April 24, 2019

SHINING LIGHTS: Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity eight shows its form in a race this spring. Second-ranked Princeton, now 8-1, hosts the Harvard and Yale on April 27 in the race for the Goldthwait/Vogel Cups. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Last spring, the Princeton University men’s lightweight varsity eight crew ended up less than a second away from a national title.

Princeton placed second to Columbia at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta, clocking a time of 6:19.514 over the 2,000-meter course at Mercer Lake, just behind the 6:18.782 posted by the Lions.

With eight returning members of the top boat competing in the Henley Regatta last summer in England, the Tigers entered the 2018-19 school year primed to take the next step.

“There is a lot of excitement. With that extra month of rowing we got, we were really able to hit the ground running,” said Princeton head coach Marty Crotty. “September and October were that much more productive.” more

STEPPING UP: Princeton High boys’ tennis player Simon Hwang displays his serving form. Senior Hwang has stepped into the first singles role for PHS this spring. The Tigers, now 4-2, host Hamilton West on April 24 and play at Trenton Central on April 25 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament on April 29 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Losing two singles stars to graduation and another due to injury, the Princeton High boys’ tennis team has a new look at the top of its lineup.

“We are not looking at same strength in our singles lineup,” said PHS head coach Sarah Hibbert, whose Class of 2018 included standouts Noah Lilienthal and Kevin Yang with current senior Jerry Gu sidelined by injury.

“But the guys that are there want to be there. They are working hard, they are trying their best. We will take each match as it comes and work as hard as we can.”

After dropping matches to HoVal and WW/P-North to start the 2019 campaign, PHS has reeled off four straight wins, highlighted by a dramatic 3-2 victory over Hightstown on April 8. more

GETTING IN THE SWING: Princeton High baseball player Aiden Regan follows through on a swing in recent action. Junior first baseman Regan is emerging as a key contributor for the Tigers in his first varsity campaign. PHS, who moved to 3-7 with a 6-3 loss to Notre Dame last Thursday, plays at Princeton Day School on April 24, at Robbinsville on April 26, and at Allentown on April 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Aiden Regan, moving up to the Princeton High baseball team after spending two years on the junior varsity hasn’t been an easy process.

“Down there, it is much different,” said PHS junior first baseman Regan.

“It is a challenge on varsity, but it is a good adjustment. I am working in here. There are some great guys ahead of me, so it is anything I can do to help the team.”

Last week, Regan helped PHS with his bat, stroking a double in a 1-0 loss to Nottingham on April 16 and then went 1-for-3 with a single in fourth inning rally as the Tigers fell 5-1 to Hamilton. more

HOT HAND: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Cal Caputo heads upfield in a 2018 game. Last Thursday, junior attacker Caputo tallied three goals to help PDS defeat the Hill School (Pa.) 9-6. In upcoming action, the Panthers, now 7-2, host Robbinsville on April 24, Pennington on April 25 and Notre Dame on April 27. In addition, PDS will be starting play in the state Prep A tournament, where it is seeded third and playing at second-seeded Lawrenceville in a semifinal contest on April 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having played seven of its first eight games on the road, the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team was excited to be at the friendly confines of Baker Field as it hosted the Hill School (Pa.) last Thursday.

Giving their fans something to cheer about early, the Panthers tallied three unanswered goals in the first 1:09 of the contest.

“We were hyped up to get a home game and we came out firing and ready to go,” said PDS junior attacker Cal Caputo.

In assessing the hot start, Caputo pointed to controlling the face-off as a key factor.

“Trevor Mackles, our freshman face-off guy, has been winning them all year,” said Caputo. more

By Bill Alden

Jennifer Johnson possesses a world of experience, literally, when it comes to the game of tennis.

Growing up in West Virginia, Johnson took up the game at an early age and went on to play Division I tennis at Penn State and Bradley University. She served as a team captain and played No. 1 singles for Bradley as a senior in 1989.

She later coached the Waynesburg University women’s tennis team for six years from 1993-99 and was named as the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) coach of the year in 1994.

