December 11, 2019

FAST START: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Gibson Linnehan races to goal in recent action. Last Thursday, junior forward Linnehan scored a goal to help PDS defeat Randolph 3-1. The Panthers, now 2-0, host Morristown-Beard on December 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Moving up to the top line for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team this winter, Gibson Linnehan is ready to shoulder more responsibility.

Teaming with Stefan Gorelenkov and junior Drew McConaughy, junior Linnehan is relishing his new duties.

“We are leading the team every single practice and every single game,” said Linnehan. “It is our job, we are having fun with it.”

The trio has been doing a good job of controlling play. “We keep the puck in the offensive zone the whole game, we get shots to the net,” said Linnehan. more

ON A ROLL: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Jaylin Champion-Adams looks to make a pass in a game last season. Junior forward Colon helped the Panthers get their 2019-20 season off to a promising start as they won the Solebury School (Pa.) Invitational last weekend, defeating George School (Pa.) 69-59 in the opening round on Friday and then defeating host Solebury 71-49 in the final on Saturday. PDS will look to keep on the winning track as it plays at the Academy of New Church (Pa.) on December 14 before hosting Pennington on December 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team displayed flashes of brilliance but ended up faltering in postseason play.

PDS was seeded first in the state Prep B tournament but fell to archival Pennington in the semis. Days later, the Panthers lost to WW/P-North in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament.

“There were a lot of missed opportunities last year, that is from the top down,” said PDS head coach Doug Davis, who guided the Panthers to a 12-13 record last winter in his debut season at the helm of the program.

“We are thinking about things we could do better as a coaching staff and what our guys who were there last year can improve on this season. We are really trying to right the wrong and go a bit farther. We want to play together as a team a little bit more. There were some spots last year where we didn’t play together as much.” more

BRAKE OUT: Hun School boys’ hockey player Chris Brake, right, goes after the puck in action last week. Senior captain and forward Brake has helped Hun start the 2019-20 season at 1-0-1 as the Raiders defeated LaSalle College High (Pa.) 6-3 in their season opener last Wednesday and then skated to a 4-4 tie with St. John Vianney a day later. In upcoming action, Hun faces St. Joe’s Metuchen on December 11 at Woodbridge Community Center and then plays at the Lawrenceville School on December 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With a roster stocked with newcomers, the Hun School boys’ hockey team will have a markedly different look this winter.

Noting that two-thirds of his players are new to the school as well as the program, Hun head coach Ian McNally is embracing the changes to his squad.

“The mood is great, it is like a new group; it is an excited energy,” said McNally, who guided Hun to a 15-8-1 record last winter and its sixth straight Mercer County Tournament title.

“They don’t know the history or anybody or any of that stuff. It is a fun vibe right now.”

McNally is relying on one of his old hands, Chris Brake, who has quite a history with the program, to lead the group. more

December 4, 2019

MAG FORCE: Princeton University women’s volleyball player Maggie O’Connell, right, blasts the ball in recent action. Senior star O’Connell helped Princeton defeat Yale 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-15) on November 22 in a playoff match for the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers, now 17-7 overall, will be playing at 11th-seeded Penn State (24-5) on December 6 in the opening round of the NCAA tourney. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications

By Justin Feil

One of the greatest players in Princeton University women’s volleyball history is winding down her career.

Maggie O’Connell is looking for a signature win to cap it when the Tigers, 17-7, play at 11th-seeded Penn State, 24-5, on December 6 in the first round of the NCAA Championships.

“That would be amazing,” said senior star O’Connell, a 6’4 native of Katy, Texas.

“Our first goal is always to win the Ivy League, but all four years, it’s been the goal to get past the first round of NCAAs. We have to play good clean Princeton volleyball and rise to the occasion. We have to have every single person on the team believe it and buy in. It would be a pretty big upset. We like to train with an underdog attitude. This provides us the opportunity to see how tough we can be.”

