October 18, 2023

CRUNCH TIME: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Jamie Reynolds, right, thwarts a foe in recent action. Senior defender Reynolds has helped key a superb back line for PHS which has gone 15-1 with 14 shutouts. Last Monday, the second-seeded Tigers topped seventh-seeded Allentown 6-0 in the quarterfinal round of the Mercer County Tournament. PHS will face third-seeded Steinert in the MCT semis on October 18 at Hopewell Valley with the victor advancing to the final on October 21, also at HoVal. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jamie Reynolds’ ultimate career goal is to jump out of airplanes for an elite military unit.

“The ROTC U.S. Army is my main focus, I am looking to go to the University of Richmond as an ROTC officer,” said Reynolds. “Going into the U.S. Army as a paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne, that is my dream unit.”

This fall, senior defender Reynolds has been focusing on helping the Princeton High boys’ soccer team fly high as it has enjoyed a dream season, getting off to a 15-1 start.

Last Thursday, Reynolds and the Tigers achieved the first of their goals for the season, clinching a Colonial Valley Conference title as they rolled to a 5-0 win over WW/P-North. more

GETTING HIS KICKS: Princeton High football player Carmine Carusone boots the ball in recent action. Last Friday night, sophomore defensive back/running back Carusone kicked a 27-yard field goal to give PHS its only points as it fell 7-3 to the West Windsor-Plainsboro United football co-op. The Tigers, now 4-4, play at Palmyra on October 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Evan Pease put in extra work over the summer to get ready for his senior season on the Princeton High football team.

Doing offseason training with teammate and fellow senior Tyler Goldberg, Pease gained strength and confidence.

“We were lifting every day at his house,” said running back/linebacker Pease.

“It was 5 a.m. lifts then straight into 7 a.m. practice. We came back as a new breed.” more

IN FORM: Princeton High girls’ tennis player Lada Labas works on her strokes before a match last year. Junior Labas has excelled at second singles this fall, helping second-seeded PHS enjoy another big run in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 3 sectional. The Tigers were slated to play at top-seeded WW/P-North in the sectional final on October 17 with the winner advancing to the Group 3 state semis on October 19 at the Mercer County Park tennis facility. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the most battle-tested singles player for the Princeton High girls’ tennis team, Lada Labas has seen her game mature.

“I feel like my consistency has gotten a lot better along with  my placement of shots,” said junior Labas. “That is what I use to my advantage, I try to move the girl around.”

Last week as PHS started play in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 3 sectional, Labas displayed that consistency as she rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles as the second-seeded Tigers topped seventh-seeded Jackson Memorial 5-0 in a quarterfinal contest on October 9. more

MAKING STRIDES: Hun School field hockey player Ana Dios fires the ball upfield last week against Princeton Day School. Senior star Dios scored the lone goal in the October 10 contest as Hun prevailed 1-0. The Raiders, who moved to 8-3 with a 3-0 loss to the Hill School (Pa.) last Saturday, will be starting play in the Mercer County Tournament this week. Second-seeded Hun was slated to host seventh-seeded Notre Dame in a quarterfinal contest on October 17 with the victor advancing to the MCT semis on October 19 at Lawrence High. The Raiders are also competing in the Prep state tourney where they are seeded second and will host sixth-seeded Blair Academy in a semifinal contest on October 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School field hockey team locked in a scoreless stalemate with local rival Princeton Day School late in the first half last week, Ana Dios took matters into her own hands.

Weaving through heavy traffic in the circle, Hun senior star Dios blasted a shot into the back of the cage with 5:38 left in the half to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.

“It was a big hit, I am not going to lie,” said Dios with a smile. “In that goal I scored, it was just strength in my stick to make the ball go forward.”

The tally by Dios proved to be the only goal of the contest as Hun held off several charges by the Panthers to post a hard-earned 1-0 triumph. more

TITLE SHOT: Princeton Day School girls’ tennis player Kristina Wang hits a backhand in a match last year. Starring at second singles, senior Wang has helped PDS reach final of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public South sectional tournament. The ninth-seeded Panthers were slated to play at second-seeded Trinity Hall in sectional final on October 17 with the victor advancing the Non-Public state final on October 19 at the Mercer County Park tennis facility. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Getting seeded ninth in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public South sectional tournament, the Princeton Day School girls’ tennis team knew it had to hit the road to advance in the tourney.

But for the Panthers assuming the road warrior role was just fine with them.

“We felt pretty confident, we know how the seedings work,” said PDS head coach Michael Augsberger. “The girls aren’t scared by numbers. It takes a little bit of learning and experience to understand how the seeding is made.” more

October 11, 2023

BREAKING OUT: Princeton University football player AJ Barber races upfield last Saturday as Princeton hosted Lafayette. Junior receiver Barber made seven receptions for a career-high 156 yards against the Leopards but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 12-9. Princeton, now 2-2 overall and 1-0 Ivy League, starts its Ivy stretch drive by playing at Brown (2-2 overall, 0-1 Ivy) on October 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

AJ Barber got an inspirational message from a gridiron legend before he took the field for the Princeton University football against visiting Lafayette last Saturday.

