Despite Having to Deal with Ongoing COVID Concerns, PU, High School Athletes Still Provided Highlights in 2021
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton University women’s soccer goalie Grace Barbara whips the ball upfield in a game this fall. Senior star and former Princeton Day School standout Barbara helped Princeton go 15-3-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy League as the Tigers advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
After the Ivy League canceled competition for the 2020 fall season and the 2020-21 winter campaign due to COVID-19 concerns, Princeton University athletes got some limited opportunities to get back in action this spring.
Princeton rowers were thrilled to get the chance to row in a regatta against boats from Temple and Drexel in Philadelphia on April 25, their first racing since spring of 2019 and the first competition for Tiger athletics in 407 days. The women’s lightweight varsity 8 went on to make history, winning the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) grand final, its first national title since 2003. On the track, star thrower Obi Amaechi punctuated her stellar career by finishing 13th in the discus in the NCAA championships, earning second-team All-American honors.
It was full speed ahead in the fall for Princeton athletes and several teams produced memorable campaigns. Tiger football went 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to share the league crown with Dartmouth. Overcoming a shaky start, men’s soccer caught fire down the stretch, going 7-0 in Ivy play to win the league crown. Led by Australian Olympian steeplechaser Ed Trippas, men’s cross country won the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and went on to place first at the NCCA Mid-Atlantic regional. Men’s water polo won the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) tournament and topped Fordham 17-8 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Although women’s soccer didn’t win the Ivy title, it went 15-3-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Princeton posted a 2-0 win over visiting Vermont in the first round of the NCAAs before falling 3-2 in overtime to TCU in the round of 32.
While local high school teams did have a winter season, it was abbreviated and split into segments by sport. That limited campaign, though, didn’t prevent some highlight moments. Princeton High senior Chloe Ayres made history, earning her third straight state title, prevailing at 114 pounds at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) girls’ state wrestling championships.
Both the PHS boys’ and girls’ swimming teams went 12-0, competing in a virtual meet format. The Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team also went undefeated, going 5-0-1 while the Panther boys’ hockey team nearly matched that feat, posting a 4-1-1 record. The Hun School boys’ basketball team made the most out of its shortened season, going 8-2.
There was an increased sense of normalcy when the spring rolled around as postseason play resumed. The Hun baseball team rolled to a 19-2 record, winning its fifth straight state Prep A title in the process. The PHS boys’ tennis team also produced a dominant campaign, going 17-1 and winning both the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional and the CVC conference titles. Making coach Sheryl Severance’s 28th and final season coaching the boys’ golf program one to remember, Princeton High had a 15-0 record in dual match play, winning the first-ever CVC Match Play Tournament and taking second in the Central/South Jersey sectional. The Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team placed third in the state Prep B tournament, earning two individual titles as Aaron Phogat and Oliver Silverio won the first doubles flight while the pair of Will Sedgley and Mark Santamaria prevailed at second doubles.
In the fall season, a number of programs made history. Bouncing back from a 0-4-1 season in 2020, the Hun School girls’ soccer team posted a 12-5-2 record, edging Pennington 4-3 in overtime in a thrilling state Prep A final and also winning the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title. The Hun football team was a juggernaut, going 9-0 and outscoring foes 374-63 this fall. With Princeton Day School joining the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), two Panther teams earned the initial sectional titles in school history as the girls’ tennis team won the South Jersey Non-Public A championship and boys’ soccer prevailed in the South Jersey Non-Public B sectional.
Led by high-scoring striker Sophia Lis, the Princeton High girls’ soccer team produced a season for the ages, going 21-3, winning the CVC title, the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional championship, and making the program’s first-ever trip to the state Group 3 final along the way. The PHS girls’ tennis team added to its championship tradition, winning the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional crown. The Tiger cross country teams also excelled as the girls’ squad placed first at the Mercer County championship meet while the boys’ team prevailed at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet.
SHINING LIGHTS: Members of the Princeton University women’s lightweight varsity 8 celebrate after they placed first in the intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship grand final on Mercer Lake in June. It marked the first national program for the title since 2003. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
PU – Spring
With no Princeton University teams seeing action since March 2020 when the sports world was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ivy League canceling competition for the fall and winter of the 2020-21 school year, there was finally some limited action in the spring.
