Building on Surge that Saw it Make MCT, Prep B Finals PDS Field Hockey Upbeat About Prospects This Fall
MIDDLE OF THE ACTION: Princeton Day School field hockey player Kelly Christie, middle, goes after the ball last Saturday against Hopewell Valley in its season opener. PDS tied HoVal 0-0 in a game that ended in the third quarter due to the thunderstorms that rumbled through the area. The Panthers were scheduled to play at WW/P-North on September 12 before hosting Stuart Country Day on September 15 and Robbinsville High on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Although the Princeton Day School field hockey team played to a 0-0 stalemate against Hopewell Valley last Saturday in a season opener that ended in the third quarter due to the thunderstorms that rumbled through the area, Heather Farlow liked what she saw from her club.
“We controlled possession most of the game, we were in our offensive end quite a bit,” said PDS head coach Farlow. “When it stopped we were in our offensive 25 and we had the ball. We had momentum.”
Bringing momentum from a late surge that saw the Panthers advance to the final in both the Mercer County Tournament and Prep B state tourney last fall, PDS is upbeat heading into 2023.
“The mood is positive,” said Farlow, whose squad went 8-9 in 2022. “If we can keep everybody healthy, we will be competitive.”
Playing a full Colonial Valley Conference schedule for the first time, PDS will be competing against some different foes this fall.
“It is exciting, it is different because we are playing teams that we typically haven’t,” said Farlow. “I will be curious to see how we match up and what that looks like.”
The Panthers boast some exciting options on the forward line in senior Tessa Caputo, senior Lily Ryan, sophomore Amelia Lach, and freshman Sammy
“Tessa is doing well along with Lily, those two will be on the forward line,” said Farlow. “Amelia is playing some forward and some mid — we are rotating kids into some different spots. Sammy is a great addition, she is an ice hockey player. I think we have the ability to score from the field and from our set pieces.”
The quartet of senior Kelly Christie, senior Logan Harrison, junior Charlotte Mullen, and freshman Reagan Falconi will be leading the midfield.
“Kelly and Logan are in the midfield,” said Farlow. “Charlotte is back, she was out last year. Amelia will see some time there. Reagan is getting some time. I feel like that is a strong unit.”
On defense, senior Lea-Jade Richards, senior Katie Zarish-Yasunas, junior Brynn Dandy, sophomore Arden Reilly, sophomore Alexis Huff, the younger sister of recently graduated star Jadyn Huff, and freshman Harkiran Sandhu should develop into a strong unit.
“We have Lea-Jade, Katie, and Brynn playing back there,” said Farlow. “Arden is playing there. We have got Alexis, she hasn’t played much field hockey. This is her first year ever playing but she has seen a lot of it. She is picking it up and is doing great. Harkiran is also playing a little bit.”
Junior Molly Hall has been playing very well at goalie. “Molly has done a lot of work this summer,” said Farlow. “She had done a lot of clinics and training. She is solid in there.”
In Farlow’s view, PDS can produce a solid campaign if it fine-tunes things as both ends of the field.
“We have to really focus on possession of the ball and not waiting for the perfect opportunity,” said Farlow. “It is creating opportunities offensively and just playing high pressure defense. We are excited — it is a very, very coachable group.”