October 6, 2021

COMING THROUGH: Princeton Day School field hockey player Tessa Caputo, right, goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, sophomore standout Caputo tallied the winning goal as PDS overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat Notre Dame 2-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-2 to Blair Academy last Saturday to move to 7-3, host Morristown-Beard on October 5 and Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on October 8 before playing at Hopewell Valley on October 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tessa Caputo felt lost at times last fall in her freshman season for the Princeton Day School field hockey team.

“Last year was my second year playing field hockey, lacrosse is my main sport,” said Caputo, who led the PDS girls’ lax team in goals (42) and points (59) this past spring. “I honestly had no idea what I was doing last year.”

Caputo utilized some of her lax skills to develop a comfort level in field hockey.

“It is definitely hard to balance lacrosse and field hockey,” said Caputo.

“I really can see myself transferring some skills from lacrosse onto the field.”

Last Wednesday, Caputo displayed her finishing skill in scoring the winning goal early in the fourth quarter as PDS rallied from a 1-0 deficit against Notre Dame to pull out a 2-1 win.

“It is stressful being in that situation, it is kind of scary,” said Caputo, who got loose in the circle and was one-on-one with the Irish goalie as she fired her clutch shot. more

HEADS UP PLAY: Hun School girls’ soccer player Kiki Mauer, right, heads the ball in recent action. Senior standout Mauer has shored up the back line, having big games at center back last week as the Raiders topped Pennington 1-0 on September 28 and then blanked Germantown Academy (Pa.) 1-0 last Friday. Hun, which improved to 6-1-1 with the win over Germantown, is slated to host Villa Joseph Marie High (Pa.) on October 7 and Blair Academy on October 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kiki Mauer is naturally an attacking midfielder but she has moved to the back line for the Hun School girls’ soccer team this season by necessity.

“I started out very offensive but then the team needed me so I stepped in at center back,” said senior co-captain Mauer.

“I have never played it. I play offensive midfield for my club team [YMS-Yardley Makefield Soccer].”

Mauer has formed a connection with junior Tooni Olaleye as they have both adjusted to assuming key defensive roles.

“We have a great, phenomenal partnership back there,” said Mauer.

“Working with Tooni, she makes it so easy for me. We make it easy for each other. We are learning it together because Tooni has never played center back either.”

The pair displayed how well they have learned those lessons, spearheading a 1-0 breakthrough win over perennial powerhouse Pennington on September 28.

“We came out strong and we came out with confidence,” said Mauer, reflecting on the victory which was Hun’s first win over the Red Raiders since topping them in the 2014 Prep A state title game. “We knew we could do it and we did it.” more

By Justin Feil

Eric Scully is motivated to become one of the best runners in Hun School history, and he’s well on his way.

The junior, who is in his second year at the school and first cross country season, was the top finisher for the Raiders at the New Balance Shore Coaches Invitational last Saturday at Holmdel Park. He covered the challenging 5,000-meter course in 17:35 to place sixth in the Boys Varsity G race.

“Going into it, I was scared of the hills at Holmdel,” said Scully, who had run 18:42 at the storied lay-out as a freshman.

“I haven’t run it since freshman year. Going into it I was thinking I was going to burn out early and then I was going to get outkicked at the line because the last three meets that I did, I was outkicked in the last 400 so I did not want that to happen. So I took it out slower. That ended up hurting my time a little bit, but I ended up kicking at the line which was a very big success for me. I have not been able to kick all season so to have a really big kick at the end of a race gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season.”

Scully has kicked off the second half of his season on a promising note. He has been looking to lower his times after missing out on the chance to run last year. After transferring from Steinert High after his freshman year, Scully did not get a sophomore cross country season while coming back from iron deficiency anemia. Missing that season helped make him hungrier for this year and his first chance to help the Raiders team.

