September 14, 2022

Youthful PDS Field Hockey Taking its Lumps, But Has the Potential to Get on Winning Track

SAVING GRACE: Princeton Day School field hockey goalie Molly Hall tracks the ball last Saturday. Sophomore Hall made 21 saves in a losing cause as PDS fell 8-0. In upcoming action, the Panthers, who moved to 0-2 with the loss, play at the Stuart Country Day School on September 16 and at Peddie School on September 20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton Day School field hockey team hosted Hillsborough last Saturday afternoon, Heather Farlow had a lot to say.

With a squad featuring a number of new faces including four freshmen and four sophomores, PDS head coach Farlow imparted a constant stream of tips to her players as the game unfolded.

Among other things, Farlow urged her players to move their feet, put two hands on their stick, look over their shoulder, push up the field, sprint back on defense, and anticipate the play.

Farlow’s instructions were designed to keep the Panthers focused as they fell behind the Raiders 2-0 in the first quarter on the way to a 8-0 setback.

“We are young, it is getting used to the speed of varsity play,” said Farlow, whose squad moved to 0-2 with the defeat. “We are getting better, we need to get used to the stamina and pushing through.”

Sophomore goalie Molly Hall was a bright spot in the defeat, making 21 saves.

“Molly did a lot of training this summer,” said Farlow. “She is working with Gianna Glatz (former Rutgers star goalie) who is coaching part-time with us for the goalies. It was a tough day for her to hang in, I am really proud of her.”

Other players who hung in there for the Panthers on Saturday included junior Katie Zarish-Yasunas, senior Jadyn Huff, junior Lily Ryan, and junior Tessa Caputo.

“Katie did a really nice job for us, she had a couple of defensive saves,” said Farlow. “She had a couple of defensive saves in the other game against Somerville (a 3-2 loss last Thursday) so she has really taken control of the defense. Jadyn had some very good clears. Lily and Tessa also generate offensive opportunities for us.”

Going forward, Farlow is looking for her squad to cash in on those opportunities.

“We just have to put it together more consistently,” said Farlow. “It is just staying connected and not letting big gaps get between the back, midfield, and forward line. As soon as you are not involved in the play, then you have to recover and anticipate.”

With such a young team, getting more games under its belt should make a difference.

“It has got to come from playing and it is going to come from learning by doing well and learning by making mistakes,” said Farlow, whose team plays at the Stuart Country Day School on September 16 and at Peddie School on September 20. “It is just moving forward. We are trying to play those triangles and those passing moves and let the ball do the work.”

Despite the tough start, Farlow believes the Panthers can get on the winning track.

“They have room to grow and they have to push,” said Farlow. “We have relied very heavily on some veteran players for like three or four years and they are gone. We are going to need other people to step up.”