September 13, 2023

PHS Field Hockey Looking to Fill Some Spots, But Boasts the Talent to Have Another Big Season

GOAL-ORIENTED: Princeton High field hockey player Erin Liggio dribbles the ball in a game last season. Liggio sparked the PHS forward line in 2022 as she scored a team-high 30 goals. The Tigers will be hosting Ewing in September 13 and WW/P-South on September 18 to get their 2023 campaign underway. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High field hockey team lacking strength in numbers, Heather Serverson will need a strong effort across the board from her squad.

“I have a lot of spots to fill, we graduated a big group and we have a small junior class,” said PHS head coach Serverson, who guided the Tigers to a 14-3 record in 2022 as they advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semis and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 4 sectional quarterfinals. “We are kind of low on numbers right now. We really need a lot of bang for our buck from every player on the field.”

Senior Erin Liggio, a Dickinson College commit, should give the Tigers plenty of bang for the buck on the forward line.

“I think she surprised a lot of people last year with the number of balls she was able to put in the back of the cage,” said Serverson of Liggio, who tallied a team-high 30 goals in 2022. “She is a quiet, consistent player. She does her thing and it works out.”

In addition to Liggio, junior Mia Ramirez (9 goals, 8 assists in 2022) and sophomore Sarah Cate Walker (2 goals) will see action at forward.

“We have Mia and Sarah Cate there right now,” added Serverson. “They are connecting well within their own layer. It is just the transition piece with the midfield right now that we are working on.”

At midfield, senior Delaney Keegan (14 goals, 8 assists), who is heading to Cornell and playing for its field hockey program, will be leading the way.

“I have her sitting back a little bit right now at low mid position,” said Serverson, whose midfield unit will also include senior Reva Doshi (8 goals, 8 assists), and Leah Rose Seiden (6 goals, 9 assists), a Hamilton College commit. “She just does such a great job at both ends of the field, she is the anchor in the middle for us.”

Keegan and Liggio have developed a great connection over the years.

“They play with each other year-round too, they both play for Princeton Field Hockey Club,” said Serverson. “They are great leaders too. They do a great job of helping the people around them as well.”

The trio of senior Sally Flanagan, junior Sophie Gono, and sophomore Sofia Digioacchino will be spearheading the Tiger back line.

“Flanagan and Gono are the only returners, they are looking solid so far,” said Serverson. “They are working well together, they are communicating well. They are incorporating the new defender, Sofia. She is doing really well for a sophomore.”

At goalie, senior Annie Callahan is looking to have a big final campaign for PHS.

“Annie has been doing a really good job keeping her head in the game,” said Serverson. “She has been working on her communication and I have noticed improvement in both areas so far. Somehow she pulls these crazy saves out of nowhere at the last second.”

With the Tigers slated to host Ewing in September 13 and WW/P-South on September 18 to get their 2023 campaign underway, Serverson is optimistic that her squad will do a good job of coming together.

“I think the key for us is to stay healthy, we have been really focusing a lot on how we do conditioning and rest,” said Serverson. “I also think it is just connecting on the field as a unit as opposed to layers or as individuals. When they go off to club out of season they are playing with different people and it takes a while for us to settle back as a squad. I have every confidence that we will be able to do that — it is just that is always the variable for us.”