Having started training outside socially distanced on ergometers in the wintry conditions, Princeton rowers headed down to Philadelphia to compete against boats from Temple and Drexel on April 25
“I think when we loaded the trailer with our boats, they thought ‘hey this is going to happen,’” said Princeton women’s open crew head coach Lori Dauphiny, reflecting on the first Princeton Athletics event in 407 days which also saw the men’s heavyweights, men’s lightweights, and women’s lightweights racing on the Schuylkill River.
“There was a lot of excitement. When they were there you could really see it, especially after the racing. It was just so fun, they were jumping, laughing, singing, and dancing. It is a rare occurrence; they are usually so stressed with their schoolwork, and they still are. It was a release of energy.”
Dauphiny’s varsity 8 took first that day and posted a 3-1 record in regular season competition. The top boat ended the spring by taking 10th in the NCAA Championships in Sarasota, Fla., the crew’s fifth straight top 10 finish at the regatta.
The women’s lightweight varsity 8 made history, winning the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) grand final, earning its first national title since 2003. Coach Paul Rassam’s top boat cruised to the crown, beating Wisconsin by 26.3 seconds in the two-boat final held at Mercer Lake.
Ending the spring on a high note, men’s heavyweight rowing had two boats place in the top 8 at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta at Mercer Lake. Coach Greg Hughes’ second varsity 8 placed sixth in the grand final while the varsity 8 took second in the petite final to end up eighth overall. It marked the 11th consecutive IRA with a top 10 finish for the 2V8 and the 10th straight top 10 finish for the top boat.
Coming up big at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship regatta, the men’s lightweight rowing program earned two medals at the competition. Coach Marty Crotty’s second varsity 8 took the silver in the grand final while the varsity 8 captured bronze. Its third straight medal for the V8 and the fourth in the last five IRAs.
MACK IS BACK: Former Princeton University track star John Mack ’00, returned to his alma mater in late August, getting introduced as Princeton’s Ford Family Director of Athletics. Mack, a winner of the Roper Award as the top male senior student-athlete to cap a stellar track career, succeeded Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91 who announced in May she would be stepping down to take over as commissioner of the LPGA. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
Men’s track competed in its first outdoor meet since the 2018-19 season when it hosted its Princeton Invitational on April 25. Coach Fred Samara’s squad posted three program all-time top-10 marks by freshmen in the meet to show good potential for the future. Sophomore Ibrahim Ayorinde competed in the 200 meters at the NCAA East Regional to provide another highlight of the spring.
Senior star thrower Obi Amaechi punctuated her stellar career for women’s track by competing in the discus in the NCAA championships for a third time. Amaechi finished 13th with a best throw of 54.83 meters to earn second-team All-American honors. In addition to Amaechi’s heroics, coach Michelle Eisenreich’s squad sent two other athletes to the NCAA regionals as Tia Rozario made it in the triple jump and Kate Joyce competed in the javelin.
Returning to the diamond for the first time in 14 months, the softball team fell 3-2 to Villanova on April 29. Coach Lisa Van Ackeren’s squad ended up going 1-2, ending the spring on a high note by rallying to edge Drexel 2-1 in its finale on May 4.
While the rowers, track athletes, and softball players were glad to get some taste of competition, baseball, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and women’s water polo didn’t see any game action in 2021 and will have to wait until 2022 to resume play.
GOLD STANDARD: Star goalie Ashleigh Johnson gets ready to send the ball up the pool during her career with the Princeton University women’s water polo team. Johnson ’17 helped the U.S. women’s national team win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in August, making 11 saves as the U.S. defeated Spain 14-5 in the final. It was the third straight gold for the U.S. and the second for Johnson, who helped the squad prevail at the 2016 Rio Olympics. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
PU – At the Olympics
More than 20 athletes with Princeton ties competed at the Tokyo Olympics last August and once again women’s water polo player Ashleigh Johnson ’17 provided a major highlight. Star goalie Johnson helped the U.S. women’s national team win the gold medal, making 11 saves as the U.S. defeated Spain 14-5 in the final. It was the third straight gold for the U.S. and the second for Johnson, who helped the squad prevail at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Fred Vystavel became the first Princeton University athlete to earn a medal at the Tokyo Olympics as he combined with Joachim Sutton to earn bronze in the men’s pair for Denmark on July 28.
Vystavel ’16 and Sutton clocked a time of 6:19.88 over the 2,000-meter course at the Sea Forest Waterway in taking third with Croatia earning gold in 6:15.29 and Romania getting the silver at 6:16.58.