O’Connell has been a part of one of the most successful classes in Princeton volleyball history. This is the third NCAA appearance in four years for the Class of 2020 which also includes Jessie Harris, Devon Peterkin and Natasha Skov. Three of the four have started every year of their college careers. more

BREAKING THROUGH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh fights to the hoop in recent action. Senior center Aririguzoh had 16 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds in a 67-65 loss to Arizona State on November 26. Four days later, Aririguzoh contributed 15 points and seven rebounds to help Princeton defeat Bucknell 87-77 and earn its first win of the season. The Tigers, now 1-5, play at Drexel on December 4 before hosting Monmouth on December 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Richmond Aririguzoh was ready to throw his weight around as the Princeton University men’s basketball team hosted Arizona State last week.

“I know ASU is a physical team; of the five games we have played, they are the fourth team we have played that is very physical, said the 6’9, 230-pound center Aririguzoh who hails from Ewing.

“It has been trial by fire for me, playing against physical bigs. My mentality today was OK, I have to go get them.”

Aririguzoh got the ball a lot against the Sun Devils in the November 26 contest, tallying 16 points and pulling down a career-high 18 rebounds.

“It was just one of those things where I was trying to do everything I could to help my team win,” said Aririguzoh, reflecting on his performance.

Unfortunately, Princeton didn’t pull out a win against ASU, despite a dramatic last-minute rally that saw it overcome a 64-60 deficit on a three-pointer by sophomore Drew Friberg and a sweet bucket in the post by freshman Tosan Evbuomwan only to be foiled when Khalid Thomas nailed a three from the corner with five seconds left to give the Sun Devils a 67-65 win. more

IN THE ZONE: Hun School football player Ian Franzoni races up the field this fall. Senior running back and Brown commit Franzoni had a huge final campaign for the Raiders, gaining 1,178 yards rushing on 87 attempts for an average gain of 13.5 yards a carry. He ran for 12 touchdowns and also made 12 receptions for 322 yards and four TDs. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ian Franzoni was primed to assume a leading role this fall for the Hun School football team.

After paying his dues the previous three seasons as the backup to star running back Josh Henderson, now playing for the University of North Carolina, Franzoni stepped into the starting tailback spot for the season opener at Cheshire Academy (Conn.) in early September.

In a sign of things to come, Franzoni piled up more than 300 yards total offense against Cheshire, including kick returns, rushing, and receiving as the Raiders rolled to a 44-7 win.

A week later, Franzoni showed that his opening salvo was no fluke, rushing for 275 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries in the victory as Hun routed Canada Prep 50-8. more

MAC ATTACK: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Drew McConaughy chases down the puck in a game last winter. Junior forward McConaughy figures to be a key offensive threat for the Panthers this season. PDS opens its 2019-20 campaign on December 4 by facing St. Joe’s Prep School (Pa.) at the University of Pennsylvania 1923 Rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the graduation of its big three of star forwards — Coby Auslander and Ty Eastman along with standout defenseman Chip Hamlett — there will be new faces in new places this winter for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team.

“We are definitely going to have a young group, we have 12 new players,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, who led the Panthers to a 14-12-1 record last winter.

“It is a group that is buying into what we are doing. The kids are excited, they are eager, and they want to learn.”

PDS opens its 2019-20 campaign on December 4 by facing St. Joe’s Prep School (Pa.) at the University of Pennsylvania 1923 Rink, resulting in a steep learning curve for the young Panthers. more

READY TO ROCK: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Rocco Salvato controls the puck in action last winter. Senior star Salvato is looking to have a big final campaign for PHS. The Tigers, who will be guided by new head coach Joe Bensky, are scheduled to face Lawrence High on December 4 at Mercer County Park in their first game of the 2019-20 season. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Joe Bensky has spent a lot of time around Colonial Valley Conference (CVC) hockey.

He starred for the WW/P-North boys’ hockey team from 2009-12 and later served as an assistant coach for the WW/P coop squad in the 2017-18 season.

Now Bensky is taking on a big role with another CVC program as he is taking the helm of the Princeton High boys’ hockey program, succeeding Tim Chase as the head coach of the team.

When Bensky, who played club hockey at East Stroudsburg University and The College of New Jersey and works as school counselor at Ewing High, found out that he got the PHS job, he was elated.