“He has a huge upside,” said Hun head coach Kurt Wayton, whose squad placed third of 24 schools in the Boys Varsity G team standings at the Shore Coaches meet.  more

September 29, 2021

ENCORE PERFORMANCE: The Princeton High girls’ tennis first doubles team of Lucia Marckioni, left, and Sophia Kim enjoy the moment in a 2020 match. Last Wednesday, seniors Marckioni and Kim won the first doubles title at the Mercer County Tournament for the second time. Their heroics helped PHS place fourth in the team standings at the event. In upcoming action, the Tigers have a home match with Notre Dame on September 30 before starting play in the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional where they are seeded third and host sixth-seeded Colts Neck in the quarterfinals on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Lucia Marckioni and Sophia Kim have forged a historic partnership at doubles for the Princeton High girls’ tennis program.

The pair were teamed together as freshmen in 2018 to play doubles for the PHS JV squad.

A year later, they moved up to varsity and earned the first doubles spot. Wasting no time proving how formidable they were, Marckioni and Kim won the title in their event at the Mercer County Tournament.

Last fall, they stayed together and went undefeated but were unable to defend their MCT crown as the event was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Competing in the county tourney last week at the Mercer County Park tennis complex, Marckioni and Kim finally got the chance to win another MCT title and they came through in dominant fashion. They posted four straight-set wins on the way to the crown, including a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sabrina Chang and Kirthi Chigurupati of WW/P-North in the final.

In the view of Marckioni, getting the second MCT title was worth the wait.

“It feels amazing, we feel like it is well deserved,” said Marckioni of the title which helped PHS place fourth in the team standings at the event won by WW/P-South.

“It was unfortunate last year we couldn’t have it to win. This year just means that much more.” more

SUDDEN IMPACT: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Sarah Villamil returns the ball last Thursday against Notre Dame. With junior transfer Villamil coming up with a match-high nine kills, PHS defeated Notre Dame 2-0 (27-25, 25-20). The Tigers, who defeated WW/P-South 2-0 (25-23, 25-15) last Monday to improve to 6-3, host Lawrenceville School on September 30, play at Florence on October 2 and then host Hopewell Valley on October 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Moving north from Florida, Sarah Villamil has found a home with the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team.

“We are all about having a positive mindset,” said PHS junior Villamil, who came to the Princeton area from Broward County in South Florida.

“It is about being ready and having the mindset that you are going to win and fighting for and getting it.”

Last Thursday, Villamil and PHS had a fight on their hands as they hosted Notre Dame. The Tigers jumped out to a 20-13 lead in the first set only to see the Irish battle back to make it 25-25.

“You can’t waste the energy that you have on being concerned,” said Villamil, reflecting on the Notre Dame rally.

“You have to waste it on getting the point and getting the win.”

Villamil ended up getting the winning point on a kill as PHS pulled out a 27-25 win.

“It just kind of happened,” said Villamil. “Once it happened, it was a crazy feeling, knowing that you did it.” more

ON TARGET: Princeton High quarterback Jaxon Petrone fires a pass in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior Petrone connected on 12-of-19 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown as PHS defeated Bishop Eustace 15-12. The Tigers, now 1-3, play at Audubon High (3-1) on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though his Princeton High football team lost 27-21 to Cherry Hill East on September 18 to fall to 0-3, Charlie Gallagher saw progress.

“We played much better I was very happy with what the guys did in the Cherry Hill game,” said PHS head coach Gallagher, whose senior quarterback Jaxon Petrone passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in the defeat.

“Jaxon and the wide receivers are getting better. We are doing different schemes and getting everybody to mesh, including the coaches, so we are all on the same page.”

Things got even better last Friday night as PHS traveled south to Bishop Eustace and came away with a 15-12 win.

The Tigers jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the second quarter as Everaldo Servil scored on a TD pass from Petrone and Tyler Goldberg added a second touchdown on a three-yard run. Bishop Eustace responded with a late score in the second quarter. The Crusaders added another TD in the fourth quarter but the PHS was able to run out the clock to earn the win.

