March 13, 2019

GOING FOR IT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Karlie Lund goes after a puck in recent action. Last Saturday, senior forward and co-captain Lund contributed an assist as Princeton fell 3-2 in double overtime to Cornell in the ECAC Hockey semifinals. The disappointment over that loss turned to joy a day later as the Tigers were awarded an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Princeton, now 20-7-5 overall, will play at second-seeded Minnesota (30-5-1) in a national quarterfinal contest on March 16. The selection marks the program’s third NCAA appearance overall and first trip to the national tourney since it fell 6-2 to the Gophers in the 2016 quarterfinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last weekend turned out to be nerve-wracking for the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

On Saturday, Princeton headed north to play at Cornell in the ECAC Hockey semis, knowing that a loss could doom its chances of getting invited to the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period on goals by Claire Thompson and Carly Bullock but couldn’t hold off the Big Red, losing 3-2 in double overtime.

“I thought it was a really tight, even game obviously, it was back and forth,” said Princeton head coach Cara Morey. more

SIX SHOOTER: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears handles the ball last Saturday against Stony Brook. Sophomore attacker Sears tallied six goals and two assists to help the Tigers rally to a 15-14 win. Sears was lated named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performance. Princeton, now 4-1 and ranked eighth nationally, is next in action when it plays at Florida on March 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After piling up 64 goals in 19 games last spring during her freshman year for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team, Kyla Sears wasn’t as prolific in the early going this season.

Entering Princeton’s game against visiting Stony Brook last Saturday, star attacker Sears had seven goals in the first four games in the 2019 campaign.

But finding her finishing touch, Sears erupted for five goals in the first half as the Tigers took a 9-8 lead over the Seawolves.

“Our offense really clicked; we were finding each other, we were giving each other good looks,” said Sears a 5’4 native of Skaneateles, N.Y. “Any player is as successful as their teammates around them; we found each other’s strengths today. more

FINAL MILE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens dribbles up the floor in recent action. Senior star and captain Stephens played well in his final weekend at Jadwin Gym but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 67-63 to Brown on Friday and 81-59 to Yale a day later. Stephens had 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss to the Bears and then chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds against the Bulldogs. Princeton, now 16-11 overall and 8-6 Ivy League, is next in action when it competes in the Ivy postseason tournament. The third-seeded Tigers will face second-seeded and host Yale in the semis on March 16 in New Haven, Conn. with the victor advancing to the title game the next day. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Myles Stephens left the floor at Jadwin Gym last Saturday for the last time in his career with the Princeton University men’s basketball team, he hugged his coaches and teammates one by one as he went to the end of the bench.

Moments after Princeton’s 81-59 loss to Yale in the home finale, he embraced some of his former teammates gathered courtside as he made his away to the locker room.

Stephens acknowledged that he had a lot on his mind as the evening unfolded.

“Four years is a long time and as a student athlete, you spend so much time coming down here every day, lifting, conditioning and practicing,” said Stephens. “I was definitely a little emotional.” more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton High boys’ track star Nils Wildberg flies through the air in the long jump at a meet last spring. Last month, senior star Wildberg won the inaugural NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions Long Jump Showcase. Fighting through injury, the Dartmouth College-bound Wildberg produced a best mark of 23’4 to win the competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

For Nils Wildberg, winning the inaugural boys’ long jump at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions indoor track and field meet wasn’t the surprise.

He’d been dreaming of a state title for two years.

It’s how the Princeton High senior came through despite his training being thrown off completely by a knee injury.

“You have to be in that right mindset for success,” said Wildberg. “I jumped surprisingly well for training that little. That day I guess I was just mentally strong.” more

INSIDE STUFF: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jaylen Johnson puts up a shot in a game this season. Senior forward Johnson enjoyed a solid final campaign for PHS, providing inside punch for the Tigers as the went 12-13 and made the state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High boys’ basketball team, its valiant battle against powerhouse Freehold in the opening round of the Group 4 Central Jersey sectional proved to be a microcosm of a positive season.

The underdog 14th-seeded PHS jumped out to a 20-15 first quarter lead over third-seeded and eventual sectional champion Freehold, hit a drought in the second quarter to fall behind, and then battled tooth and nail before succumbing 60-50.

“We had a pretty good game plan; the guys played their tails off and we did a lot of good things,” said PHS head coach Patrick Noone.

