September 22, 2021

Displaying Competitive Fire, Offensive Skill, Hun Girls’ Soccer Rallies for 2-2 Draw with PDS

MAKING HAY: Hun School girls’ soccer player Riley Hayes goes after the ball against Princeton Day School last Wednesday. Hayes scored a late goal in the contest as Hun rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to pull out a 2-2 tie. On Saturday, junior midfielder Hayes tallied three goals to help the Raiders defeat Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) and improve to 2-1-1. Hun plays at the George School (Pa.) on September 22 before hosting WW/P-South on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School girls’ soccer team trailing Princeton Day School 2-0 at halftime last Wednesday, it had reason to be discouraged.

After all, Hun fell 6-1 and 6-0 to PDS in two meetings last fall in an abbreviated season which saw the Raiders go 0-4-1.

But Hun head coach Jenn Barrett urged her players to keep pressing forward as she spoke to them at halftime.

“We came out a little tentative and we told them how much they should believe in each other, play with confidence, play our game, pass around, and don’t panic,” said Barrett.

“The 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer. I said the next goal is going to determine this game and we are going to get it.”

Taking Barrett’s message to heart, Hun tallied a pair of unanswered goals to pull out a 2-2 draw in the clash of local rivals.

Five minutes into the second half, the Raiders got their first goal when Mackenzie Turner converted a sweet feed from Tessa Falcone.

“It was all hard work and grit with the fight from Mackenzie and the fight from Olivia,” said Barrett.

With just over 11 minutes remaining in regulation, Hun knotted the contest on a beautiful curling free kick by junior midfielder Riley Hayes that flew over the PDS goalie into the back of the net.

“Riley played great, she had a lot of marking responsibilities and she controlled the center of the field the last 20 minutes,” said Barrett of Hayes who tallied three goals last Saturday the Raiders defeated Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in improving to 2-1-1.

“She is extremely competitive. She was not gassed, she is the person who wants the ball in those moments. She has that competitive greatness.”

A trio of defenders, senior Kiki Maurer, junior Tooni Olaleye, and junior Tatum D’Apolito displayed some competitive fire along the back line.

“I was super happy with Kiki in the back; she is not a defender, she is an outside mid and she is an athlete,” said Barrett.

“She will do anything for her team, no questions asked. Tooni was amazing, she is also not a defender. She plays up top naturally but she will do anything she can to help us. She had a cramp and within two minutes, she said put me back in. Tatum was super impressive, she is new this year, she is a junior transfer from Hopewell. She played outside back.”

With Hun playing at the George School (Pa.) on September 22 before hosting WW/P-South on September 25, Barrett hopes her players can bottle the brand of soccer they played in the second half against PDS.

“It is believing in themselves and believing in each other because as soon as we got that confidence, we were passing around them and they didn’t know what to do,” said Barrett.

“PDS is always a great team to play, we knew they had some good players. We have just really come together; it is a new team this year.”