Barber, the son of former NFL All-Pro and New York Giants star running back Tiki Barber, heard from his father as usual.

“Every single game he texts me saying good luck, I love you and I really appreciate that,” said junior receiver Barber. “I know he believes in me.”

Barber justified that belief against Lafayette, producing a career game, making seven receptions for a personal-best 156 yards in a losing cause as the Tigers fell 12-9 to the Leopards before a crowd of 4,059 at Princeton Stadium. more

DOMINANT DEFENDER: Princeton University women’s hockey defender Dominique Cormier handles the puck in game last winter. Senior defender Cormier should be a force on the blue line this winter for Princeton. The Tigers open their 2023-24 campaign by hosting Robert Morris for a two-game set on October 13 and 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton University women’s hockey team saved its best for last, going 5-2 down the stretch of the regular season and then pushing No. 3 Colgate to a decisive third game before falling in the best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series.

As Princeton starts its 2023-24 campaign by hosting Robert Morris for a two-game set on October 13 and 14, Tiger head coach Cara Morey is looking for her players to display that sense of urgency from the opening face-off.

“We saw what that team could do at playoffs last year when we played our game but we can’t wait until then,” said Morey, whose squad posted an overall record of 15-15-1. “Last season, I think we were just waiting, waiting, waiting and then we turned it on in playoffs. If we had done that earlier in the season, it would have been different story. We would have been in a different standing heading into playoffs. I think what we know this year is that we have got to take every game like it is a playoff game and have that mentality every single game of the season.” more

MURPHY’S LAW: Princeton University field hockey player Bridget Murphy battles an opponent for the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior Murphy tallied a goal to force overtime as Princeton hosted Penn but the Tigers ultimately fell 3-2 to the Quakers in the second extra period. Princeton rebounded with a 2-0 win over Brown two days later and then lost 2-0 to No. 12 Syracuse last Sunday. The Tigers, now 5-7 overall and 3-1 Ivy League, host Harvard (9-3 overall, 4-0 Ivy) on October 14 in a critical Ivy contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bridget Murphy’s debut for the Princeton University field hockey team in 2021 lasted only six seconds.

Murphy, then a sophomore, took a blast on the foot on the first play against North Carolina in the season opener, suffering a bruised foot, dislocated fibula, and torn muscle. Showing tenacity, Murphy made it back to the field weeks later.

Rising through the ranks, Murphy was a key reserve for the Tigers last year and has emerged as a star in her senior campaign.

Murphy has enjoyed taking a leading role this fall. more

MAKING HIS POINT: Princeton University men’s soccer player Danny Ittycheria, right, celebrates after a goal in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore forward Ittycheria tallied two goals to help Princeton defeat Columbia 4-0. The Tigers, now 4-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 Ivy League, were slated to play at Seton Hall on October 10 before resuming Ivy action with a game at Cornell on October 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Danny Ittycheria has worried less about himself and more about the team in his second season with the Princeton University men’s soccer team.

The result has the sophomore forward making a bigger impact for the Tigers.

Ittycheria scored twice in a game for the second time this season to help Princeton defeat Columbia, 4-0, Saturday in an Ivy League matchup. The win helped Princeton improve to 4-4-1 overall, 1-1-1 in Ivy League play. more

BIG JAKE: Princeton High football defensive star Jake Angelucci on the move in a game earlier this season. Senior co-captain Angelucci has helped spearhead a rugged PHS defense that has posted four shutouts so far this season. Last Saturday, the Tigers ran into a buzz saw as they fell 34-14 to Cherry Hill East to move to 4-3. PHS will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts the West Windsor-Plainsboro Co-op (5-2) this Friday evening in its annual Homecoming game under the lights. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Employing tunnel vision on a weekly basis, the Princeton High football team produced an encouraging 4-2 start this fall.

“Our motto has really been be 1-0 against the week, it is something that we have been doing,” said PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher, whose team has posted shutouts in each of its wins this season as the Tigers have made marked progress after going 1-9 last year.

“We weren’t thinking about previous weeks, we were looking at that as more of a distraction than anything else. It is, ‘How do we prepare for the week and how do we find a way to be 1-0?’” more

By Justin Feil

With the defense generating the first points of the game on a safety to set the tone, the Hun School football team rolled to a 43-0 win over the Blair Academy under the lights last Saturday night.

The Raiders thrilled their Homecoming crowd with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball to bounce back from their only setback of the year and improve to 4-1.