Former Tiger men’s heavyweight rowing star Tom George ’18 collected a bronze medal for Great Britain in the men’s 8.
George and Great Britain clocked a time of 5:25.73 in taking third with New Zealand posting a winning time of 5:24.64 in earning gold, with Germany coming in second at 5:25.60.
The final featured two other former Princeton crew stars as Nick Mead ’17 rowed for the U.S. boat which placed fourth and Tim Masters ’15 competed for sixth-place finisher Australia.
Princeton women’s rowing legend Gevvie Stone ’07 fell just short of earning a medal as she and Kristi Wagner finished fifth in the double sculls final. Stone, who earned a silver medal in single sculls at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will now resume her medical career as a resident in emergency medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.
Recently graduated Tiger women’s open crew standout Hannah Scott ’21 and the Great Britain quadruple sculls team cruised to victory in the B Final, winning by 3.86 seconds to finish seventh overall.
Another Princeton open rowing standout Claire Collins ’19 and the United States four had their best time of the Olympics, posting a 6:33.65 to win the B Final and also finish seventh overall.
On the track, former Tiger women’s star distance runner Lizzie Bird ’17 competed for Great Britain in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Becoming the first British woman to make the Olympic final in the event, Bird, a native of St. Albans Herts, England, finished ninth overall and her time of 9:19.68 broke her previous national record of 9:22.80, set at the Monaco Diamond League Meet on July 12.
Bird’s classmate, throwing star Julia Ratcliffe ’17, representing New Zealand, finished ninth in the hammer throw with a best throw of 72.69 meters. Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland won the gold with a heave of 78.48 with Wang Zheng of China coming in second at 77.03 and Malwina Kopron of Poland placing third in 75.49.
FRONTRUNNER: Princeton University men’s cross country runner Ed Trippas heads to the finish line at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on the West Windsor Fields course in late October. Senior star Trippas, who competed for Australia in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, placed second at the Heps, leading the way as Princeton won the team title for the 22nd time in program history. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)
Current Princeton men’s distance running standout Ed Trippas ’22 competed for Australia in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished 11th in his heat with a time of 8:29.90.
One of his teammates, rising sophomore Sondre Guttormsen, competed in the pole vault representing Norway. Guttormsen recorded a best mark of 5.50 meters to finish 11th in Group A as he didn’t qualify for the final.
A former Princeton standout, Nathan Crumpton ’08, raced in the 100 meters for American Samoa. He clocked a time of 11.27 to take ninth in his heat.
Former Tiger women’s fencing stars Katharine Holmes ’17 and Anna Van Brummen ’17 helped the U.S. women’s épée team finish fifth, bouncing back from a 38-33 quarterfinal loss to fourth-seeded South Korea with a 42-31 win over eighth-seeded Hong Kong, China, in a classification bout and a 33-26 win over second-seeded Poland in the fifth-place bout. Holmes competed in all three bouts and Van Brummen, a replacement athlete, competed in the fifth-place bout.
Holmes also competed in the individual event, holding the 18th seed and falling to 15th-seeded Sera Song of South Korea 15-12 in the round of 32. Holmes was also a Rio 2016 Olympian, competing in the round of 32 individually last time around while helping the U.S. finish fifth as a team.
Eliza Stone ’13 helped the U.S. women’s saber team finish sixth, falling to third-seeded France, 45-30, in the quarterfinals before a 45-35 win over seventh-seeded China in a classification bout and a 45-43 loss to eighth-seeded Japan in the fifth-place bout. In the individual competition, Stone fell 15-9 to Anna Bashta of Azerbaijan in the round of 32.
Rising Tiger junior Mohamed Hamza competed for the Egyptian men’s foil team. Hamza and Egypt finished eighth. In a quarterfinal bout against second-seeded and eventual gold medalist France, the seventh-seeded Egyptians fell 45-34, sending Egypt to a classification bout against Italy that the Italians won 45-30. In the seventh-place bout, Egypt met fifth-seeded Hong Kong, China, falling 45-21. Hamza was competing in his second Olympics after taking part in the team competition in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where Egypt finished seventh.