“I was really, really excited, I knew they were a pretty talented group,” said Bensky, who is taking over a team that went 14-10-3 last winter, advancing to the Mercer County Tournament final and the quarterfinals of the state Public B tourney. more

KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION: Hun School basketball player Kennedy Jardine dribbles the ball in a game last season. Junior guard Jardine figures to be a go-scorer for the Raiders this winter. Hun was slated to open its 2019-20 campaign this week by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on December 3 and then playing at the St. Luke’s School (Conn.) on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

There is a good vibe around the Hun School girls’ basketball team as it gets ready to tip off its 2019-20 campaign.

“We have had a couple of scrimmages and the girls have played extremely well,” said Hun head coach Bill Holup, who led the Raiders to a 9-14 record last winter and is in his 21st season guiding the program. “They are very positive and upbeat.”

Holup is expecting a positive contribution from junior star guard Kennedy Jardine as she has refined her game.

“Kennedy is stronger and better; she is looking to attack the basket more,” said Holup, whose team tips off the season this week by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on December 3 and then playing at the St. Luke’s School (Conn.) on December 7.

“She still has her three-point shot but she has really expanded her game. Her ball handling is good. In the past, she pretty much stayed on the perimeter. It is good to be more than one-dimensional.” more

X-MAN: Hun School boys’ basketball player Xander Alvarado gets the ball upcourt in a game last winter. Senior point guard Alvarado will be counted on to trigger the Hun offense this winter. The Raiders were slated to tip off their 2019-20 season by hosting the Haverford School (Pa.) on December 3 and then playing at St. Benedict’s Prep on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jon Stone is dealing with a problem regarding his Hun School boys’ basketball team this winter that would be the envy of many coaches.

“It is a little unique this year, I have 11 guys who can play, there are definitely some interchangeable positions,” said Hun head coach Stone, who is in his 20th season at the helm of the program and guided the Raiders to an 11-14 record last winter. “We are just incredibly deep. Figuring out the rotation is going to be my biggest challenge without a doubt.”

Hun’s rotation boasts four returning guards in senior Xander Alvarado, senior Liam Gunnarson, senior Dylan Knight, and sophomore Daniel Vessey. more

B-LINE: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Nia Melvin heads upcourt in a 2018 game. Junior guard Melvin, who has helped Stuart win state Prep B titles in her first two seasons with the program, has emerged as a key leader for the squad. The Tartans open their 2019-20 season by hosting Kings Christian on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While bombing three-point shots has become a predominant focus at all levels of basketball in recent years, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team will be employing a bit of an old school approach this season.  more

November 27, 2019

FINAL HIT: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey gets ready for a big hit in a game this season. Sophomore Davey had an assist to help Princeton defeat Virginia 2-1 in the NCAA semis on Friday. Two days later, Davey and the Tigers fell 6-1 in the NCAA final to undefeated and defending national champion North Carolina. Davey was later named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team along with teammates Julianna Tornetta and Emma Street. The Tigers ended the fall with a 16-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Something had to give when the Princeton University field hockey team faced North Carolina in the NCAA championship game last Sunday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Ninth-ranked Princeton brought a 13-game winning streak into the contest while defending national champs UNC had posted 45 straight victories.

Continuing their sizzling play, the Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Tar Heels 2:13 into the game.

“I thought we had a great game plan for them; we started off great, it doesn’t get much better to go up 1-0 a couple of minutes into the game,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente, whose team started regular season play by falling 4-3 to UNC in early September. “I thought defensively we had a good plan to contain Erin Matson.” more

RUNNING WILD: Princeton University running back Collin Eaddy heads upfield in a game earlier this fall. Junior star Eaddy rushed for 172 yards to help Princeton defeat Penn 28-7 last Saturday at Franklin Field in Philadelphia to wrap up the season. The victory left Princeton at 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League as it finished just behind Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) and Yale (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy), who tied for league title. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a raw, chilly afternoon last Saturday in Philadelphia as the Princeton University football team faced Penn at venerable Franklin Field in the season finale.

Notwithstanding temperatures hovering in the low 40s and a brisk breeze whipping through the ancient cement structure opened in 1895, Princeton ended the day with a warm feeling as it pulled away to a 28-7 win over the Quakers before a bundled-up crowd of 7,898.