Gallagher tipped his hat to his defense which held the fort in the second half. more

WILLING TO FIGHT: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player William Vasquez, right, battles a WW/P-South player for the ball last Friday. Senior forward Vasquez tallied a goal and an assist to help PDS prevail 4-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-2 to WW/P-North last Monday to drop to 3-4, hosts Peddie School on September 29, Blair Academy on October 2, and Pingry School on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

William Vasquez ran to the sidelines with a bloody nose last Friday as the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team hosted WW/P-South.

But the PDS senior star cracked a smile as he got treated, having just scored a goal to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

“I got a bloody nose when I was celebrating over there,” said Vasquez.

After nosing ahead of the Pirates, PDS never looked back on the way to a 4-1 win.

The Panthers controlled the second half, getting goals from Theo Capeilleries and Joaquin Rodriguez as they closed the deal.

“We had them on our half and once we scored that third goal, we kept going,” said Vasquez.

“We learned from past experiences that we can’t let up, even if it is 3-1 up or 4-1 up. We have to play like it is 0-0 every time.”

It did take a while for PDS to get going as it fell behind 1-0 three minutes into the contest.

“When we were down one-nil, we just had to keep our heads up and keep going,” said Vasquez. “Once we got that first goal, we started playing well.”

Vasquez helped the Panthers get that first goal, sending a ball into the box that Todd Devin headed into the back of the net with 19:11 left in the half.

“I think Milan [Shah] had a great play on that,” said Vasquez. “He fed it to me and I saw Todd on the far post. I had to give it to him.” more

KRIS-CROSS: Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Kristina Wang prepares to hit a backhand last week at the Mercer County Tournament. Sophomore Wang placed third at second singles in the event, helping PDS tie for sixth overall with Lawrence High in the team standings. In upcoming action, the Panthers have a match at WW/P-South on September 29 before starting play in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public A South sectional where it is seeded fourth and will host fifth-seeded Red Bank Catholic in a quarterfinal match on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into the Mercer County Tournament last week, the Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team wasn’t battle-tested.

Due to rainouts and the tournament being held earlier in September than in past years, PDS had only played two matches before hitting the courts at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

The Panthers made up for some lost time, seeing plenty of action at the two-day event, highlighted by sophomore Kristina Wang placing third at second singles and the pair of Ashlyn Du and junior Sophie Zhang taking fourth at first doubles.

“I love playing as many matches as you can,” said PDS head coach Michael Augsberger, whose squad ended up tied for sixth overall with Lawrence High in the team standings at the event won by WW/P-South.

“We were at the U.S. Open on the first day, we went up as a team for a bonding experience. This reminds me of that, obviously on a smaller scale, with the excitement, everyone rooting for each other and being all over the grounds. They love it.”

Wang appears to have an exciting future at singles.

“She is such a grinder, she plays marathon matches,” said Augsberger of Wang, who posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over Hun’s Sabrina Wang in the third place match. more

FIRST QUALITY: Hun School girls’ tennis player Amanda Francis rips a forehand last Wednesday in the girls’ first singles final at the Mercer County Tournament. Junior star Francis ended up falling 7-5, 6-4 to Leticia Kitio of Lawrence High in the match. The run by Francis to the final helped Hun finish third in the team standings at the event. In upcoming action, the Raiders have home matches against Pennington School on September 30 and Stuart Country Day on October 2 before playing at Princeton Day School on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Amanda Francis found herself in a bind as she played in the second set of the girls’ first singles semifinals at the Mercer County Tournament last Wednesday.

“I was down 2-5 in the second set so I really had to battle because I didn’t want it to go to a third set,” said Hun School junior Francis, reflecting on her match with Eva Lependorf of Princeton High at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

“The first set I was really consistent; I played aggressive. In the second set, the girl really stepped up her level. I really needed to make sure that I competed hard as well.”

Francis rallied to pull out a 6-2, 7-5 win and earn a spot in the final against Leticia Kitio of Lawrence High.

