November 28, 2018

BLUE CHIPPER: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Chip Hamlett handles the puck last season. Senior defenseman Hamlett will be spearheading the PDS defensive unit this winter. The Panthers get their 2018-19 campaign underway this week by hosting St. Joe’s Prep on November 27, Gloucester Catholic on November 29, and Morristown-Beard on December 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team boasts some high-quality players, it is a little thin in numbers compared to past years.

“There is plenty of returning, experienced talent; I expect results, I expect us to play well and to do a lot of things we have done well over the years,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, who guided the Panthers to a 17-8 record last year and a spot in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) final. more

BIG MAC: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ryan McCormick, left, goes after the puck in a game last season. Junior forward McCormick figures to be a key producer for PHS this winter. The Little Tigers begin their 2018-19 season this week with games against Hopewell Valley on November 27, Nottingham on November 28, and Robbinsville on November 30, with all three contests to be played at the Mercer County Park rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After making two straight runs to the state semifinals, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team is bringing high hopes into the winter.

“The team is excited; there are a lot of expectations,” said PHS head coach Tim Chase, who guided the Little Tigers to an 18-9-2 record and a spot in the Public B state semis last winter in his debut season at the helm of the program. “We are not going to fly under the radar.” more

FAST EDDIE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Ed Evaldi controls the puck in a game last winter. Junior defenseman Evaldi gives Hun skill and speed from the blue line. The Raiders open their 2018-19 season by hosting Bishop Eustace on November 28 and St. Joe’s (Metuchen) on November 30 before playing at Bergen Catholic on December 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Welcoming back a battle-tested squad, Ian McNally is feeling a comfort level with his Hun School boys’ hockey team as it prepares for the 2018-19 season.

“We are skilled and we have an older group than we have ever been,” said Hun head coach McNally, who led the Raiders to a 13-8-1 record last as the program won its fifth straight Mercer County Tournament title. more

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Hun School basketball player Jada Jones races upcourt in action last winter. Senior guard Jones provides production and leadership for Hun. The Raiders were schedule to start their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on November 27 and Stuart Country Day on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three seasons, the Villanova men’s basketball team has utilized deadly outside shooting and defensive intensity to help undersized Wildcat squads win two NCAA crowns.

As the Hun School girls’ basketball team heads into the 2018-19 season, Hun head coach Bill Holup views that formula as the blueprint of success for his program. more

IN CHARGE: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Nia Melvin heads to the hoop in a game last winter. Sophomore star Melvin will be counted on to the trigger the Stuart offense this winter. The Tartans were slated to tip off their 2018-19 season by hosting Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on November 27 and then competing in the Peddie School Invitational from November 30-December 1 and playing at Hun on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Understandably, there is a positive vibe around the Stuart Country Day School basketball team as it prepares to start the 2018-19 campaign.

Coming off a memorable winter which saw Stuart roll to its first state Prep B title and with most of its starters returning and the arrival of some talented newcomers, the Tartans are in a very good place. more

November 21, 2018

HEADING INTO HISTORY: Princeton University football player Jesper Horsted races past Penn defenders last Saturday. Senior star wide receiver Horsted made eight catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns to help Princeton defeat the Quakers 42-14 and put the finishing touches on a perfect season for the Tigers. Princeton ended the fall at 10-0 overall and 7-0 Ivy League. It marked the program’s first undefeated season since the 1964 team went 9-0 and its first outright Ivy title since 1995. Horsted, for his part, passed Kevin Guthrie to grab the Princeton record for career receptions, ending his career with 196 catches and 2,703 receiving yards, the second most in program history. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With no Princeton University football team having posted an undefeated season since 1964 when the Tigers went 9-0, this year’s squad set its sights set on perfection.

“Before the season we got together and talked about our goals for the year were and that was the biggest stated one that we were all working toward,” said Princeton senior receiver Jesper Horsted. “The way to be the best we could be was to go 10-0.” more

OVER AND OUT: Princeton University field hockey player Elise Wong tracks a ball in a game this season. Senior defender Wong starred in a losing cause as third-seeded Princeton fell 1-0 in overtime to second-seeded Maryland in the NCAA semifinals. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 15-5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Hosting Maryland in mid-September, the Princeton University field hockey team couldn’t hold the fort as the high-powered Terps rallied from a 4-1 deficit to pull out a 5-4 win in overtime.