“We just got to a point where we couldn’t score in a stretch during the second quarter and at beginning of third. We kept it within striking distance; I think we were down eight with about three minutes left.” more

STICKING TOGETHER: Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team celebrate after scoring in goal in a 5-4 loss to Lawrenceville at Hobey Baker Rink in late January. PDS ended the season at 14-12-1, advancing to the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) semis where it fell 4-1 to eventual champion Hill (Pa.). (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the course of the 2018-19 campaign, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team fought an uphill battle nearly every night.

Dealing with a daunting schedule that included a gauntlet of formidable foes, PHS didn’t possess the reservoir of talent that is has featured in the past.

“Our schedule was just brutal this year,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, whose squad took on such tough non-conference opponents as Don Bosco, Delbarton, Albany Academy (N.Y.), the Groton School (Mass.), La Salle (Pa.), and Seton Hall Prep in addition to playing Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) rivals like the Hill School (Pa.), Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), and Lawrenceville.

“Without question, this was the hardest schedule we have ever faced, and this year’s team wasn’t the best team we have ever had. It was hard with the lack of depth.” more

ON THE BALL: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Tyler Robinson handles the ball in a game this winter. Freshman guard Robinson made steady progress in her debut campaign as PDS went 2-19 under new head coach Liz Sharlow. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

On paper, it would appear that it was a rough winter for Liz Sharlow as she took the helm of the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball program.

Although PDS took its lumps in posting a 2-19 record, former Lehigh University women’ hoops star Sharlow enjoyed her debut campaign.

“It was a learning experience; it was great to see how much the girls grew,” said Sharlow. “I learned a lot from the girls; they were great teammates and worked so hard. They made it so much fun.”

The Panthers had a lot of fun coming through with a 35-33 overtime win against Lawrence High in the final week of the season. more

March 6, 2019

FRESH APPROACH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier chases down the puck last Friday evening as Princeton hosted St. Lawrence in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. Freshman forward Fillier tallied four goals and two assists on the weekend as fourth-seeded Princeton swept the fifth-seeded Saints in the  best-of-three series, winning 4-1 on Friday and 6-2 on Saturday. The Tigers, now 20-6-5 overall, play at top-seeded Cornell (22-4-6) in the ECACH semis on March 9 with the victor advancing to the title game a day later. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s hockey team mired in a three-game losing streak and locked in a scoreless game with St. Lawrence last Friday at Hobey Baker Rink heading into the second period of their ECAC Hockey quarterfinal opener, the Tigers needed a jolt.

Princeton freshman forward Sarah Fillier provided that spark, tallying three straight goals in the second period as the Tigers built a 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-1 triumph.

“One of the main things we said in the room going into the second was just bear down in front of the net and just keep going with the good habits that we had,” recalled Fillier. more

NO STOPPING THEM: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Nonie Andersen races up the field in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior defender Andersen chipped in an assist as Princeton routed Columbia 19-1 in its Ivy League opener. The Tigers, now 3-1 overall and ranked eighth nationally, host No. 18 Stony Brook on March 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Nonie Andersen always has done whatever the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team has asked of her.

“That should be the mind-set freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year,” said Tiger senior defender Andersen.

When she was a freshmen, Andersen’s speed and tenacity earned her some time on the field to face-guard. It was more of the same her sophomore year when she moved into the starting lineup. Last year, she had more of a leadership role on a defense that started three freshmen – Olivia Pugh, Mary Murphy and Marge Donovan – along with Alex Argo.  more

ON THE MARK: Princeton University men’s hockey player Mark Paolini sends the puck up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore defenseman Paolini contributed a goal and two assists as Princeton won 5-1 at Brown to improve to 10-16-3 overall and 8-12-2 ECAC Hockey. This weekend, the Tigers will head back to Brown where they will face the Bears in a best-of-three ECACH first round playoff series starting on March 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University men’s hockey team heads into its first round ECAC Hockey best-of-three playoff series at Brown next weekend, it is looking to make history repeat itself.