Coming into the match, Francis realized she was in for a battle. more

STICKING WITH IT: Hun School field hockey player Nicole Schaefer controls the ball in recent action. Senior Schaefer scored a goal as Hun tied Stuart Country Day 1-1 last week. The Raiders, who lost 2-1 to Montgomery last Saturday to move to 2-4-1, play at Academy of the New Church (Pa.) on September 29 before hosting Pennington School on October 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Through the first four games of the 2021 season, the Hun School field hockey team had already shown progress from last year.

After going 1-6 in 2020, Hun got off to a 2-2 start, highlighted by defeating Conwell Egan (Pa.) 4-0 on September 13 and then topping Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 8-0 five days later.

Last week, the Raiders took another step forward as they headed across town to battle local rival Stuart Country Day, earning a 1-1 tie in a thrilling, hard fought contest.

The foes were knotted in a scoreless tie at halftime in the September 21 game and then Hun took the lead midway through the third period on a goal by senior Nicole Schafer, assisted by classmate Ashley Jones.

Stuart responded with a tally by Isabel Milley minutes later and the game ended tied 1-1 at end of regulation. In a 10-minute overtime, both teams had scoring chances but the defenses held and the game ended in the stalemate.

“We have been working on winning the quarters, it was great that we won that one quarter when we put it in,” said Hun head coach Tracey Arndt.

“So now it is next steps. It was a great learning experience. We always say that you win or you learn. We learned from that. It was our first overtime game in a really long time, we had some nice runs.” more

FIRING AWAY: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Kaitlyn Magnani hits the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior star midfielder Magnani picked up an assist as Stuart tied Hun 1-1 last week. The Tartans, who moved to 7-0-2 with a 0-0 tie against South Hunterdon last Monday, play at Blair Academy on September 29 before hosting the Solebury School (Pa.) on October 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kaitlyn Magnani wasn’t fazed when the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team fell behind Hun 1-0 in the third period last week in the clash of local rivals.

“In our game against PDS (a 4-1 win on September 15), we were down 1-0 in the beginning and right away we scored back,” said Stuart senior midfielder Magnani. “I had confidence in my team that we could come back.”

Minutes after the Hun tally, Magnani helped get Stuart come back in the September 21 contest, feeding Isabel Milley for the tying goal.

“Isabel is our great wing, she is always in great space,” said Magnani.  “I just sent it right to her and she had a great backhand.”

That ended up being the last goal of the contest as the teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation and 10 minutes of overtime.

“They had a really great goalie [Norah Kempson] who was coming out pretty far and that really gave us a challenge,” said Magnani.

“We had a lot of intensity and I think we had some great shots but again their defense was very good. We gave it our all.” more

September 22, 2021

HIGH FIVE: Princeton High field hockey player Olivia Weir controls the ball against WW/P-South last Friday. Senior star and Rutgers-bound Weir tallied five goals in the contest to help PHS prevail 7-0 and improve to 3-0. The Tigers host Steinert on September 22 before playing at Hamilton West on September 24 and at Hightstown on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Olivia Weir and her teammates on the Princeton High field hockey team were determined to set the tone early as they hosted WW/P-South last Friday.

“We made it a pact from the beginning that we were going to come out with intensity and we wanted to be first to every ball,” said senior star and Rutgers-bound Weir, a native of South Africa.

“We wanted to put goals on the scoreboard soon on and we did that. We played well as a team. We were working together, we came together and we executed our goals.”

PHS achieved that goal as Weir and fellow senior Erin Cooke each found the back of the cage in the first 10 minutes of the contest and PHS never looked back, rolling to a 7-0 win and improving to 3-0.

“We are trying to do a lot of passing and working together because that is how we are able to beat defenders,” said Weir.

“It is also just talking. That is what we have really been focusing on, communicating and just building that team chemistry.”

In Weir’s view, PHS has developed that special chemistry. “We have been playing throughout the summer which has been great,” said Weir. “I think we are really a strong-knit group of girls.”