When the foes met against last Friday in the NCAA semifinals in Louisville, Ky., Tiger senior defender Elise Wong was confident that Princeton could contain the Terps. more

ROUGH FINISH: Princeton University men’s soccer player Benji Issroff heads the ball up the field in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, junior defender Issroff helped the Princeton defense stymie Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament as the teams tied at 1-1 through 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. The game went to penalty kicks and the Wolverines ended up prevailing 11-10 in a shootout that went 14 rounds, nine past the typical five. The heartbreaking loss left the Tigers with a final record of 10-5-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Princeton University men’s soccer team didn’t play like an underdog at host Michigan in the NCAA tournament last Thursday.

The Tigers players took exception to an online preview by Top Draw Soccer that said Princeton needed “to keep this low-scoring, sit deep, and look for chances on the counter attack or set pieces,” in order to compete. more

BLACK MAGIC: Princeton University women’s hockey player Claire Thompson controls the puck in action last weekend. Junior defenseman Thompson tallied a goal and two assists to help Princeton defeat Colgate 6-0 on Friday in the program’s first-ever #BlackOutBaker game and then chipped in an assist as the Tigers tied Cornell 2-2 a day later. League-leading Princeton, now 5-2-3 overall and 4-0-2 ECAC Hockey, is next in action when it hosts Quinnipiac on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team holding its first-ever #BlackOutBaker game as it hosted Colgate last Friday, Claire Thompson helped the Tigers get out to an early lead.

Junior defenseman Thompson blasted in a shot from the point as Princeton jumped ahead 1-0 with 7:20 left in the first period.

“Annie [MacDonald] did a really good job in the corner getting the puck free and she sucked their d-zone down into them which made me free,” said Thompson, wearing eye black as part of the black-out festivities. more

By Bill Alden

Carlie Littlefield sees herself as a pass-first point guard for the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

Last winter in her freshman campaign, Littlefield had 84 assists, second on the team to senior star Leslie Robinson, and averaged 8.3 points a game.

But with Robinson having graduated and rising sophomore shooting guard Abby Meyers away from school this year and junior star and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Bella Alarie out with a broken arm, Littlefield is shouldering more of the scoring load this winter. more

CARRYING THE LOAD: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson fights to gain yardage in a game this fall. Senior running back, defensive lineman Johnson starred on both sides of the ball for PHS as it went 2-7 this fall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bringing an 18-game losing steak into the 2018 season, the Princeton High football team was hungry to taste victory this fall.

In game four, PHS broke through, edging Cherry Hill East 21-14 on September 29 to break the 21-game skid. Two weeks later, the Little Tigers enjoyed a second victory as they rallied to edge West Windsor-Plainsboro 22-19 on October 12. more

By Bill Alden

Jackson McCarthy and Tucker Zullo have formed a productive partnership for the Princeton High boys’ cross country team over the last few years.

Last Saturday at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park, the senior stars worked together to produce a fitting culmination to their state careers as McCarthy finished 24th in a time of 16:27 over the 5,000-meter course with Zullo right behind in 31st with a time of 16:30.

“We took turns going back and forth, back and forth,” said Zullo. “I really like to take it out strong the first mile and Jackson was just sitting on me the first mile. And then the second mile it was reversed and we just were able to feed off each other. It’s funny, we were talking to each other during the race and saying, ‘I’m here,’ or ‘I got you.’” more

KEEPING AT IT: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Atticus Lynch, right, goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior midfielder Lynch was a stalwart for PHS this fall as it battled through injuries to go 8-6-3 and advance to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Wayne Sutcliffe knew that his Princeton High boys’ soccer team didn’t have much margin for this error this fall as it looked to maintain its status as a local powerhouse.

