October 12, 2022

Senior Defender Gilmore Making Noise on Backline As PHS Girls’ Soccer Looks Forward to Postseason

DOUBLE COVERAGE: Princeton High girls’ soccer players Rowan Gilmore, left, and Alysse Kiesewetter mark a Trenton High foe in a game earlier this season. PHS, which fell 2-1 to Robbinsville last Saturday to move to 8-3-2, starts play in the Mercer County Tournament this week. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Rowan Gilmore has been making some noise this fall along the back line for the Princeton High girls’ soccer team.

“I am definitely trying to be very vocal on the field, yelling a lot and communicating,” said PHS senior defender and co-captain Gilmore. “If people don’t know where they are supposed to be, I am letting them know. Encouragement is such a big thing and just letting everyone know that they are doing well.”

Last Saturday as PHS hosted Robbinsville, Gilmore got some encouragement from her teammates as the program held its annual Senior Day.

“It is definitely a very emotional day,” said Gilmore. “It is always a lot of fun getting to see how the juniors and everyone decorates for us. It is awesome. It is very emotional but a lot of fun too.”

There were some sad emotions Saturday for the Tigers as they fell 2-1 to Robbinsville. PHS yielded a goal with 17:20 left in the first half and held the Ravens scoreless for the next 51 minutes. Robbinsville found the back of the net with 5:40 left in regulation but PHS kept battling and Alysse Kiesewetter buried a penalty kick with 2:54 remaining to make a 2-1 game.

“We were hoping for a different outcome but I think we really worked hard and we did what we could,” said Gilmore, reflecting on the setback. “We really wanted to win, especially on Senior Day. We worked as a team and we put it all out on the field.”

The Tiger defense worked hard as it held the fort against an aggressive Robbinsville attack which controlled possession for much of the contest.

“It is difficult, especially when it is in our half a lot,” said Gilmore. “There is not a lot of rest there, it is all about communication. I think we have a great bond, especially our back four that works really well in the field.”

Serving as a team captain this fall along with fellow senior Lucia Salvato and junior Kiesewetter has been a great experience for Gilmore.

“It has been a lot of fun,” said Gilmore. “I love working together with my other captains and getting to be a leader of this team. These girls are so much fun; they are so nice.”

With PHS heading into the Mercer County Tournament this week, the team’s veterans are drawing confidence from the squad’s historic postseason run last fall which saw it advance to the MCT semis and then win the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional on the way to making the Group 3 state championship game for the first time in program history.

“I think it does help a lot, we have the experience of playing tougher teams,” said Gilmore. “We have that under our belt but at the same time it is hard to keep up with that success from last year.”

In Gilmore’s view, the key to a deep postseason run for the Tigers is to stick together through adversity.

“We have had a lot of injuries this season so it is making up for those injuries that we have,” said Gilmore. “That team chemistry again is just so important for getting up the field and getting those goals.”