While Weir is the squad’s go-to finisher, having tallied 12 goals in the Tigers’ first three outings, she sees her scoring prowess as a group effort. more

MAKING HAY: Hun School girls’ soccer player Riley Hayes goes after the ball against Princeton Day School last Wednesday. Hayes scored a late goal in the contest as Hun rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to pull out a 2-2 tie. On Saturday, junior midfielder Hayes tallied three goals to help the Raiders defeat Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) and improve to 2-1-1. Hun plays at the George School (Pa.) on September 22 before hosting WW/P-South on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School girls’ soccer team trailing Princeton Day School 2-0 at halftime last Wednesday, it had reason to be discouraged.

After all, Hun fell 6-1 and 6-0 to PDS in two meetings last fall in an abbreviated season which saw the Raiders go 0-4-1.

But Hun head coach Jenn Barrett urged her players to keep pressing forward as she spoke to them at halftime.

“We came out a little tentative and we told them how much they should believe in each other, play with confidence, play our game, pass around, and don’t panic,” said Barrett.

“The 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer. I said the next goal is going to determine this game and we are going to get it.”

Taking Barrett’s message to heart, Hun tallied a pair of unanswered goals to pull out a 2-2 draw in the clash of local rivals.

Five minutes into the second half, the Raiders got their first goal when Mackenzie Turner converted a sweet feed from Tessa Falcone.

“It was all hard work and grit with the fight from Mackenzie and the fight from Olivia,” said Barrett. more

EYE ON THE BALL: Princeton Day School girls’ soccerplayer Adriana Salzano controls the ball against Hun last Wednesday. Sophomore standout forward Salzano scored a goal in the contest as the local rivals played to a 2-2 draw. PDS, which fell 2-1 to Peddie last Saturday in moving to 2-1-1, plays at Lawrenceville on September 22 before hosting Notre Dame on September 25 and WW/P-North on September 27. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having cruised to routs in its first two games this fall, the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team appeared to be headed to another comfortable win as it hosted the Hun School last Wednesday.

Getting goals from sophomore standouts Grace Romano and Adriana Salzano, PDS built a 2-0 lead over Hun by halftime.

“I think the opening five or 10 minutes we were a little slow; we haven’t played a team with as much intensity as they have so we were very reactionary,” said PDS first-year head coach Chris Pettit, whose squad had defeated Hill School (Pa.) 5-1 on September 11 and the George School (Pa.) 9-0 on September 14 to start its 2021 campaign.

“After 10 minutes, we started to realize that once we pass and move and we play our game, we grew into the game. From there, I thought we had the upper hand in the first half. We scored a couple of great goals, exactly what we have been working on.”

But in the second half, Hun maintained its intensity, tallying two unanswered goals as the local rivals ended up playing to a 2-2 draw. more

ON THE MARK: Hun School football quarterback Marco Lainez III heads upfield against Brunswick School (Conn.) last Saturday. Junior Lainezstarred as Hun opened its 2021 campaign by defeating Brunswick 31-14. He completed 11-of-12 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown and led the Raiders in rushing with 106 yards on 10 carries. Hun will look to keep on the winning track as it hosts the Salisbury School (Conn.) on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Todd Smith saw a lot of potential and great depth in his Hun School football team through the summer and preseason, but couldn’t exactly be sure what the Raiders would show in their season opener against a new opponent.

“Preseason has been great,” said Hun head coach Smith, who is in his eighth season guiding the program.

“The energy at practice has been great. Unfortunately we lost our scrimmage because of the flood and then we lost a couple days because of the flood, but the kids been resilient and they bounce back and they’ve been showing up every day working really hard. There’s a good energy amongst the group. We feel good about it.”

Smith and the Raiders feel even better about their season outlook after defeating the visiting Brunswick School (Conn.) 31-14 last Saturday. After falling behind early, Hun took a 10-7 lead into halftime and then pulled away in the second half thanks to controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

“We had a lot of positive things and we came out with the win, but yet there’s a lot of teaching that can be done off the film,” said Smith. “There’s still a lot of room to grow. There’s a high ceiling.”