“Coming into the season, we knew we had a very young team,” said PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe. “In order for things to go well, we were going to have to stay relatively injury-free.” more

By Bill Alden

After taking its lumps early in the fall, the Princeton Day School boys’ cross country team saved its best for last.

Building on a positive performance at the Mercer County championship meet in mid-October that saw several runners post personal bests, PDS ended the season by placing a solid fifth in the team standings at the state Prep B meet at the Blair Academy on October 24 won by Newark Academy.

“That was a terrific way to end to season; we were looking at that kind of performance and hoping for that all year,” said PDS head coach John Woodside, whose team was led at the meet by sophomore Gunnar Clingman, the seventh place finisher in a time of 17:46 over the 5,000-meter course with junior Kevin Dougherty coming in 14th at 18:41. “There is no question that there were a lot of struggles early on.” more

JORDAN RULES: Hun School field hockey player Jordan DelOrefice, right, goes after the ball in a game this fall. Senior DelOrefice scored five goals this season to help Hun go 6-11 as it bounced back from a 2-9 start. It marked the last season at the helm of the program for longtime head coach Kathy Quirk. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Struggling to a 2-9 record by mid-October, the Hun School field hockey team could have thrown in the towel over the last few weeks of the season.

Instead, Hun kept pushing, winning four of its last six games to end the fall with a 6-11 record.

“We made tremendous improvement, both myself and my assistant coach (Christine Caberle) were very happy with the way that we had improved,” said Hun head coach Kathy Quirk, noting that one of the ream’s finest efforts down the stretch came when they battled hard in a 3-0 loss to Blair in the state Prep A semis game. “We just grew as a team, a lot of individuals grew.” more

November 14, 2018

TITLE RUN: Princeton University football player Collin Eaddy heads upfield in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore running back Eaddy gained a career-high 266 yards to help Princeton defeat Yale 59-43 and clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title. The 9th-ranked Tigers, now 9-0 overall and 6-0 Ivy, will look to end the fall undefeated as they host Penn (6-3 overall, 3-3 Ivy) on November 17 in their season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bob Surace sensed that there could be some offensive fireworks as the Princeton University football team played at Yale last Saturday afternoon.

“On a tough surface, it does favor the offenses in a lot of ways because you know where you are going with the ball with the change of direction,” said Surace, in assessing the muddy surface at the Yale Bowl. more

PUSH BACK: Princeton University field hockey player Maddie Bacskai tracks the ball last Friday against Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Junior defender Bacskai scored the winning goal in the game as the Tigers edged the Cavaliers 2-1. Two days later against Harvard in the NCAA quarterfinals, Bacskai struck again, tallying the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Crimson.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Maddie Bacskai knew from personal experience that the Princeton University field hockey team was in for a battle when it hosted Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament last Friday. more

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton University field hockey player Julianna Tornetta gets ready to strike the ball in NCAA tournament action last weekend. On Sunday, sophomore star Tornetta scored a goal and added an assist as Princeton rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Harvard 2-1 in the NCAA quarters. The third-seeded Tigers, now 15-4, will face second-seeded Maryland (21-2) on November 16 in the national semis in Louisville, Ky. with the winner advancing to the title game on November 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University field hockey team trailing visiting Harvard 1-0 in the NCAA quarterfinals with 11:34 remaining in the second half, Julianna Tornetta was on the spot, literally.

Lining up a penalty stroke in a one-on-one confrontation seven yards in front of Harvard goalie Ellie Shahbo, Princeton sophomore star midfielder Tornetta had the chance to even up the tense contest with one swing of her stick. more

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Princeton University men’s soccer goalie Jacob Schachner boots the ball in game last season. Junior star Schachner’s solid play in goal helped Princeton win the Ivy League title this fall as the Tigers have gone 10-5-2 overall and 5-1-1 Ivy. In upcoming action, Princeton will start play in the NCAA tournament where they are slated to play at Michigan (12-5-2 overall) in a first round contest on November 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Jacob Schachner was warming up to play at Yale last Saturday when he saw the rest of the Princeton University men’s soccer team suddenly sprinting toward the locker room.

