October 26, 2022

With Junior Star Harrison Making Big Contribution, PDS Field Hockey Makes Both MCT, Prep B Finals

LOGAN’S RUN: Princeton Day School field hockey player Logan Harrison, right, chases after the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, junior Harrison scored the lone goal for fifth-seeded PDS as it fell 2-1 in overtime to second-seeded Lawrenceville in the Mercer County Tournament final. A day later, Harrison helped second-seeded PDS edge third-seeded Pennington 1-0 in the Prep B state semis. The Panthers, who improved to 7-7 with the win, were slated to play at top-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy on October 27 in the Prep B final. In addition, PDS will be starting play in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament next week. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton Day School field hockey team fell 6-1 to Lawrenceville in a regular season game on October 8, Logan Harrison and her PDS teammates were fired up for a rematch with the Big Red in the Mercer County Tournament final last Thursday night.

“We were the underdogs so there was nothing to lose for us,” said Panther junior star Harrison of fifth-seeded PDS which brought a 4-6 record into the MCT, edging fourth-seeded Robbinsville 4-3 in a quarterfinal contest and then stunning undefeated and top-seeded Princeton High 3-2 in the semis on the way to the clash with second-seeded Lawrenceville.   

“They are a really tough opponent. We know how they play and we had to work hard. We just had to figure out their weaknesses and just try to fight against it.”

While PDS yielded a second quarter goal and trailed 1-0 at halftime of the game played at Lawrence High, Harrison and her teammates liked where they were at.

“We have been down a lot in the first quarter and have gotten back a couple of times,” said Harrison. “We are pretty used to that. We just keep our momentum, we are not fazed by that. We know we have three more quarters so whatever we can do to get the ball back.”

Harrison got PDS even as she scored a goal off of a penalty corner at the end of the third quarter.

“I saw someone open on the corner and I was like, ‘if I can get it to them, maybe they can tip it in,’” said Harrison, recalling her tally. “The play was planned to go to Jadyn [Huff], it ended up fumbling and getting to me.”

The Panthers kept pushing forward, generating two penalty corners in the waning moments of regulation.

“We were ready for it, we thought we could win,” said Harrison. “We were so close at the end.”

In the end, Lawrenceville got a goal in overtime to prevail 2-1, ending the upset bid by the Panthers.

“The first part of the OT, we were flying, we were killing it,” said Harrison. “As OT goes on you get tired, there are only seven people on the field and it is a giant field. In OT last year, we lost to Lawrence in the final (5-4) so it is pretty disappointing that we lost again.”

Although the loss was disappointing, Harrison was not surprised that PDS advanced to the final.

“We wanted it; we knew where we were placed and we knew we could get up,” said Harrison. “Just because we had a low seed doesn’t mean we can’t get to the finals.”

A day later, PDS got to another final as the second-seeded Panthers edged third-seeded Pennington 1-0 in the Prep B state semis. PDS, who improved to 7-7 with the win, was slated to play at top-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy on October 27 in the Prep B final.

“We have got a momentum, we know we can play,” said Harrison, looking ahead to the Prep B tourney. “We know how well we can play together. Taking it into our next tournament, we can definitely win.”

PDS head coach Heather Farlow believes that her tam could win against Lawrenceville despite the earlier defeat to the Big Red.

“We just decided that we were going to try to play possession through the middle third of the field and just keep going and not hang our heads,” said Farlow. “The girls were excited. I told them to enjoy the moment, Not everybody gets to be here, there are 17 other teams that would love to be here. Pressure is a privilege.”

While PDS was under pressure as it trailed 1-0 at halftime, Farlow was excited by her team’s prospects.

“We liked where we were, we were down 2-0 in the game two days ago,” said Farlow. “I said we have been here, there is nothing to worry about. We weren’t fazed, I was trying to stay calm and even-keeled for them. You couldn’t ask for a better effort.”

The Panthers got a great effort from Harrison. “Logan has had a great game, she played lights out,” said Farlow. “She played phenomenally well.”

With her squad playing so well collectively, Farlow was hoping her team could earn a county crown.

“It was great, all of these kids stepped up,” said Farlow. “I really wanted them to win this because they have worked so hard. They are such a good group to coach, it is just a nice, nice group of kids.”

Those kids have shown a lot of improvement since starting the season with three straight losses.

“We only have one senior (Jadyn Huff) so the progress has been huge,” said Farlow. “We had 21 girls come out. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, we had such young kids. With such little experience, we just decided that we will take it game by game and quarter by quarter. They have just grown.”

Farlow has seen growth across the field.
“Molly Hall has progressed in goal,” said Farlow, whose team will be starting play in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament next week. “Logan has stepped up, I shifted Kelly Christie to center mid this year and she has stepped up. Tessa Caputo is just a natural athlete. Lily Ryan is just so good. Peyton Richardson is good in the back. Jadyn is the glue.”

Harrison, for her part, has enjoyed stepping into a key role for the Panthers.

“I started as a freshman and I didn’t really do much,” said Harrison. “Now as a junior, I feel like I am much more in the team. I am helping out with corners in the front end and in the back. As a team, I feel like we are working well together.”