IN HIS GRASP: Princeton University football star Jeremiah Tyler corrals a foe this fall. Senior linebacker Tyler led the defensive charge as Princeton went 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy League to share the 2021 league crown with Dartmouth. Tyler, for his part, was named as the Bushnell Cup winner for the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named a second-team Stats Perform FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) All-American. He got a team-high 58 tackles this fall, adding seven for a loss, along with two sacks, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and six pass breakups. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
PU – Fall
Kicking off the fall season on August 27, the women’s soccer team defeated Loyola 2-1 at Class of 1952 Stadium in its first game in 656 days. That victory turned out to be a harbinger of things to come for coach Sean Driscoll’s squad as it produced a memorable season. The Tigers went 15-3-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy League, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Princeton posted a 2-0 win over visiting Vermont in the first round of the NCAAs before falling 3-2 in overtime to TCU in the round of 32. Former Princeton Day School standout and senior goalie Grace Barbara earned first-team All-Ivy honors along with defenders Madison Curry and Lucy Rickerson.
Catching fire after a 4-5 start, men’s soccer roared down the stretch, going 7-0 in Ivy League play to win the program’s 10th league crown. Coach Jim Barlow guided the Tigers to a 12-6 record, earning his 200th career win in the process. Princeton fell 1-0 at St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Senior forward Keven O’Toole was named the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career and earned first-team All-Ivy honors along with defender Lucas Gen. O’Toole was also named a third-team All-American.
Fueled by a group of 17 “super seniors,” players who didn’t enroll in school for the 2020-21 school year so they could have one final season at Princeton, the football team produced another championship campaign. Coach Bob Surace guided his squad to a 9-1 overall record and 6-1 Ivy as it tied Dartmouth for the 2021 league crown. It marked the fourth Ivy title in eight seasons for the Tigers. The most dramatic win of the fall came when Princeton defeated Harvard 18-15 in five overtimes on October 23.
Star linebacker Jeremiah Tyler, one of the super seniors, led the defensive charge for Princeton, getting named as the Bushnell Cup winner for the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Other Tigers who earned first-team All-Ivy honors in addition to Tyler included senior offensive lineman Henry Byrd, senior offensive lineman Reily Radosevich, senior running back Collin Eaddy, senior receiver Jacob Birmelin, senior tight end Carson Bobo, senior defensive lineman Samuel Wright II, senior linebacker James Johnson, senior defensive back Trevor Forbes, and junior punter Will Powers.
With no seniors on its roster, field hockey still produced a stellar campaign, going 10-7 overall and 6-1 Ivy League. Coach Carla Tagliente’s squad just missed out on an Ivy title and another trip to the NCAA tournament by falling 2-1 to Harvard in a game decided by penalty strokes after the rivals tied at 1-1 through regulation and overtime. With such young stars as freshmen Beth Yeager, who earned first-team All-American honors and was named the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year and the national freshman of the year by Bolster Field Hockey, the future looks bright for the Tigers.
Senior Ed Trippas, who competed in the steeplechase for Australia at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, helped men’s cross country enjoy a big fall. Trippas placed second at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships as coach Jason Vigilante’s squad won the team championship, the 22nd league crown in program history. The Tigers went on to win the NCCA Mid-Atlantic regional and take 23rd at the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Fiona Max set the pace for women’s cross country in her first college campaign. Max finished second at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships as coach Brad Hunt’s squad took second in the team standings. Max placed sixth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and then took 84th at the NCAA championship meet.
Led by junior stars Elena Montgomery and Avery Luoma, women’s volleyball produced a solid season. Coach Sabrina King’s squad went 16-6 overall and 10-4 Ivy League.
The last team playing in the fall was men’s water polo, which topped St. Francis-Brooklyn Terriers 9-6 in the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) championship game on November 21. Six days later, the 10th-ranked Tigers defeated Fordham 17-8 in the first round of the NCAA tournament and then lost 12-6 to UCLA in the national quarters on December 2. Coach Dustin Litvak’s squad ended the year with a 26-8 record. The Tigers’ 26 victories and 430 goals were program records while earning the program’s sixth conference title.
BIG APPLE: Hun School baseball star Carson Applegate takes a swing in a game last spring. Junior shortstop/pitcher Applegate starred at the plate and on the mound as Hun went 19-2, winning its fifth straight Prep A title in the process. Applegate batted .561 with two homers, 16 RBIs, and had 75 strikeouts in 41 innings on the mound, yielding just 12 hits and one earned run. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Making the most of a schedule abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns, the Hun School boys’ basketball team went 8-2. Coach Jon Stone’s squad was led by versatile swing man Kelvin Smith and the backcourt of Jack Scott and Dan Vessey.
