Allen’s Move to Forward Proved Pivotal As PDS Field Hockey Made Prep B Final
ALL IN: Princeton Day School field hockey player Gwen Allen, left, controls the ball as PDS hosted Stuart Country Day School in the state Prep B semifinals last Wednesday. Junior star Allen tallied a goal and an assist to help the second-seeded Panthers top third-seeded Stuart 3-0. PDS fell just short of a second straight Prep B title as it lost 2-1 in overtime to fourth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in the championship game last Monday to end the fall with a 12-6 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As the Princeton Day School field hockey team entered postseason play, Gwen Allen was asked to take a greater role in the offense.
“I was playing right mid and I got pushed to right forward so I am getting more room in the front and a lot more scoring opportunities,” said Allen.
Junior star Allen took advantage of those opportunities against Stuart Country Day School last Thursday in the state Prep B semifinals, tallying a goal and an assist to help the Panthers pull away to a 3-0 victory over the Tartans.
“Our coaches said that this is the best game for them to watch and for us to play,” said Allen.
“This is what we have been working to all season, especially in terms of passing and getting the ball wide. We possessed it most of the game and our passing was awesome. That is what we have been trying to do all season so it was nice to see it pay off.”
Allen’s passing helped PDS jump out to a 1-0 lead over Stuart as she assisted on a tally by Sasha Sindhwani with 16:18 left in the first half.
“We have been stressing coming into the circle from the baseline and going in that way because a lot of times, we get stuck coming down the middle,” said Allen.
“So I did that; I took it in the baseline and Sasha was open. That is what we have been practicing a lot this week.”
Allen tallied the final goal of the contest, scoring off a penalty corner with 11:27 remaining in regulation.
“On our corner, it was going to go to Val [Radvany] and then the middle,” said Allen.
“I was supposed to hit it but I thought I could get closer and lift it in so I did.”
PDS head coach Heather Farlow sensed that Allen could give the Panther offense a lift after being shifted up the field.
“We decided to move her out of that midfield spot, just to allow for us to give her the ball and let her take advantage of her speed and possession inside our offensive third,” said Farlow.
While PDS ended up falling 2-1 in overtime to fourth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in the final last Monday, Allen is proud of the work ethic shown by the Panthers in making a return trip to the title game.
“That is just awesome; last year was the first time we had won it in a while so to be in it two years in a row is really special,” said Allen.
“We have a really close-knit group and we work really hard. This is a hardworking group of girls.”