March 29, 2017

PDS Girls’ Lax Rallies for Win in Opener, Displaying Its Firepower, Fighting Spirit

OFF AND RUNNING: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Morgan Mills sprints up the field in 2016 action. Senior star and co-captain Mills figures to be a top offensive threat for PDS this spring as it goes after a third straight state Prep B title. The Princeton University-bound Mills tallied two goals and two assists as the Panthers opened their season with a 13-12 win over Oak Hall (Fla.) last Friday. PDS will look to keep on the winning track as it hosts Princeton High on March 30 and Hun on April 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Jill Thomas is hoping the way that her Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team played in its season opener last week is a harbinger of things to come this spring.

Facing Oak Hall (Fla.) in Florida last Friday, PDS overcame a late deficit to pull out a dramatic 13-12 win.

“To be able to get that is huge; it is a solid start; they were 8-2,” said Thomas, who guided PDS to a 13-5 record in 2016 and its second straight state Prep B title.

“We were down 7-3 at halftime and we fought back to be down 12-10 with 1:54 to go. We scored the first one with 1:32 left to make it 12-11 and scored the next two and just kept winning the draw. In that last two minutes, everyone in the place was on their feet.”

Thomas believes that senior co-captains Morgan Mills and Abby Atkeson are setting a winning tone for the Panthers.

“We have great leadership; Morgan and Abby are our only two seniors and four-year starters so that’s huge for us to have them,” said Thomas.

“We lost two seniors last year and we have two this year. They have stepped right into the whole thing and that’s pretty good. Mills is committed to Princeton and is a great leader and one of the hardest workers I know. You have got Abby leading the defense and Mills in the middle and on attack.”

The PDS attack was clicking on all cylinders in the come-from-behind victory over Oak Hall.

“We have a really balanced team, we had four girls with multiple goals,” said Thomas, who got six goals and two assists from Madison Mundenar in the win with Kyra Hall adding two goals and three assists, Kate Bennett chipping in two goals and an assist, and Mills contributing two goals and two assists.

“Madison is playing a little bit of everything, you can put her wherever you want, midfield or attack. Twelve of the 13 goals were assisted.”

PDS is putting a number of superb athletes on the field at the defensive end.

“We have Emma Dries, Val Radvany, Elena Schomburg, and Elizabeth Brennan on defense,” said Thomas.

“Maggie Madani made 14 saves in goal. She came through the junior program. She worked so hard to get that starting spot and she has earned every bit of it.”

In order to enjoy another championship season, the PDS players need to maintain a strong work ethic.

“We have to keep doing the little things and finding ways to do things a little bit better and keep levelheaded about everything,” said Thomas, whose team will look to keep on the winning track as it hosts Princeton High on March 30 and Hun on April 3.

“Once you are there, everyone is after you. We know we have to keep working harder. We have done some different things this year; it is going to be exciting to watch.”