A trio of seniors — Kennedy Jardine, Izzy Lalo, and Kennedy Wilburn — starred for girls’ basketball. Coach Bill Holup’s squad went 5-3, ending the winter on a four-game winning streak. A major highlight of the season came when Jardine hit the 1,000-point mark in her career.
It was a lost winter for hockey as the squad only got to play three games due to COVID-19 issues, losing each contest. Coach Ian McNally was particularly disappointed by the truncated campaign as the team was primed for a big season, featuring seven seniors and some talented newcomers.
Bringing a coaching background that features extensive college and pro coaching experience, Jim Stagnitta took the helm of the boys’ lax program. It proved to be a rebuilding year for the Raiders as Hun went 4-5, sparked by the play of post-graduate midfield Randall Brown.
Sophomore transfer Abby O’Brien made an immediate impact for girls’ lacrosse, leading the Raiders with 83 points on 70 goals and 13 assists. First-year coach Kathleen Jaeger led the squad to a 7-10 record and a spot in the state Prep A semifinals.
Featuring a mix of superb pitching and a powerful batting attack, baseball produced a dominant campaign. Coach Tom Monfiletto’s squad went 19-2, winning its fifth straight Prep A title in the process. Junior star Carson Applegate emerged as one of the top players in the area, batting .561 with two homers, 16 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases and starring on the mound with 75 strikeouts in 41 innings, yielding just 12 hits and one earned run.
Led by a pitching rotation of two freshman, Lexi Kobryn and Jamie Staub, softball enjoyed a nice spring. Coach Kathy Quirk’s team went 9-4 and advanced to the state Prep A semis.
Producing a remarkable reversal of fortune, girls’ soccer bounced back from a 0-4-1 campaign in 2020 to go 12-5-2 and edge Pennington 4-3 in overtime in a thrilling state Prep A final. Coach Jenn Barrett’s team earned the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title along the way. Junior midfielder Riley Hayes triggered the Raider offense while senior defenders Kiki Mauer and Tooni Olaleye spearheaded the backline along with sophomore goalie Zoey Palmer.
An opening day 31-14 win over the Brunswick School (Conn.) set the tone for the fall as football rolled to a 9-0 record. Coach Todd Smith’s team was led by quarterback Marco Lainez III, who passed for 1,761 yards and 21 touchdowns and also rushed for a team-high 451 yards. The closest game all fall for the Raiders was a 21-7 win over Suffield Academy on October 9 as they outscored foes 374-63 this fall.
Led by a group of battle-tested seniors, boys’ soccer enjoyed a superb campaign. Coach Pat Quirk’s squad went 10-7 and earned a share of the MAPL title. Three of those seniors — Ayden Isbirian, A.J. Torres, and John Balian — provided the leadership that helped spark the championship campaign.
Fueled by a big senior season from Ashley Jones and a stingy defense, field hockey made progress, going 8-8-1. Coach Tracey Arndt’s squad advanced to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals.
Eric Tully emerged as a star for boys’ cross country, taking 11th at the Mercer County championship meet and then finishing first at the state Prep A meet. Coach Kurt Wayton’s squad finished sixth in the team standings at the county meet and fourth overall at the Prep A competition.
Amanda Francis made a run to the first singles final at the Mercer County Tournament to provide a highlight for girls’ tennis. Hun first-year head coach Paul Ricciardi guided Hun to a third-place finish in the team standings at the MCT.
HAIL STORM: Hailey Wexler heads up the ice last winter for the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team. Senior star Wexler helped PDS go 5-0-1 in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns. In the spring, Wexler starred at goalie for the Panther girls’ lax team as it went 8-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Featuring a tough defense, boys’ hockey posted a 4-1-1 record in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns. Coach Scott Bertoli’s team yielded 1.33 goals a game, led by junior goalie Tim Miller and freshmen defensemen Han Shin and Connor Stratton.
Making the most out of a shortened campaign, girls’ hockey went 5-0-1. The Wexler twins, Hailey and Jillian, starred for coach John Ritchie with Hailey sparking the offense and Jillian coming up big at goalie.
Boasting a resume with extensive coaching and pro experience, Eugene Burroughs took the helm of boys’ basketball. Burroughs guided the Panthers to a 7-3 record as senior stars Ethan Garita and Dameon Samuels led the way.