With her husband being transferred Europe for his work, Johnson ended up coaching in Zurich, Switzerland and London, England. more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

April 17, 2019

RISING FORCE: Princeton University men’s volleyball player George Huhmann, left, goes up for the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Huhmann contributed 11 kills, four blocks, and an ace as Princeton defeated Penn State 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-20). The triumph capped the best regular season in program history as the Tigers improved to 15-12 overall and 13-1 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA), winning the outright league title and earning home court in the playoffs. Huhmann, for his part, was named the Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year. Princeton will host fourth-seeded St. Francis in a semifinal contest on April 18 with victor advancing to the title game on April 20 against the winner of the other semi pitting Penn State against George Mason. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

George Huhmann is a unique player and he has helped the Princeton University men’s volleyball team to a unique accomplishment.

The Princeton junior had 27 kills and 10 blocks over two games as the Tigers wrapped up their first Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) regular-season championship with a weekend sweep of St. Francis and Penn State.

Princeton secured the outright title and the chance to host the EIVA playoffs when it avenged its only loss in the EIVA with a 25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 25-23 win over St. Francis on Friday. Princeton then improved to 15-12 overall and 13-1 in the EIVA with a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-16, 25-20) over Penn State on Saturday. more

GO TIME: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Alex Argo, middle, guards the crease in a game last year. Last Saturday, senior defender Argo picked up two ground balls and had two caused turnovers to help Princeton defeat Harvard 14-12 as the program held its annual Senior Day celebration. The 10th-ranked Tigers, now 9-3 overall and 3-1 Ivy League, head to Philadelphia on April 17 for a clash with No. 12 Penn (9-3 overall, 3-1 Ivy) and then play at Yale (6-6 overall, 1-4 Ivy) on April 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Alex Argo hasn’t scored a point in her four seasons on the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team, but she has established herself as a key performer for the Tigers.

Starting on defense from her freshman campaign in 2016, Argo has been a steadying presence on the Princeton back line, gobbling up ground balls, causing turnovers, and directing traffic.

Along the way she has developed some deep bonds with her six classmates on the squad, who have all emerged as valuable contributors in their own right. more

HEAVY DUTY: The Princeton University men’s heavyweight varsity eight churns through the water in a recent regatta. Last Saturday, Princeton’s top boat defeated Penn and Columbia at Overpeck Lake Park in Leonia, N.J., to earn the Childs Cup, the oldest collegiate rowing trophy. The seventh-ranked Tigers, now 4-0, host third-ranked Harvard on April 20 in the race for the Compton Cup. (Photo by Beverly Schaefer, provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Losing some senior stalwarts from its top boats due to graduation, the Princeton University men’s heavyweight rowing team entered this spring in a state of flux.

But with a group of returning veterans seizing opportunity, the proud program is on course for another superb campaign.

“So far it has been going well; we graduated some real talent and some significant role players,” said Princeton head coach Greg Hughes, whose top boat is 4-0 and ranked seventh nationally.

“Whenever that happens, there is an opportunity there and there are some roles that open up. It is an interesting time seeing how people step up. A lot of the guys might have been playing a more supporting role with those guys and now they are filling those shoes. It has been fun to watch, lots of guys have done a great job stepping up and seizing that opportunity.” more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 10, 2019

MAKING HAY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Julia Haney gets ready to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday senior attacker Haney tallied four points on two goals and two assists to help Princeton rally to a 14-12 win at Dartmouth. The 16th-ranked Tigers, now 7-3 overall and 2-1 Ivy League, host No. 11 Loyola (9-3) on April and Harvard on April 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

In the midst of wrapping up her thesis, Julia Haney helped the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team pass a giant test.

The Princeton senior attacker had two goals and two assists in the Tigers’ 14-12 comeback win at Dartmouth on Saturday.