“In our league it is just so tight, it is the little things that matter,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace, whose team snapped a two-game losing streak and ended the fall at 8-2 overall and 5-2 Ivy League, finishing just behind Dartmouth (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) and Yale (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy), who tied for league title.

“That is what we look like, at times it might be a little ugly and everything else. But we didn’t turn the ball over, we fought through some things, and we did really well in certain situational football.” more

By Justin Feil

TAYLOR MADE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Taylor Baur displays some defensive intensity in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday in a 52-40 win over visiting Monmouth, senior forward and co-captain Baur posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and added three blocks, two assists, and two steals. The Tigers, now 5-1, host St. Francis-Brooklyn on December 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Taylor Baur is making up for lost time with the Princeton University women’s basketball team.

The senior forward posted her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks, two steals and two assists in the Tigers’ 52-40 win over visiting Monmouth on Sunday as Princeton improved to 5-1.

“I know at the end of last season we all were talking about our goals and set our sights high,” said Baur, who is a co-captain of the Tigers along with classmate and good friend Bella Alarie.

“We all worked really hard during the offseason. With the coaching transition we just came in and got to work. We were all on the same page. It’s really translated into these first couple games we’ve had and we’ve come out really strong.”

Baur has been snake bitten over her first three years. She tore her ACL and missed all of her freshman season, returned to the team as a sophomore with limited time behind several stronger players, and then last year broke her foot in the first game of the year and missed more time upon her return due to a sprained ankle.

“I think it’s taught me a lot,” said Baur, a 6’2 native of St. Louis.

“As a senior, I feel like I’ve seen every angle of being injured, with not having what it takes to be on the court. I wasn’t ready (sophomore year). Then this year being able to play, it helps us be able to relate to younger players who are all in different situations. Every time I get to step on the court, this is my last year and I’ve already had a lot of it limited. So playing like it’s my last time is really important to me.”

Giving the Tigers another inside presence at both ends of the floor to go with Alarie, keeping Baur on the court is a priority for Princeton.

“She’s really important,” said Princeton head coach Carla Berube.  more

KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Mariah Keopple (No. 2) battles for the puck in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore defenseman Keopple had an assist on the winning goal as eighth-ranked Princeton edged No. 5 Clarkson 2-1 at Hobey Baker Rink. A day later, Keopple and the Tigers defeated St. Lawrence 6-2 to improve to 9-2 overall and 7-2 ECAC Hockey. Princeton hosts a pro women’s squad for an exhibition game on December 1 and then resumes ECACH action by hosting Cornell on December 6 and Colgate on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After soaking up some valuable lessons last winter during her freshman season on the Princeton University women’s hockey team, Mariah Keopple has passed on some of that knowledge to this year’s newcomers.

“Last year we had a lot of seniors on defense; coming in this year it was very different without them,” said sophomore defenseman Keopple.

“These freshmen are stepping into these roles that they need to. It is really great to see them and have some people I can help guide.”

Last Friday evening, Keopple stepped up, getting an assist on the winning goal as eighth-ranked Princeton edged No. 5 Clarkson 2-1 at Hobey Baker Rink. more

By Bill Alden

Will Asch knew that his Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team faced an uphill battle as they competed in the state Prep B tournament in late October to culminate the season.

“There were some incredibly good singles players in the Prep B this year, two on Ranney and two on Gill St. Bernard’s; certainly all four of them would have been among the best in Mercer County,” said PDS head coach Asch.

“There wasn’t really much of a chance at first or second singles for anybody else.”

But making the most of its chances in the other flights, PDS got state titles at third singles from freshman Neha Khandkar and at first doubles from juniors Hayden Masia and Hannah Van Dusen.

As a result, PDS took second in the team standings behind champion Gill St. Bernard’s. more

TOP GUN: Princeton Day School boys’ cross country star Gunnar Clingman heads to the finish line in a race earlier this fall. Junior Clingman placed second individually in the state Prep B championship meet to help PDS take fourth in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Things looked bleak for the Princeton Day School boys’ cross country team as it convened for its 2019 campaign.

“We lost two of our top three runners that were supposed to come back and I was thinking this was going to be a disaster,” said PDS head coach John Woodside.