Last winter, the Tigers caught fire late, going 2-1-1 in the final two regular season weekends and riding that surge to a stunning run in the ECACH playoffs. The seventh-seeded Tigers swept visiting Brown in the opening round and then headed north and swept Union in the quarterfinals. Princeton proceeded to top Cornell and Clarkson in the ECACH final four to win the title and make the NCAA tournament. more

AHEAD OF THE FIELD: Princeton University women’s basketball player Carlie Littlefield heads to the hoop in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore point guard Littlefield tallied a game-high 18 points to help the Tigers pull away to a 64-47 win over visiting Dartmouth and clinch a spot in the upcoming Ivy League postseason tourney. A day later, Littlefield chipped in 17 points to help the Tigers edge Harvard 61-58 and improve to 18-9 overall and 10-2 Ivy. The Tigers will wrap up regular season play with games at Brown on March 8 and at Yale on March 9. Princeton will start play in the Ivy tourney on March 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having played three games in a five-day stretch from February 22-26, the Princeton University women’s basketball team came out a little sluggish as it hosted Dartmouth last Friday evening.

With junior star Bella Alarie banged up and senior Qalea Ismail leaving the game with a knee injury, Princeton struggled to find a rhythm, missing all eight of its three-point attempts in the half.

Sensing that the Tigers needed someone to step up, sophomore point guard Carlie Littlefield took charge, scoring 10 points to serve as a catalyst with the Tigers trailing 28-27 at halftime. more

FEELING BLUE: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Connor McCarthy prepares to unload the ball in recent action. Last Saturday against visiting Johns Hopkins, junior midfielder McCarthy scored a goal, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 14-12. The Tigers led 9-7 late in the third quarter before the 18th-ranked Blue Jay reeled off five unanswered goals to take control of the contest. Princeton, which dropped to 1-2 with the loss, was slated to play at Navy on March 5 and at Rutgers on March 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In its final game of February, the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team took 9-7 lead over Virginia midway through the third quarter.

Unable to hold off high-powered Virginia, Princeton fell 12-11 to the Cavaliers in overtime in the February 23 contest.

Last Saturday in their first outing of March as they hosted another perennial power, Johns Hopkins, the Tigers experienced an unfortunate case of deja vu. more

HISTORIC FINISH: Princeton High wrestler Alec Bobchin, top, dominates a foe on his way to winning the Region 5 title at 138 pounds on February 23. Last weekend, senior star Bobchin placed fourth at 138 in the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships at Atlantic City. PHS sophomore Chloe Ayres joined Bobchin in Atlantic City and made history, winning the title at 105 pounds in the first-ever girls’ N.J. state wrestling tourney. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Alec Bobchin made a strong argument for being Princeton High School’s best wrestler ever.

Chloe Ayres made history.

The two representatives that PHS sent to the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships in Atlantic City made their program proud Saturday.

Bobchin continued his annual climb up the ladder when he finished fourth at 138 pounds at the boys’ state championships in Atlantic City. The senior had gone 2-2 as a sophomore in states and took home a medal in eighth last year. It’s the highest finish for a PHS wrestler since Ian Reddy also took fourth in 1993. more

SENIOR SUCCESS: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Catherine Dyevich puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior star Dyevich posted career highs in points (25) and rebounds (17) to help fourth-seeded PHS defeat fifth-seeded Trenton 66-51 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals in her home finale. Two days later, the Tigers fell 53-31 at top-seeded Middletown South in the sectional semis to end the winter with a 18-8 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline blared in the gym last Wednesday evening, members of the Princeton High girls’ basketball team belted out the lyrics, dancing and hopping in unison.

The song’s refrain “good times never seemed so good” perfectly described the emotions the PHS players were feeling as they celebrated after defeating visiting Trenton High 66-51 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals.

The fourth-seeded Tigers trailed fifth-seeded Trenton 34-31 at halftime but came out roaring in the third quarter, outscoring the Tornadoes 23-10 in the period and never looked back on the way to the sweet win. more

February 27, 2019

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Sydney Jordan eyes the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday evening, senior Jordan contributed five points and four rebounds to help Princeton defeat Columbia 65-59. Earlier in the day, Jordan was honored for being the co-winner of Princeton’s 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction available to an undergraduate. Princeton, who improved to 15-9 overall and 7-2 Ivy League with win over Columbia, was slated to play at Penn on February 26 before hosting Dartmouth on March 1 and Harvard on March 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Sydney Jordan doesn’t get a lot of curtain calls, but with 1.8 seconds left the Princeton University senior was taken out of a 65-59 win over Columbia on Saturday to a warm round of applause from the Jadwin Gym crowd.

