, left, helps goalie Austin Shaw hold the fort in a game last winter for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. Star defenseman and team captain Teves ended up signing with the Vancouver Canucks after wrapping up his Princeton career. Teves made his NHL debut on March 26 in a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Next month, Teves heads to training camp where he will look to earn a spot on the Canucks roster. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Josh Teves would have been fine with delaying the start of his professional ice hockey career, but now he’s grateful for the experience gained at the end of last winter.

Three days after the defending ECAC Hockey champion Princeton University men’s ice hockey team lost 6-5 in triple overtime to Brown on March 9 to fall in an ECACH first round series, star defenseman Teves signed with the Vancouver Canucks. On March 26, he made his NHL debut for the Canucks in a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

“It was a crazy experience,” said Teves, a 6’0, 180-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, reflecting on his first taste of NHL action. more

ON THE BALL: Devon Lis dribbles the ball up the field last fall in her debut season for the Georgetown University women’s soccer team. Former Princeton High star Lis helped Georgetown go 21-1-3 in 2018 on the way to the NCAA semifinals. Midfielder Lis is currently going through preseason training for the Hoyas, who are slated to open their 2019 season by playing at James Madison University on August 22. (Photo provided courtesy of Georgetown University Athletics Communications)

By Bill Alden

When Devon Lis started preseason training last summer in her freshman season with the Georgetown University women’s soccer team, she sensed that the squad could do some special things.

“What has always been clear to me is that we were really dedicated and willing to work very hard,” said former Princeton High standout Lis. “Every practice we gave it our all, there was no slacking off.”

There was no slacking off for Lis as she adjusted to the rigors and quicker pace of the college game. more

BACK IN THE FLOW: Stephen Baytin of the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings shows his backstroke form in a 2017 meet. Last month, Baytin starred at the Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) championship meet, earning MVP honors for the Division 2 8-and-under boys. Baytin’s heroics helped the Lemmings place third in the Division 2 team standings at the meet. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Nassau Swim Club Lemmings posted a pedestrian 2-2-1 record in Princeton-Area Swimming and Diving Association (PASDA) dual meet competition this summer, Will Kinney was confident that the team would step up at the season-ending league championship meet.

“We saw the quality of our individual swims in our dual meets,” said Lemmings head coach Will Kinney. “We felt pretty good going into champs.”

Nassau displayed its quality at the PASDA championship meet held at the West Windsor Waterworks. Taking third in the Division 2 standings, four of the team’s boy swimmers earned MVP honors. The Lemmings scored 1,394 points in the two-day meet with the Ben Franklin Swim Team piling up 2,339 points to win the Division 2 title. more

August 7, 2019

PANNING OUT: Bella Alarie goes up for a shot last winter in in her junior season for the Princeton University women’s basketball team. This week, Alarie, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, will be competing for the U.S. squad at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Never has Bella Alarie been so happy to have a list alphabetized as the Princeton University senior was the first name announced to make the United States women’s basketball team for the Pan American Games after tryouts this May in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“It’s just so exciting to hear your name called,” said the 6’4 Alarie, a native of Bethesda, Md. and a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year.

“I was kind of shaking a little bit. I was thinking, ‘I really did this.’ It’s hard to hear the other names called, but I made a lot of other friends and to hear some of their names called was just really exciting.”

Alarie is one of three players from the U-19 national team that won silver in the 2017 World Cup to make the squad which will be competing for the U.S. in the XVIII Pan Am games in Lima, Peru this week. more

GOLDEN MOMENT: Lior Levy displays the gold medal he earned for helping the U.S. open men’s basketball team win the title contest at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City last month. The former Princeton High and Franklin & Marshall standout emerged as a key frontcourt reserve for the squad.

By Bill Alden

After wrapping up his college basketball career for Franklin & Marshall in 2017, Lior Levy headed to New York City to work in the Teach for America program.

The former Princeton High standout immersed himself in his day job, teaching at Herbert Lehman High in the Bronx with little time for hoops.

But earlier his year, Levy was motivated to start spending more time in the gym as he was chosen to play for the U.S. men’s open basketball team at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City this July. more

HIGH HOPES: Wesley Leggett flies high to boot the ball last fall in his senior campaign for the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team. Leggett, who led the area with 22 goals in 2018, will be starting his college career next week when he hits the field for preseason practice with the University of Connecticut men’s soccer team. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the years, the University of Connecticut has developed into an athletic powerhouse, highlighted by the women’s basketball program with its record 11 NCAA titles and the men’s hoops winning four national crowns of its own.

Several Husky athletes have gone on to star in the pro ranks, including Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi of the WNBA, Ray Allen and Kemba Walker in the NBA, along with George Springer of the Houston Astros and Byron Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.

Next week, Wesley Leggett will aim to start a new chapter in the school’s storied sports legacy, hitting the field for preseason training in his freshman season on the UConn men’s soccer team. more