But with some veterans making progress and some newcomers stepping up, the Panthers made strides through the fall and culminated the season by finishing a strong fourth at the state Prep B championship meet  at Blair Academy earlier this month.

“We showed very well, it was the best we had done there in a while,” said Woodside, whose team had 102 points in taking fourth with Newark Academy winning the meet with a score of 28. more

ALEX THE GREAT: Hun School boys’ soccer goalie Alex Donahue sends the ball up the field in a game this fall. Junior Donahue emerged as a star for Hun, earning All-Prep A first team honors. The Raiders advanced to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and the state Prep A semis on the way to posting a 6-10-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In the early stages of the 2019 season, the Hun School boys’ soccer team didn’t look like it was destined to do any damage in postseason play.

The Raiders suffered three straight losses in the first two weeks of the season, getting outscored 10-5 in those setbacks. 

Undeterred by the shaky start, Hun regrouped and ended up advancing to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and the state Prep A semis.

“It is the first time we won a county game and a state game in the same year a while,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, whose team ended 2019 with a final record of 6-10-3. “It was good for the younger guys to see what it takes to win in those tournaments.”

Two of the squad’s older guys, senior Brian Spencer and junior Amar Anand came through in a dramatic 3-2 overtime win against Blair in the opening round of the Prep A tourney.

“It was a back and forth game; it was a battle,” recalled Quirk. more

STICKING WITH IT: Hun School field hockey player Catherine Argiriou dribbles the ball in a game this fall. Senior Argiriou provided leadership and production for Hun as it showed improvement down the stretch. After starting 0-9, the Raiders ended up with a 3-15 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

When the Hun School field hockey team started this fall by losing its first nine games, it would have been understandable if its players had simply thrown in the towel on the season.

Instead, the Raiders didn’t stop grinding, sharpening their skills and earning three wins over the last few weeks of the season.

“They kept getting better,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt, who was in her first season guiding the program.

“I was really proud of them that they continued to work hard no matter what with the setbacks and adversity they had.”

Displaying that progress, the Raiders gave second-seeded Lawrence a battle in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament, falling 2-0 after having lost to the Cardinals 6-0 two weeks earlier in a regular season contest. more

November 20, 2019

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Princeton University field hockey player MaryKate Neff tracks down the ball in a game earlier this fall. Last Sunday, junior star Neff scored a goal to help No. 9 Princeton defeat No. 2 UConn  2-0 in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Tigers, now 15-4 and riding a 12-game winning streak, will play No. 3 Virginia (18-4) in the NCAA semis on November 22 at Winston-Salem, N.C., with the victor advancing to the national championship game on November 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In late September, the Princeton University field hockey team suffered a tough loss when it fell 2-1 in overtime to UConn.

But after winning 11 of its next 12 games, including a 5-1 thrashing of Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA tournament last Friday, ninth-ranked Princeton earned a rematch with the powerhouse Huskies last Sunday on their home field in Storrs, Conn. in the national quarterfinals.

Displaying how far it has come since that disappointing September afternoon, Princeton turned the tables on No. 2 UConn, pulling away to a 2-0 win as the program earned its second straight trip to the NCAA Final Four and third in the last four years.

Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente was thrilled by her team’s performance in Connecticut as it ended the weekend at 15-4 and riding a 12-game winning streak. The Tigers will now play No. 3 Virginia (18-4) in the NCAA semis on November 22 at Winston-Salem, N.C., with the victor advancing to the national championship game on November 24. more

DOGFIGHT: Princeton University receiver Andrew Griffin goes up for the ball against Yale last Saturday. Senior star Griffin made six catches for 68 yards in the game but it wasn’t nearly enough as Princeton fell 51-14 to Yale. The Tigers, now 7-2 overall and 4-2 Ivy League, play at Penn on November 23 to wrap up the 2019 season. Despite the loss to the Bulldogs, the Tigers could gain a share of the Ivy title if they defeat the Quakers and both Yale (8-1 overall, 5-1 Ivy) and Dartmouth (8-1 overall, 5-1 Ivy) fall in their finales. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Andrew Griffin paid his dues in waiting to get a starting role at wide receiver for the Princeton University football team.