The girls’ basketball program also welcomed a new head coach in Seraphine Hamilton, who played both hoops and soccer at Hobart and previously guided other prep programs. With a roster stocked by young players, the Panthers went 1-6 and showed potential for the future.
Overcoming a 2-6 start, boys’ lacrosse saved its best for last as it went 6-1 over the rest of the spring. Coach Joe Moore’s squad advanced to the state Prep B title game as a group of 10 seniors kept the team on track despite the early struggles. Senior Drew McConaughy helped trigger the offense while classmate Gibson Linnehan starred all over the field and fellow senior Eric Gellasch excelled in goal. With a trio of promising freshmen in Sebastian Rzeczycki, Charlie Hogshire, and Logan Herman showing potential, the future looks bright for the program
Bolstered by a strong attack unit featuring Ali Surace, Tessa Caputo, Paige Gardner, and Sophie Jaffe, among others, girls’ lacrosse produced a winning campaign. Coach Jill Thomas guided her squad to an 8-7 record.
Led by a pair of freshman stars, Adriana Salzano and Colleen Mayer, softball made progress. Coach Angela Parascando’s squad went 5-4.
With coach Jeff Young taking over the baseball program, the youthful squad took its lumps as the Panthers went 2-14-1.
Sparked by some superb play from its doubles teams, PDS boys’ tennis placed third in the state Prep B tournament under new head coach Michael Augsberger. Aaron Phogat and Oliver Silverio won the first doubles title in the Prep B tourney while the pair of Will Sedgley and Mark Santamaria prevailed at second doubles.
Catching fire down the stretch, field hockey produced a superb campaign. Coach Heather Farlow’s squad went on an impressive run to the Mercer County Tournament title game where it lost 5-4 to Lawrence High in an overtime thriller. Senior Ally Antonacci, junior Jadyn Huff, and sophomore Tessa Caputo triggered the offense for the Panthers while senior defender Franny Gallagher and senior goalie Frances Bobbitt led the back line as the team posted a record of 13-6.
GETTING HIS KICKS: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Milan Shah controls the ball in a game earlier this fall. Shah helped fuel a late season run that saw PDS win South Jersey Non-Public B sectional title and go 12-12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Led by an attacking big three of senior Milan Shah, senior William Vasquez, and junior Joaquin Rodriguez, boys’ soccer produced an historic campaign. First-year coach Brian Thomsen’s team was seeded seventh in the South Jersey New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B sectional and proceeded to pull off a string of upsets to win the title, topping fifth-seeded Ranney 3-1 in the final. The Panthers went on to fall 3-1 to Gill St. Bernard’s in the Non-Public B state final, ending the fall with a 12-12 record.
Grace Romano and Adriana Salzano scored 15 and 13 goals, respectively, to help girls’ soccer produce another winning season. First-year head coach Christoper Pettit guided the Panthers to a 9-8-3 record as the squad advanced to the State Prep B semis and the quarterfinals of both the Mercer County Tournament and the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A tourney.
Making history, girls’ tennis won the first NJSIAA sectional title in school history, rolling to the South Jersey Non-Public A championship, topping Trinity Hall 5-0 in the final. Coach Michael Augsberger’s team fell to powerhouse Pingry in the Non-Public A state final and ended the fall with an 8-6 record. The Panthers were led by a trio of singles stars with junior Neha Khandkar at first singles, sophomore Kristina Wang at second, and junior Amy Zhou at third.
Sophomore star Emily McCann had a big season for girls’ cross country. McCann placed eighth individually at the Mercer County championship meet, first at the state Prep B meet, and 12th at the state Non-Public A championships to provide highlights for coach John Woodside in his final season guiding the program. McCann’s heroics helped the Panthers place 11th in the team standings at the county meet, third at the Prep B competition, and 14th at the Non-Public A meet.
Arun Patel set the pace as boys’ cross country took fourth in the team standings at the state Prep B championship meet. Sophomore Patel finished 11th individually for coach John Woodside’s squad.
ALL SMILES: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Megan Rougas, left, and her teammates celebrate a goal in game this fall. PHS piled up a lot of goals in 2021, going 21-3, winning the CVC title, the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional crown, and earning the program’s first-ever trip to the state Group 3 final along the way. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Colm Trainer and John Zammit starred for boys’ hockey in a season limited by COVID-19 concerns. Trainor tallied six goals and five assists while Zammit had four goals and seven assists as the Tigers went 2-3 under new head coach Dave Hansen.
