September 21, 2022

Stuart Field Hockey Falls in OT to PDS But Encouraged by Promising 3-1 Start

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Mia Zebrauskas, right, controls the ball last Friday as Stuart hosted Princeton Day School. Senior Zebrauskas helped key a strong defensive effort for Stuart as it fell 1-0 in overtime to PDS. The Tartans, now 3-1, play at the Baldwin School (Pa.) on September 21 before hosting Delaware Valley in September 24 and South Hunterdon on September 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jumping out to a 3-0 start this season, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey realized it faced a stern test when it hosted Great Road rival Princeton Day School last Friday afternoon.

“We knew it would be a tough one, we knew it would be a game,” said Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, noting that even though PDS brought a 0-3 record into the contest meant nothing.

“We said this game is going to be about who capitalizes on those opportunities. We are getting our sticks on the ball and we want to keep the momentum going with it.”

Displaying the intensity that characterizes this matchup on an annual basis, the local foes fought to a scoreless draw through regulation. In overtime, it was PDS that capitalized as Jadyn Huff found the back of the cage to give the Panthers a 1-0 victory.

While disappointed with the result, Bruvik believes that getting the first taste of OT, where the teams are reduced to six field players from 10, will benefit Stuart in the long run

“This is our first overtime and it takes experience,” said Bruvik.

“It is who are you going to put out there; everybody had a good game but you have to figure it out and that is good. We will work on that, hopefully it will pay off for us.”

Bruvik likes the work she is getting from her players so far this season.

“I am happy about the way they are starting to jell, I thought today was a very good team effort,” said Bruvik, whose squad generated a number of penalty corners and had an apparent third quarter goal waved off by an official’s call disputed by the Tartan coaches.

“We lost the game but we worked the ball better out of the backfield. We are not usually a long ball team, sending a big attacker but that is something to think about with this team. It is can we do that, it just depends on what you have.”

The Tartan defense stood tall against PDS with sophomore goalie Emily Harlan making seven saves.

“Emily, she made some great saves, but also credit our defense for getting the ball off of her pads and out of the circle,” said Bruvik.

“I thought that was really important, that we were able to get the rebounds and then send it wide.”

With Stuart playing at the Baldwin School (Pa.) on September 21 before hosting Delaware Valley in September 24 and South Hunterdon on September 26, Bruvik is confident that her squad can keep getting better and better.

“We feel that there are still some things we can work on,” said Bruvik.

“I would like to see more communication and more cashing in on opportunities. There was great effort and perseverance by both teams today. We will keep working, it is early.”