Hun continues its new look schedule when it hosts Salisbury School (Conn.) on September 25. Brunswick and Salisbury are part of the New England Prep School League that Hun joined this year to fill weekends outside of Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) play that now includes just Blair, Hill, and Peddie. The Raiders also will play Suffield Academy (Conn.), Cheshire Academy (Conn.), St. Frances Academy (Md.), and Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) in their new league. more

By Bill Alden

Matt Bellace views football as a roller-coaster that can teach some important life lessons.

“I think football is great for managing emotions, football teaches you how to deal with disappointment,” said Bellace, who recently became the president of the Princeton Junior Football League (PJFL), succeeding Greg Ambra.

With the league kicking off its 2021 fall season on September 26 at the Princeton High turf field, Bellace is looking to emphasize some positive emotions.

“The pandemic is the thing that really made me start thinking deeply is there anything that we can add to what we do to improve things for those kids,” said Bellace of the PJFL, which has three divisions, Rookie (ages 6-8), Junior (ages 8-10) and Senior (ages 11-14), and a total of around 175 players.

“The kids have missed a lot of big moments. I look at my kids and just the social interactions at school, the interactions with teachers and trips. PJFL is just a fun league that people love being a part of it. One play can change a game so our theme is big plays, big moments. We want to bring back some big moments to these kids this year.”

Some of those big moments will be recognized by the awarding of game balls. more

SURE SHOT: Hun School boys’ soccer player Hector Suriel blasts a shot last Saturday against Mercersburg Academy (Pa.). Senior forward Suriel tallied a goal and an assist as Hun defeated Mercersburg 6-2. The Raiders, who lost 3-0 to Episcopal Academy (Pa.) last Sunday to move to 2-2, host Pennington on September 22 and Trenton Catholic on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After Hector Suriel scored a goal for the Hun School boys’ soccer team late in the second half against Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) last Saturday, he launched into an acrobatic celebration.

Senior forward Suriel turned a series of cartwheels towards the Hun bench to express his joy at the tally.

“That is a known celebration for me, I revived it,” said Suriel.

“Back in 2017 I scored a goal and celebrated the same way. It is from a Colombian player called Faustino Asprilla.”

There was a lot to celebrate for Suriel and his teammates as Hun pulled away to a 6-2 win over Mercersburg in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener in a game played at Stuart Country Day School.

“With the win last game [2-1 over Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on September 14] we were mentally prepared, we came to the field with hunger to score goals and that is what we did,” said Suriel.

While Hun generated a lot of chances and outshot Mercersburg 12-2 in the first half,  it only led 1-0 at intermission.

“Coach [Pat Quirk] gave us a talk, saying we have to score more goals,” said Suriel.

“What has been happening lately is that we score one goal and we get comfortable but today it was another mindset. We were hungry.” more

September 15, 2021

NICK OF TIME: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Nico Carusone heads a ball in a 2020 game. Last Wednesday, senior forward Carusone scored the winning goal late in the second half as PHS edged Robbinsville 2-1 in its season opener. The Tigers, who tied Steinert 0-0 last Saturday, play at WW/P-North in September 18 before hosting Allentown on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nico Carusone knew it was time to step up.

With the Princeton High boys’ soccer team deadlocked 1-1 against Robbinsville late in the second half last Wednesday in the season opener, senior striker Carusone produced a moment of brilliance.

Getting the ball in the box, Carusone wheeled and blasted the ball into the back of the net to score and give PHS the margin of victory in a 2-1 triumph.

“With 15 minutes left in the game, we had to bring it all,” said Carusone. “I knew the goal was there and I hit it.”

It took a while for PHS to get into a rhythm as the foes were deadlocked in a scoreless draw at the half.

“They had their back line so far back, they were letting us play in front of them which kind of led to our possession,” said Carusone.

“I  think they did a really good job of keeping a hold of us. Once we got a break before the second half, we told the team what they were doing and we figured out how to score two goals.”

The trio of Carusone, sophomore Patrick Kenah, and junior Richard Wegman started figuring out things after halftime with Kenah tallying the first goal of the day, slotting in a rebound 14 minutes into the half.