The Raiders got the early safety from Owen Wafle on a bad snap, and those two points were enough with another dominant defensive effort coupled with a balanced offensive attack. Hun never looked back from there as it rebounded from a mistake-fueled 17-7 loss at Malvern Prep (Pa.) on September 29 to rout Blair, the first of three Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opponents it will face this year. more

BRINGING HER A-GAME: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Alysse Kiesewetter dribbles the ball in game earlier this season. Last Thursday, senior defender/midfielder Kiesewetter tallied two goals to help PHS rally for a 3-1 win over Steinert. The Tigers, who topped WW/P-South 5-0 last Monday to improve to 7-6-1, host WW/P-North on October 12 before starting action in the Mercer County Tournament on October 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last two years, Alysse Kiesewetter has established herself as a star on the back line for the Princeton High girls’ soccer team.

But after PHS star midfielder Casey Serxner got sidelined earlier this fall with a leg injury, Kiesewetter has seen her role change, becoming a more attacking player.

“I usually play left back, but we have been needing to get some more goals,” said Kiesewetter. “I like playing midfield too, I like going up.”

Displaying her versatility last Thursday, Kiesewetter scored two goals on penalty kicks as PHS rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit against visiting Steinert to pull out a dramatic 3-1 victory. more

HEADS UP: Hun School boys’ soccer player Conor Frykholm goes up for a header in action last season. Senior star and Babson commit Frykholm has starred in the midfield for the Raiders this fall as they have started 4-5-1. In upcoming action, Hun will play at Peddie on October 11 in the opening round of the Prep A state tournament before playing at the Hill School (Pa.) on October 14 in a regular season contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Hun School boys’ soccer team, last week proved to be a microcosm of a season that has turned into bit of a bumpy ride.

Playing at Life Center Academy on October 3, Hun rolled to a 4-0 win as four different players scored goals.

“We were firing on all cylinders we came out really strong,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, who got goals from Conor Frykholm, Zachary Stark, Toba Olaleye, and Christian Wolfe in the win. “We had balanced scoring, we scored early and we scored often. It was nice.”

The defense also produced a nice effort against the Warriors, led by junior goalie Diego Pena who made six saves. more

STICKING WITH IT: Stuart County Day School field hockey player Nyla Flamer looks to send the ball upfield in recent action. Last Friday, junior star Flamer assisted on the lone goal as Stuart edged South Hunterdon 1-0 to improve to 5-3. In upcoming action, the fourth-seeded Tartans will host fifth-seeded Pennington on October 16 in the quarterfinal of the Prep A state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As a freshman in 2021, Nyla Flamer, then about 80 pounds soaking wet, showed flashes of brilliance for the Stuart County Day School field hockey team as she zipped around opponents.

Working on her game and adding some height and pounds over the last two years, Flamer has grown into a go-to star for Stuart.

Last Friday as the Tartans hosted South Hunterdon, Flamer displayed her development, snaking through the Eagle defense in the third quarter to set up a Gloria Wang goal as Stuart ended up prevailing 1-0.

In reflecting on the play, Flamer was looking to be aggressive in the circle. more

October 4, 2023

DRIVE TIME: Princeton University quarterback Blake Stenstrom fires a pass in a game last year. Last Friday night, senior Stenstrom engineered a 20-play, 81-yard fourth quarter drive against visiting Columbia that related in the game-winning touchdown as Princeton prevailed 10-7. The Tigers, now 2-1 overall and 1-0 Ivy League, host Lafayette (4-1) on October 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Princeton University quarterback Blake Stenstrom could have hung his head when he threw a screen pass that was picked off and returned for a touchdown by a Columbia defender last Friday night as Princeton found itself trailing 7-3 in the third quarter.

“That was a tough one because it was kind of a weird play in football, it doesn’t happen very often,” said senior star Stenstrom. “It was so sudden, they were up. All of the offensive coaches always talk about next play mentality so that was the thought right away — next play, just move on.” more

GOING WEST: Princeton University men’s water polo goalie West Temkin winces as he makes a save in action last season. Last weekend, Temkin helped Princeton go 3-0 in Northeast Water Polo Conference action as the No. 6 Tigers defeated No. 20 Harvard, 17-11, and MIT, 14-7, on Saturday before topping No. 18 Brown, 15-9, a day later. Princeton, now 14-2, plays at LIU and Iona on October 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

West Temkin made history with the USA Men’s Junior National water polo team last summer.