The junior goalie knew immediately that the Tigers could celebrate an Ivy League championship early, even before they took on Yale, thanks to Cornell’s 2-1 overtime win that eliminated conference runner-up Columbia from title contention. more

QUICK START: Princeton University men’s hockey player Josh Teves heads up the ice in recent action. Last Saturday against visiting Rensselaer, senior defenseman and team captain Teves contributed a goal and an assist as No. 19 Princeton skated to a 4-1 win over the Engineers. The Tigers, now 3-1-1 overall and 3-0-1 ECAC Hockey, have risen to the top of the league standings and will look to keep on the winning track when they play at Colgate on November 16 and at Cornell on November 17.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Josh Teves gave his parents a big hug during the pregame ceremony honoring the seniors before the Princeton University men’s hockey team took the ice to host Rensselaer last Saturday evening.

Minutes later, Princeton senior defensemen and team captain Teves was accepting hugs from his teammates, assisting on the first goal of the game and then scoring the second as the Tigers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the way to a 4-1 victory. more

GRAND ACHIEVEMENT: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens goes up for a shot against a DeSales University defender last Friday night in Princeton’s season opener. Senior star Stephens scored 21 points, including the 1,000th point of his career, to help the Tigers to an 85-51 victory. In upcoming action, Princeton plays at Lehigh on November 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Myles Stephens was basically a defensive specialist in his freshmen campaign for the Princeton University men’s basketball team in 2015-16. more

By Bill Alden

Jackson McCarthy didn’t have his greatest day as the Princeton High boys’ cross country team competed in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet earlier this month.

Senior McCarthy placed 12th overall as the team’s third finisher, helping PHS take second in the team standings.

Last Saturday in the state Group 4 meet at Holmdel Park, McCarthy produced his best day of the season, finishing sixth overall, covering the 5,000-meter course in a time of 16:29 to lead the way for the Little Tigers. more

NET GAIN: Chris Hoeland hits a forehand during his career with the Princeton High boys’ tennis team. Hoeland, a 2005 PHS, grad won four Mercer County Tournament singles titles for the Little Tigers and helped the team win the state Group 3 title in 2002. Hoeland went on to the Washington University in St. Louis where helped the program win the 2008 NCAA Division III national title and earned All-American accolades in doubles. This Saturday, Hoeland is being inducted into the 13th class of honorees for the PHS Athletics Hall of Fame.

By Bill Alden

As a grade schooler growing up in Princeton, Chris Hoeland’s main athletic interests centered on baseball and basketball.

By the time he entered Princeton High in 2001, though, Hoeland had turned his focus to tennis.

“It was mainly basketball and baseball for a long time,” said Hoeland. more

November 7, 2018

TRENCH WARFARE: Princeton University offensive lineman Brent Holder, right, battles Rocco Di Leo of Dartmouth last Saturday in a clash of Ivy League frontrunners. Princeton rallied to pull out a 14-9 win over the previously undefeated Big Green to improve to 8-0 overall and 5-0 Ivy League. The Tigers play at Yale (5-3 overall, 3-2 Ivy) on November 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a clash of unbeatens that took on the aura of a heavyweight title fight when the Princeton University football team hosted Dartmouth last Saturday.

After the rivals, who both entered the day with 7-0 records, traded touchdowns on their first possessions to  make it a 7-7 game, the two teams slugged it out in between the 20s with a second quarter safety by Dartmouth being the only additional points scored heading into the final period. more

MOMENT OF GLORY: Princeton University women’s soccer player Mimi Asom, right, celebrates after she scored the lone goal in Princeton’s 1-0 win over visiting Penn last Saturday. As a result of the victory, Princeton clinched a tie for the Ivy league title with the Quakers and earned the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers, now 11-3-2 overall, will be playing at Texas Tech (13-5-2 overall) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on November 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Mimi Asom soaked in the emotion of her Senior Day ceremony with Princeton University women’s soccer team last Saturday, she was determined to extend her career beyond the evening.

Princeton needed a win over visiting Penn in the season finale to clinch a share of the Ivy League title with the Quakers and earn the league’s automatic berth to the upcoming NCAA tournament. more