“We are all on the same page at this point, we had a really good preseason together,” said Carusone. more

TIED UP: Princeton High football Tyler Goldberg, right, gets wrapped up by a Haddon Heights tackler last Saturday. Sophomore tailback Goldberg rushed for a team-high 32 yards in a losing cause as PHS fell 47-0 to the Garnets. The Tigers, now 0-2, play at Cherry Hill East on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton High football team trailing Haddon Heights 39-0 at halftime last Saturday in its home opener, the message was simple.

“At halftime, it was just go back in and have fun,” said PHS sophomore running back Tyler Goldberg. “That was it.”

Midway through the third quarter, Goldberg had some fun, ripping off a 29-yard run followed by an 11-yard jaunt.

“I saw daylight, I am hyped,” said Goldberg, who ended up with a team-high 32 yards net rushing.

The Tigers, though, did not find much more daylight on the day as they ended up falling 47-0.

“We have to be more of a team, we just have to communicate,” said Goldberg, reflecting on the defeat.

“This is our team, this is our family. We have go to work together to beat teams and I don’t think we did that today.”

PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher acknowledged that the Tigers ran into a very good team in Haddon Heights.

“My hat is off to their coaching staff; they have a good football program and they are 2-0 for a reason,” said Gallagher.

“They have got some big boys, they have some good wide receivers. Jackson Ferrante is a standout tailback and a standout middle linebacker. He stuffed us a couple of times early. It was just really challenging.” more

FIRST RATE: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Eva Lependorf hits a backhand in a match last fall. Sophomore Lependorf has moved into the first singles spot this season for PHS. The Tigers, who defeated Hamilton 5-0 last Friday to improve to 1-1, play at Robbinsville on September 17 before starting action in the Mercer County Tournament on September 20 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ tennis team started its 2021 season with a tough 3-2 loss to Hightstown last Wednesday, Sarah Hibbert believes the early setback could be a blessing in disguise.

“It was disappointing the way it ended, the girls all gave it their all,” said PHS head coach Hibbert, whose team rebounded from the opening day loss to defeat Hamilton 5-0 last Friday.

“We worked as hard as we could and unfortunately the last ball didn’t bounce our way. Hopefully it will give a little extra motivation for the rest of the season, it is alright, we didn’t start off the way we wanted to but we still got a lot of tennis to play.”

Hibbert is getting some good tennis from sophomore Eva Lependorf at first singles, who has moved into the top spot after her classmate Shaila Iyer, last year’s No. 1, decided to pursue her own training and won’t be with the squad this season. more

GOING FORWARD: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Milan Shah controls the ball in a game last season. Senior forward Shah figures to be a key offensive threat for PDS this fall. The Panthers, who fell 4-3 in overtime to Hightstown last Monday to move to 1-1, play at Pennington on September 15 before hosting Hamilton West on September 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Soccer is in Brian Thomsen’s blood.

“My grandfather actually came over from Glasgow to play semi-professional soccer back in the 1960s,” said Thomsen, 31, a native of Brick, N.J.

“He has been over here ever since. My dad and my uncle played together on the same club team growing up. My dad played at Southern Connecticut State. My uncle played at Loyola and he played professionally. My brother just retired from playing professionally down in Richmond with the Richmond Kickers. We have a soccer family.”

Thomsen, for his part, starred at Monsignor Donovan High in Toms River before playing at Northeastern University for two years and then transferring to Stockton University for his final two seasons of college soccer. Getting into coaching in 2015, he has served as the director of operations for Next Level Soccer Academy, director of programs for Washington Crossing FC Select, as an assistant men’s coach at The College of New Jersey, and the head coach of the Real Central NJ women’s program.

Now he is bringing that background and experience in the game to the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team, taking the helm of the program after previous head coach Ollie Hilliker stepped down last fall.

“I felt it was a really good opportunity for me to build a program in a college prep-like environment that was different from a public school,” said Thomsen.

“It gave me what I was used to on the soccer side which was that these kids have good facilities, they have good academics, and they have good opportunities from school. There was a lot of support behind the program and athletics at the school.” more

By Bill Alden

The pieces are in place for the Hun School girls’ soccer team to be competitive this fall.

