Huff Comes Through in the Clutch with OT Goal As PDS Field Hockey Edges Stuart 1-0 for 1st Win
OVERDRIVE: Princeton Day School field hockey player Jadyn Huff, right, dribbles the ball in recent action. Last Friday, senior star Huff scored the winning goal as PDS edged Stuart Country Day 1-0 in overtime. The Panthers, who improved to 1-3 with the victory, host the Hun School on September 22 and Pennington on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Jadyn Huff knew her assignment for the Princeton Day School field hockey team and she finished it with aplomb.
With PDS locked in a scoreless deadlock in overtime against Stuart Country Day School last Friday, the Panthers earned a penalty corner when Tessa Caputo was fouled on the way to goal.
After a shot went wide, the Panthers got another corner and the play was designed to go to senior star midfielder Huff at the top of the circle. Kelly Christie inserted the ball to Huff and she blasted it into the back of the cage to give the Panthers a 1-0 win.
“I remember what the coach said and kept my head down because on the last corner, I had my chest up and the ball went right over,” said Huff.
“I kept my head down and trusted my abilities and it went right in.”
Four-year starter and team co-captain Huff likes being under the gun in crunch time.
“I feel like the pressure sometimes allows me to execute the way the coach wants me to,” said Huff.
With PDS having started the season with three straight losses, Huff is hoping that the dramatic victory over Stuart will be a turning point.
“We started out hard; we had a lot of tough games in the beginning so we used this game as an opportunity to set us forward,” said Huff.
“We needed this. I feel like it is going to set us up for success later down the line.”
Despite some frustrating losses, the Panthers were not fazed by the 0-3 start.
“I felt like we were getting better each quarter, each game,” said Huff. “Today, everything came together how we planned.”
The Panther defense came together against Stuart as it stymied Tartan senior star Lily Harlan.
“It was trusting your players to do what they have to do, getting the ball up and staying low,” said Huff.
“We just had to cross over all of the passing lanes so that everyone, not just Lily, wasn’t able to get the ball. We weren’t just focused on one person, it was the entire team that we were worried about.”
For Huff, being a team captain has been a great experience. “It is a privilege, I enjoy it,” said Huff. “I love all of these girls, they are like sisters to me. We have lots of laughs, we have lots of jokes. It is really fun.”
PDS head coach Heather Farlow feels privileged to have had Huff join the program four years ago.
“To have have somebody like that who change the complexion of the game is wonderful,”said Farlow. “I am so happy that she decided to come to PDS.”
Farlow is hoping that the win over Stuart will change the complexion of the season for the Panthers.
“We have some young girls who have never played varsity before so it is just getting them that experience,” said Farlow, whose team hosts the Hun School on September 22 and Pennington on September 27.
“We played some really tough schools, we have had a very front-loaded tough schedule. I feel like we really, really worked hard and I was hoping that they get a victory just to build that confidence.”
Getting a hard-earned victory over a scrappy Stuart squad is a confidence builder.
“It is a good rivalry, they played well,” said Farlow. “I have nothing but respect for Missy [Bruvik] and her coaching staff. They do such a nice job. She has like 16 girls and they are always tough.”
In Huff’s view, PDS can produce a nice season if it maintains the intensity it displayed against Stuart.
“We just need to take this energy into the next game and don’t stop here,” said Huff.
“We all know was it feels like to lose and we are only going up from here.”