“It was interesting,” said the Princeton University senior guard/forward. “It was funny.”

Jordan didn’t really want any more attention. She had her moment before the Tiger women’s basketball team held off Columbia, getting honored before tip-off for being the co-winner of Princeton’s 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction available to an undergraduate. She shared the award with fellow senior Annabel Barry. more

IN FLIGHT: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Charlie Durbin goes up for a shot last Saturday against Virginia. Senior midfielder Durbin matched his career single-game high with four goals, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton lost 12-11 in overtime to the Cavaliers. The Tigers, now 1-1, host No. 18 Johns Hopkins (1-2) on March 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After being sidelined for the 2018 season due to a knee injury, Charlie Durbin is thrilled to be back in action this spring for the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team.

“Sitting out last year really made me cherish lacrosse a lot more,” said senior midfielder Durbin, who hurt his knee in the fall of 2017.

“For a while, the only thing I really could do was practice shooting. It feels really good to be back out on the field with all of the guys. It makes every game feel a little bit more valuable.” more

TO THE MAX: Princeton University men’s hockey player Max Veronneau chases down the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, senior star Veronneau chipped in a goal and an assist as Princeton defeated St. Lawrence 5-3 in its final regular season home game. The Tigers, now 8-16-3 overall and 6-12-2 ECAC Hockey, play at Yale on March 1 and Brown on March 2 to wrap up regular season action. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last four years, Max Veronneau has produced a lot of highlight moments at Hobey Baker Rink for the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

Coming into his final regular season home last Saturday as Princeton hosted St. Lawrence, senior forward Veronneau had amassed 137 points on 47 goals and 90 assists. more

By Bill Alden

Ryan Schwieger is known around the Princeton University men’s basketball team for his low-key demeanor, speaking softly in a southern drawl.

But last Friday when sophomore guard Schwieger got the start for Princeton against visiting Cornell, he was ready to make some noise.

“Coach [Mitch Henderson] tells me to be aggressive; all of my teammates tell me to be aggressive,” said the 6’6, 205-pound Schwieger, a native of Matthews, N.C. “I just had that mindset going in and of going to the rim early.” more

FIRST IN HER CLASS: Princeton High wrestler Chloe Ayres, top, takes control in a bout this January against Nottingham High’s Stalin Arpi, which she won by a pin. This week, sophomore Ayres will be competing in the first-ever NJSIAA girls’ state championships in Atlantic City after winning the 105-pound title at the South Jersey girls’ wrestling region tournament. Joining Ayres in Atlantic City will be senior Alec Bobchin, who won the boys’ Region 5 title and became the first PHS wrestler to win two region crowns. He will be looking to improve on his eighth-place finish in last year’s state championships. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Chloe Ayres couldn’t hold it in after winning the 105-pound title at the South Jersey girls’ wrestling region tournament earlier this month.

“I started crying tears of joy,” said Princeton High sophomore Ayres. “I was trying to keep it together. I’m really excited to wrestle in Atlantic City.”

Ayres was blown away not just by the chance to wrestle in the girls’ state championships that begin this week in Atlantic City, but by the significance of even having a region meet. It wasn’t just that she won, or even that she was named Most Outstanding Wrestler (MOW) after winning twice by pin and shutting out Trenton’s Johnae Drumright, 9-0, in the final match. It was that it all came in the first-ever girls’ region tournament. more

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Keith Goldberg, right, gathers in the puck in recent action. Last Thursday, senior forward and captain Goldberg chipped in a goal and an assist as sixth seeded PHS topped 11th-seeded Jackson Memorial 8-4 in the opening round of the state Public B tournament. Last Monday, the postseason run for Goldberg and the Tigers came to an end as they fell 6-3 at third-seeded Westfield in the quarterfinals. The Tigers finished the winter with a 14-10-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Keith Goldberg and his teammates on the Princeton High boys’ hockey team came out with fire in their eyes as they hosted Jackson Memorial last Thursday at ProSkate to start play in the state Public B tournament.

Having suffered a disappointing 9-4 loss to Hun on the Mercer County Tournament final six days earlier, PHS was determined to bounce back from that setback.

“We came out a little flat against Hun and we didn’t want to come out flat today,” said Tiger senior forward and captain Goldberg.