Hampered by COVID-19 issues, girls’ hockey only got to play three games, going 1-2. Coach Christian Herzog’s squad was led by forward Catie Samaan and defenseman Grace Rebak.
A pair of senior stars, point guard Tim Evidente and forward Ethan Guy, formed a potent one-two punch for boys’ hoops. Coach Pat Noone’s team posted a 2-7 record.
With freshman point guard Casey Serxner making an immediate impact, girls’ hoops made a lot of progress. Coach Dave Kosa’s team went 7-3, a major improvement on the 5-20 mark posted in the 2019-20 season.
Despite a roster of just 13, boys’ swimming produced a special season, going 12-0. Coach Carly Misiewicz’s team was led by Owen Tennant, Will Murray, Alex Shaw, Daniel Baytin, and Julian Velazquez.
Led by a core of versatile performers, girls’ swimming produced a dominant campaign as it went 12-0. Coach Carly Misiewicz’s squad rolled through the competition, with its closest meet being a 121-49 win over WW/P-North. The top swimmers for the Tigers included Beatrice Cai, Courtney Weber, Abby Walden, Kyleigh Tangen, Lucy Liu, and Ella Caddeau.
Chloe Ayres ended her historic career for wrestling on a high note, earning her third straight state title, prevailing at 114 pounds at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) girls’ state wrestling championships. Ayres went 26-0 in girls’ competition during her time at PHS. Coach Jess Monzo had another girl make it to states as Ava Rose advanced to the quarterfinals at 107. As for the Tiger boys, Chris Sockler (138), Aaron Munford (152), and James Romaine (160) each advanced to the Central Region championships.
Led by senior star pitcher Tommy Delany and a strong corps of 11 juniors, baseball produced a winning campaign. Coach Dom Capuano’s squad posted an 11-9 record with its biggest highlight being a 6-4 victory over Edison in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, the program’s first state tournament win since the 1980s.
Sophomore catcher Clare Johnson emerged as a star in the field and at the plate for softball in her debut season. Coach Marissa Soprano’s squad took its lumps as it went 2-14.
WILLPOWER: Princeton High boys’ lacrosse player Will Doran races upfield in a game last spring. Junior attacker Doran had a big season for PHS, leading the squad in points (91), goals (51), and assists (40). The Tigers went 9-5 and reached the quarterfinals of the North Jersey Group 3 sectional. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Will Doran enjoyed a big season for boys’ lacrosse, leading the squad in points (91), goals (51), and assists (40). Coach Chip Casto guided the Tigers to a 9-5 record and the quarterfinals of the North Jersey Group 3 sectional.
Triggered by the one-two punch of senior Shoshi Henderson and junior Kate Becker, PHS enjoyed another superb campaign. With Henderson tallying 43 goals and 75 assists and Becker contributing 77 goals and 14 assists, coach Meg Dunleavy’s squad went 9-6 and advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 sectional semis.
Making coach Sheryl Severance’s 28th and final season coaching the boys’ golf program one to remember, PHS had a 15-0 record in dual match play and won the first-ever CVC Match Play Tournament. Senior star Adam MacMillan stepped up in his final season for the Tigers, taking second individually in the Central/South Jersey sectional to help the Tigers finish second in the team standings. PHS went to place 14th overall and fourth in Group 4 at the Tournament of Champions.
Sophomore Madeleine Zang made an immediate impact for girls’ golf, establishing herself as a star with her steady play. Zang helped coach Sheryl Severance’s team win the first-ever CVC Match Play Tournament as it edged WW/P-North in the final.
Boasting a talented singles lineup featuring Jonathan Gu at first singles, Jack Ling at second, and Melvin Huang at third, boys’ tennis rolled through the competition. Coach Sarah Hibbert’s squad went 17-1, winning both the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional and the CVC conference titles in the process.
Th 4×800 relay team provided a highlight for boys’ track. The quartet of John Zammit, Addison Motto, Andrew Kenny, and Collin McCafferty placed first at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet as coach Ben Samara’s team took 14th in the team standings.
Star sprinter Kendall Williamson displayed speed and versatility, helping PHS win the CVC championship meet and place ninth at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet. At the CVC meet, Williamson won the
100 meters and the 200 and placed third in the 400. At the sectional meet, she took second in the 100 meters and fourth in the 200. Coach Ben Samara’s squad also showed strength in the distance events, led by Robin Roth, Charlotte Gilmore, and Lucy Kreipke.