“The win against Dartmouth was huge,” said Haney. “Going into the game, we were super prepared. We knew we needed to come out ready to go from the first whistle. This stretch of the season is by far the most important. Every game counts and it’s always awesome when you come out on top.” more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

WESTERN HERO: Princeton University baseball player Max West takes a cut in recent action. Senior catcher West had three hits in a losing cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to visiting Columbia last Sunday. The Tigers, now 6-18 overall and 3-6 Ivy League, host Seton Hall for a single game on April 10 and then head to Penn for a three-game set this weekend with a doubleheader slated for April 13 and a single game on April 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Max West has traveled an unusual route to stardom for the Princeton University baseball team.

After graduating from the Singapore American School, West served two and a half years as a combat diver and naval officer in the Singapore Navy. He then applied to U.S. colleges and ultimately decided to matriculate to Princeton, arriving in the fall of 2015.

“Initially coming to college as a 21-year-old freshman, I was older than everyone else and felt a little out of place,” said West.

“That has made my college experience much more valuable. I was definitely more mature at 21 than I was at 18. Spending that time back home in the military has allowed me to get the most out of this experience here at Princeton.” more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

April 3, 2019

MAC ATTACK: Princeton University softball player Mackenzie Meyer takes a swing in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore outfielder Meyer with 3-for-4 with a homer, double, three runs scored, and three RBIs to help Princeton defeat Columbia 11-5 in the opener of a three-game set between the foes. The Lions rebounded to sweep a doubleheader a day later, edging Princeton 2-1 and 5-4. The Tigers, now 6-15 overall and 3-3 Ivy League, host a doubleheader against Rider on April 3 before heading to Brown this weekend for a three-game set with a doubleheader slated for April 6 and a single game on April 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mackenzie Meyer came into last weekend mired in a batting slump as the Princeton University softball team hosted Columbia for a three-game set.

The Princeton sophomore outfielder had gone 2-for-17 in her previous six games as her batting average dipped to .175.

But with Princeton trailing Columbia 2-0 in the second inning last Friday afternoon, Meyer found her stoke blasting a homer over the right field fence.

“The first pitch was high and outside and my swing was a little late,” said Meyer, a 5’8 native of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. reflecting on her at-bat.

“She pitched me the same pitch the next one and I said ‘I don’t want to sit back and let it be a strike,’ so I just swung. When I hit it, it was, shoot, this could go out.” more

By Bill Alden

After pulling out a dramatic 14-13 win over No. 9 Denver University to start the week, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team picked up where it left off as it hosted Brown last Saturday afternoon.

Princeton jumped out to a 4-0 lead as Alexander Vardaro, Emmet Cordrey, Philip Robertson, and Michael Sowers all found the back of the net in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

But things went downhill from there for the Tigers in the critical Ivy League clash. The Bears outscored Princeton 6-1 over the rest of the half to forge ahead 6-5 at intermission.

Brown extended its lead to 8-6 early in the third quarter before senior attacker Cordrey scored two straight goals to make it 8-8. The Bears responded with a 6-1 run to pull away to a 14-10 win. more

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Bill Tierney stalks the sidelines last week as he guided his Denver University men’s lacrosse team against Princeton. It marked the return of the legendary former Tiger head coach for his first game at Class of 1952 Stadium since he left the Tiger program in 2009 after 22 seasons and six NCAA titles. Princeton, though, made it a tough homecoming for Tierney, pulling out a 14-13 win over the ninth-ranked Pioneers. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bill Tierney didn’t get the chance to hone in on his Denver University men’s lacrosse team as it went through its pregame paces before its contest at Princeton last week.

With legendary former Princeton head coach Tierney returning on March 26 for his first game at Class of 1952 Stadium since he left the program in 2009 after guiding the Tigers to six NCAA titles in 22 seasons, the warmup turned into an extended meet and greet session.

Wearing a crimson and white Denver ball cap and Oakley sunglasses, the silver haired Tierney, 66, grinned broadly as he chatted with former colleagues on the field, shook hands with old friends, and responded to well wishes shouted from supporters in the stands. more

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

By Bill Alden

For Dominic Capuano, coaching is a family business.

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

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

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