“Me being a senior, I didn’t want this to be my last high school game. For the other guys, I think that motivated us to work a little bit harder. Everything we did wrong in the Hun game we wanted to fix and make sure we didn’t do today.” more

WILDLY SUCCESSFUL: Princeton High track senior star Nils Wildberg displays the medal he earned for winning the inaugural NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions Long Jump Showcase last week. Fighting through injury, the Dartmouth-bound Wildberg produced a best mark of 23’4 to win the competition.

By Bill Alden

Competing in two prestigious events last week, the Princeton High track program made history on both fronts.

Taking part in the Eastern State Championships on February 19 in New York City and the NJSIAA Indoor Meet of Champions (MOC) over the weekend at Toms River, PHS athletes recorded five personal bests, four school records, three MOC medals, and one individual state champion.

Senior Nils Wildberg, who has battled a knee injury and has been forced to sit out most of the winter season, returned triumphantly to win the inaugural MOC Long Jump Showcase, jumping 23’4. The Dartmouth-bound Wildberg’s victory marked just the seventh overall individual state title in PHS boys’ track history. Wildberg becomes the first PHS individual state champion in 36 years, joining Peter Sharpless (two titles – outdoor high jump 1980 and 1981) and Stephen Fletcher (Four titles – 55 hurdles indoors and 110 hurdles outdoors in both 1982 and 1983) as the only three boys athletes to ever achieve a state crown.  more

PASSING IT ON: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Brendan Rougas, left, passes the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, senior guard and team captain Rougas scored a game-high 15 points as 14th-seeded PHS fell 60-50 at third-seeded Freehold in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. The loss left the Tigers with a final record of 12-14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brendan Rougas experienced mixed emotions, soaking in the scene as the Princeton High boys’ basketball team held its annual Senior Night ceremony last Thursday evening before hosting Morristown High.

“It was my final home game ever; it is very sad but also exciting, I am heading to a new chapter in my life,” said Rougas.

“I just want to thank our fans, from the time I was a freshman and then on JV and both years on varsity, we have had the best crowd in the CVC.” more

February 20, 2019

LETTING IT FLY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kathryn Hallett heads upfield last Saturday as Princeton hosted Temple in its season opener. Senior midfielder Hallett tallied four goals to help the eighth-ranked Tigers prevail 16-7 and make history in the process as the victory marked the 400th career win for longtime Tiger head coach Chris Sailer. Princeton will look to keep rolling as it plays at 12th-ranked Virginia (2-0) on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the 2019 season, Kathryn Hallett knew that it was up to her to lead the midfield for the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

“There are definitely some big shoes to fill, we graduated two really good impact starting midfielders last year,” said senior Hallett, referring to Ellie McNulty and Camille Sullivan.

“We have a lot of freshmen in the lineup. In the past I have been more of a lead by example type of person. I have really been making an effort to be more vocal, giving them tips during practice.” more

MAKING A STAND: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens puts on the defensive pressure in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday against visiting Dartmouth, senior star and co-captain Stephens contributed 17 points, eight rebounds, and a blocked shot to help the Tigers pull out a 69-68 win over the Big Green. Princeton, now 13-8 overall and 5-3 Ivy League, hosts Cornell on February 22 and Columbia on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It may not have been a must-win game for the Princeton University men’s basketball team but it certainly felt like it.

Mired in a three-game losing streak in Ivy League play as it hosted Dartmouth last Saturday evening, Princeton was in danger of sliding out of the race for the top four in the league standings and spot in the Ivy postseason tournament.

“We had our backs up against the wall with a three-game skid,” said Princeton senior star and co-captain Myles Stephens. more

SENIOR MOMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Karlie Lund controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior forward and co-captain Lund chipped in an assist in a losing cause cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to visiting Rensselaer. The fifth-ranked Tigers, now 18-4-5 overall and 15-2-3 ECAC Hockey, will look to wrap up the league’s regular season title when they play at Clarkson on February 22 and at St. Lawrence on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Karlie Lund didn’t want to leave the ice at Hobey Baker Rink last Saturday evening after the Princeton University women’s hockey team hosted Rensselaer in its final regular season home game.

Senior forward and co-captain Lund and her classmates lingered on the rink after the program held its annual Senior Day ceremony, cavorting with each other and family members, skating back and forth and posing for a number of pictures.

Even though fifth-ranked Princeton had just lost 2-1 to Rensselaer, that didn’t put a damper on the festivities honoring the Class of 2019. more