After not seeing any varsity action as a freshman and getting into a couple of games in his sophomore year, Griffin made three catches last fall as a junior in eight games.

Emerging as a star receiver this year, Griffin came into last Saturday with 25 catches and a team-high six touchdown receptions as Princeton hosted Yale in its home finale and honored Griffin and his fellow seniors in a pregame ceremony. more

BOOSTING MORALE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jose Morales dribbles up the court in a game last winter. Last Wednesday, senior guard Morales, a former Hun School standout, scored eight points in 19 minutes off the bench, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 72-65 to Lafayette. Princeton, now 0-3, plays at Indiana on November 20 before hosting Arizona State on November 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s basketball team trailing Lafayette 52-34 early in the second half last Wednesday in its home opener at Jadwin Gym, Jose Morales came off the bench looking to give the Tigers a lift.

“It was just, be a spark offensively and defensively, whatever we really needed,” said Morales, a native or Miramar, Fla. who starred in a postgraduate season at the Hun School. “I felt like we just came out a little flat.”

With the scrappy 5’9 Morales throwing his body around at both ends of the court, Princeton went on an 18-7 run to narrow the gap to 59-52. But in the end, Lafayette held on for a 72-65 win as the Tigers dropped to 0-3. more

TOE TO TOE: Princeton University men’s hockey player Derek Topatigh, right, battles for the puck in recent action. Last Friday evening, senior defenseman and captain Topatigh scored a goal to help Princeton rally from a two-goal deficit to pull out a 2-2 tie with RPI. The Tigers, who lost 2-1 to Union in overtime a night later to fall to 1-3-2 overall and 0-3-1 ECAC Hockey, play at Colgate on November 22 and at No. 2 Cornell on November 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton University men’s hockey team trailed RPI 2-0 after two periods last Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink, Derek Topatigh was confident that the Tigers could rally.

“It was just stick to the game plan, it has been working,” said senior defenseman and captain Topatigh, recalling the discussion in the locker room during the second intermission.

“We were all over them; they got a couple of bounces and capitalized on their chances. The message was just keep doing what we were doing. We know we are a good team and we have the systems in place to win.” more

MILES TO GO: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Miles Ryan controls the ball in a game this fall. Sophomore midfielder Ryan was one of several young players who stepped up this season for PHS as it went 14-7 and advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals and the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarters. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Wayne Sutcliffe has never guided such a young Princeton High boys’ soccer team in his 23 years as head coach of the program as he had this fall.

There was not a senior on the field when fifth-seeded PHS lost 1-0 to 13th-seeded and eventual sectional finalist, Long Branch, on November 1 in the Central Jersey Group 4 quarterfinal.

While the harsh finality of the result stung, the Tigers could look ahead with justified optimism to the 2020 season.

“There’s clear desire on their part to win some silverware next year,” said Sutcliffe.  more

SPOILS OF VICTORY: Members of the Princeton Football Club (PFC) Porto U-12 boys team show off the trophy and medals they earned for winning the New Jersey Youth Soccer State President’s Cup earlier this month. The PFC team edged Cinnaminson SC Union 2-1 in overtime in the championship game on November 3 at the Capelli Sports Complex in Tinton Falls. By winning the New Jersey title, PFC qualified to compete in the East Regional, which will be held next June in Barboursville and Charleston, W. Va. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Nishanth Balaji, Mario Radzicki, Quinn Shannon, Gus Shapiro, Siddarth Goyal, and Logan Miller. In the back row, from left, are Coach Yordan Hristov, Aaron Thyrum, Vidur Jain, Trey McFadden,  Billy Crawshaw, Declan Hughes, Christian Tharney, Ivan Marinov, and Aahil Sikkander.

By Bill Alden

Yordan Hristov sensed that his PFC Porto U-12 boys’ soccer team was poised for a championship run this fall.

Hardened by losing in the state quarterfinals last spring as the bounces didn’t go the club’s way, Hristov saw a greater resolve in his players.

“I felt going into this season that we have something special going on,” said PFC Porto head coach Hristov.

“We are more prepared a little more mature and smarter. We have a little bit more determination and we all have a better understanding and the experience of the past.” more