“We have a lot of young talent joined by our strong upperclass,” said Hun head coach Jenn Barrett, whose team went 0-4-1 last fall in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns.

“We really don’t have many weak spots, we should really hold our own this year. We have solid, solid players in every position.”

The Raiders boast three solid players at forward in senior Olivia D’Aulerio, sophomore Tessa Falcone, and sophomore Mackenzie Turner.

“We are super excited that Olivia will have more help up top, we are really going to try to use her speed because she is so fast,” said Barrett of the trio who each scored a goal along with junior Lauren Soler as Hun defeated Moorestown Friends 4-1 last Monday to improve to 1-1.

“Tessa and MacKenzie are both high-level experienced club players so they will be able to feed her the ball and they have a nose for the goal also.” more

GETTING AFTER IT: Hun School field hockey player Ashley Jones goes after the ball in a game last season. Hun defeated Conwell-Egan (Pa.) 4-0 last Monday to improve to 1-1. The Raiders play at Hillsborough High on September 15, host Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on September 18, and then play at Stuart Country Day on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Hun School field hockey team went 1-6 last fall, Tracey Arndt believes that the program made some important strides despite the record.

“There is so much more than what they have been showing on the score line,” said Hun head coach Arndt, who is in her third season at the helm of the program.

“In my first year, we were losing games 6-0, 4-0, whatever and last year, although we only played three teams, there were one-goal games. There is the progress that we have been focusing on and not the product. They are recognizing that they have skill and they have potential and they have ability to be successful.”

Arndt views her senior group as a key factor in producing a successful fall.

“They have been great, they have been through so much, all of the seniors have,” said Arndt, whose Class of 2022 includes Olivia Gall, Lynssi Italia, Ashley Jones, Nicole Schaefer, Nora Shea, Lexi Thomas, and Aletheia Watts.

“They got a new coach as sophomores and had that transition. We have one year and then COVID hits so they had to go through all of that. I do think time at home while apart did bring us together. I think they are really mature. We got to know each other a little bit more there, we got to understand each other a little bit better. They are very different in terms of their hockey but what is really special about them is that they all work really hard and they all care about each other very deeply.” more

BELLWETHER: Stuart Country Day School field hockey player Isabel Milley sends the ball up the field in a game last season. Milley and the Tartans are off to a fast start this fall as they topped Pemberton 6-0 last Monday to improve to 3-0. Stuart plays at Princeton Day School on September 15, hosts Bordentown High on September 17, plays at Hamilton High on September 20, and then hosts the Hun School on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In 2019, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team enjoyed a stirring postseason run, advancing to the final of the Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep B semis.

Last fall, Stuart was deprived of a chance to build on that tournament success as both the MCT and Prep competitions were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

As the Tartans prepared for the 2021 campaign, they were excited about the prospects of resuming postseason action this fall.

“The first thing I would say is that we are totally looking forward to the opportunity to play in the state and country tournament,” said longtime Stuart head coach Missy Bruvik, who guided the Tartans to a 5-3-1 record in the abbreviated 2020 campaign.

“That builds that excitement. Those tournaments are back and we are going to have a chance to participate.”

Bruvik is excited about her corps of seniors which includes Kaitlyn Magnani, Keya Patel, Sanya Khullar, Audrey Blandford, and Lauren Gracias.

“The senior leadership has been great, they have been leading the way at practice,” said Bruvik. more

September 8, 2021

Princeton High football player Jaiden Johnson, center, leaps for the ball in a game last fall. Last Saturday, Johnson and the PHS kicked off the 2021 campaign by falling 26-7 at Overbrook High. Senior receiver Johnson scored the lone Tiger touchdown in the game on a 27-yard reception from quarterback Jaxon Petrone. Johnson made nine catches for 140 yards in the contest with Petrone completing 14-of-35 passes for 189 yards. The Tigers will look to get on the winning track when they host Haddon Heights (1-0) on September 11 in their home opener. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)