Showing Some Offensive Punch Early On, PHS Girls’ Hockey Aiming to Be Competitive
GETTING AFTER IT: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Alexa Zammit heads up the ice in a game last season. Junior defenseman and assistant captain Zammit has tallied a goal and an assist so far this season as PHS has gotten off to a 0-2 start, falling 7-4 to Pingry in its opener on December 13 and then losing 9-3 to Princeton Day School a day later. The Little Tigers play at Mater Dei on December 22 before going on holiday break. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Although his Princeton High girls’ hockey team lost its first two games this winter, Christian Herzog has seen some encouraging signs.
“We are scoring some goals,” said PHS head coach Herzog, whose team fell 7-4 to Pingry in its opener on December 13 and then lost 9-3 to Princeton Day School a day later.
“We are putting a few points up compared to a few years ago; it was like the fourth game until we got our first goal. We have some newer, younger talent that we can work with over time.”
The Little Tigers are getting good work at forward from senior captain and star Maggie Herring and freshman standout Victoria Zammit.
“Maggie is going to have a good senior year,” said Herzog of Herring, who has tallied two goals and an assist so far this season. “Victoria is leading the team in scoring (four goals). She is putting the points up so far, she is making an impact. I have her on a different line than Maggie.”
Herzog is looking for a pair of sophomores, Catherine Liu and Grace Reardon, to make an impact offensively this winter.
“Catherine Liu is playing pretty good on the line with Maggie; she is in the right spot, she has pretty decent hands,” said Herzog, whose corps of forwards also includes senior Ashley Dart, sophomore Angelique Bencivenga, junior Ella Nadeau, senior Ella Quainton, junior Sydney Rubin, junior Anna Schmult, sophomore Adriana Todorova, junior Valeria Torres-Olivares, and freshman Ellen Whiteside.
“Grace Reardon coming back as a sophomore; she knows her positioning and also has decent hands.”
The PHS defense is spearheaded by the trio of junior assistant captain Alexa Zammit along with junior newcomer Orsolya Stipsicz and sophomore assistant captain Olivia Corrodi.
“I have Alexa Zammit returning, she is the main defenseman and she is looking good,” said Herzog.
“Orsolya is from Hungary; she played on a national champion team in floorball there. She showed up and she skates pretty well backwards. She doesn’t know the game in and out but definitely has something to build from. She is going to be good. Olivia Corrodi is an assistant captain; I put her on defense.”
Freshman Ella Chauder has stepped in at goalie, making 15 saves against Pingry and 19 stops in the PDS game. “She plays on a club team; she mentioned that she had some experience at goalie,” said Herzog.
“She is already starting to work butterfly and stuff so she is making progress. She is a freshman so I have time with her.”
The PHS players are having a good time so far this winter. “I am happy with the leadership, particularly Maggie and Alexa speaking up in the locker room and on the bench,” said Herzog.
“Olivia does her thing on the ice; she lets the other two do the speaking. It is not cliquey at all.”
With the Little Tigers playing at Mater Dei on December 22 before going on holiday break, Herzog is optimistic heading into 2017.
“I am hopeful for the future,” said Herzog. “We have a limited amount of practices and I think we are gelling. There is good camaraderie. I am looking forward to rest of the season.”