Senior star Sophia Lis produced one of the greatest seasons in program history as girls’ soccer enjoyed an historic campaign under new head coach Dave Kosa. The Lehigh-bound Lis scored 38 goals, the second highest single-season total in CVC history, to help PHS go 21-3, winning the CVC title, the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional championship, and make the program’s first-ever trip to the state Group 3 final along the way. In addition to Lis, Megan Rougas, Casey Serxner, and Holly Howes helped trigger the Tiger attack while defender Annie Kosa, the coach’s daughter, and goalie Moji Ayodele spearheaded a stingy defense.
Richard Wegmann and Nico Carusone displayed a good finishing touch for boys’ soccer with 11 and 9 goals, respectively, while first-time starting senior goalie Carl Birge posted nine shutouts. Coach Wayne Sutcliffe guided his team to a 10-2-5 record as the Tigers advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semis.
With Olivia Weir sparking the offense with 36 goals and Grace Rebak spearheading the defense, field hockey produced another winning campaign. Coach Heather Serverson’s squad went 15-2, advancing to the Mercer County Tournament semis and the quarterfinals of the North Jersey Group 4 quarters.
Senior quarterback Jaxon Petrone and star receivers Jaiden Johnson and Everaldo Servil gave football a potent passing game. Coach Charlie Gallagher’s team utilized that air attack to go 2-7.
Junior Andrew Kenny emerged as a frontrunner for boys’ cross country. With Kenny at the head of the pack, coach James Smirk’s team finished second at the Mercer County championship meet, first in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, and fourth at the state Group 4 state meet. Ending the fall on a high note, PHS took sixth at the Meet of Champions, tied for the program’s third-highest all-time at the prestigious competition.
Led by a top three of Robin Roth, Lucy Kreipke, and Kyleigh Tangen, girls’ cross country placed first at the Mercer County championship meet. Coach James Smirk’s squad went on to take third at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional, sixth at the state Group 4 state meet, and made the Meet of Champions as a wild card entrant, finishing 16th overall at that event.
With the Lependorf sisters, sophomore Eva and senior Bella, starring at singles, girls’ tennis won the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional crown, edging WW/P-North 3-2 in the final. Coach Sarah Hibbert guided her team to a 13-3 overall record, falling to Tenafly in the state Group 3 semis. Eva Lependorf was solid at first singles all fall long while Bella Lependorf ended her PHS career with an excellent campaign at second singles. The first doubles team of seniors of Sophia Kim and Lucia Marckioni proved to be a rock for the team, winning their flight at the Mercer County Tournament for the second time.
Junior transfer Sarah Villamil made an immediate impact for girls’ volleyball, leading the team in kills with 149. Coach Patty Manhart guided the squad to a winning campaign as the Tigers posted a final record of 15-7.
IX FACTOR: Stuart Country Day field hockey player Emily Ix controls the ball in 2021 action. Junior Ix switched to field hockey from tennis this fall and emerged as a star, scoring 13 goals to help Stuart go 11-4-2 and advance to the state Prep B final. In the spring, Ix was the leading scorer for the Tartan lacrosse team with 37 goals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
With a big four of senior stars Laila Fair, Ariel Jenkins, Aleah James, and Nia Melvin leading the way, Stuart basketball battled hard in a season shortened by COVID-19 concerns. Playing a gauntlet of tough foes, the Tartans went 7-6 under coach Justin Leith.
Emily Ix led the offense for lacrosse with 37 goals while senior Catherine Martin contributed 22 goals. Coach Mark Maser’s squad went 1-12, losing several tight games down the stretch as the players made progress.
Sparked by the one-two punch of Lily Harlan and Kaitlyn Magnani and bolstered by the addition of Emily Ix, field hockey added to the program’ winning tradition. Coach Missy Bruvik guided her squad to an 11-4-2 record as it advanced to the state Prep B final and the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals along the way. Junior star Harlan tallied 15 goals and 17 assists while senior Magnani helped spearhead the back line and contributed 10 goals and five assists. Ix switch to field hockey from tennis and ended up with 13 goals and two assists.
Mizan Chennault showed her potential for cross country, taking fifth individually at the state Prep B championship meet. Coach Len Klepack’s runners ended up sixth in the team standings at the meet.