He would like to make more as part of the Princeton University men’s water polo squad. Following a strong freshman year that ended when Princeton was eliminated in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals by No. 1 USC to end a program-record 27-win season, the sophomore goalkeeper is aiming higher. more

SPECIAL K: Princeton High girls’ volleyball player Kaelin Bobetich hits a serve in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, sophomore star Bobetich contributed seven kills, 11 digs, and two blocks as PHS topped Northern Highlands 2-0 (25-11, 25-20). The Tigers, who topped WW/P-North 2-0 (25-11, 25-13) last Monday to improve to 15-0, play at Northern Burlington on October 5 before hosting the Lawrenceville School on October 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kaelin Bobetich didn’t waste any time making an impact as the Princeton High girls’ volleyball team hosted Northern Highlands last Saturday morning in a clash of state powerhouses.

Sophomore opposite hitter Bobetich came up with several big hits at the net as PHS jumped ahead 4-1 over the Highlanders and built its lead to 14-2 lead on the way to winning the first set 25-11.

“The mindset was just to play really hard and do our best, I was so excited,” said Bobetich. “I really like getting kills in the first set because I feel it just sets the tone for the whole match. It made us feel really comfortable so we could just play our best.” more

SCORING SPREE: Princeton High field hockey player Delaney Keegan gets ready to send the ball up the field in recent action. Last Thursday, senior star midfielder and Cornell commit Keegan tallied four goals and an assist as PHS defeated Hightstown 9-0. Keegan has scored 12 goals and four assists so far this season. The Tigers, who improved to 5-0 with the win, host Princeton Day School on October 4 before playing at Hamilton West on October 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Getting a rare night game as it played at Hightstown High last Thursday evening, the undefeated Princeton High field hockey team was primed to put on a show.

“The team as a whole was ready to come out here and play, definitely being under the lights gave us a lot of energy,” said PHS senior star Delaney Keegan. “We knew this was going to be a competitive game. We definitely wanted to come out strong and keep the energy up.” more

LEADING THE WAY: Princeton High girls’ cross country star Kyleigh Tangen shows her form in a race earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior Tangen placed 17th in the Varsity B girls race at the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park. Tangen’s effort helped PHS finish fifth in the team standings in its race.

By Justin Feil

Kyleigh Tangen already has signed up to run the HiTOPS Princeton Half Marathon in November for the second straight year.

If everything goes as planned, though, the Princeton High senior will also have another big race that same weekend. Saturday’s fifth-place finish for the PHS team in the Varsity B girls race at the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park shows that they could reach the Meet of Champions, back at Holmdel the day before the half marathon.

“I’m super happy that we came in fifth and I’m sure everybody is,” said Tangen. “Making it to Meet of Champs is huge and significant, and I think we’re in an amazing position with our finish (Saturday).” more

STANDING TALL: Princeton High boys’ soccer coaches, from left, Ryan Walsh, Patrick Remboski, and Seb Ratzan show their support for Evan Gershkovich last week, wearing “#IStandWithEvan” T-shirts as PHS got ready to host Notre Dame. Gershkovich, a mainstay of the Tiger squad that won the 2009 Group 3 state championship, is a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on March 30 on charges of espionage and is currently being held in the Lefortovo prison in Moscow. The PHS program and the Wall Street Journal organized the September 26 rally in support of Gershkovich, who has denied the allegations. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Wit. Intelligence. Persistence. Those are some of the qualities that stood out about Evan Gershkovich when he played for the Princeton High boys’ soccer program from 2006-2009.

“When he was here it didn’t take long to figure out how special he was,” said former PHS boys’ soccer head coach Wayne Sutcliffe in describing star midfielder Gershkovich, a mainstay of the Tiger squad that won the 2009 Group 3 state championship.  more

BEING SEEN: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Yaseen Mousa, right, dribbles the ball in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior star Mousa scored two goals as PDS tied Moorestown Friends 2-2. The Panthers, who fell 2-0 to Steinert last Monday to move to 0-8-1, host Trenton on October 6, play at Hopewell Valley on October 7, and host WW/P-South on October 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Despite getting off to a frustrating start this fall that saw it lose its first seven games and score only one goal in the process, the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team brought plenty of energy to the pitch as it hosted Moorestown Friends last Wednesday.

“It has been tough so we tried hyping up the boys to come out and get a win,” said PDS senior star Yaseen Mousa. more

September 27, 2023

RUNNING INTO TROUBLE: Princeton University running back John Volker races upfield in a 2021 game. Last Saturday against visiting Bryant, junior star Volker rushed for a career-high 149 yards, his first 100-yard game for the Tigers, and one touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton squandered a late lead in falling 16-13 to the Bulldogs in overtime. The Tigers, now 1-1, host Columbia (1-1) in their Ivy League opener on September 29 under the lights. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With John Volker rumbling through the rain and wind last Saturday afternoon, the Princeton University football team built a 13-3 lead early in the fourth quarter against Bryant in a soggy Princeton Stadium.

Junior running back Volker ran for a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter and went over 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career as Princeton appeared on the verge of going 2-0.

“I saw Jalen Travis get a really good block there, I was just following him,” said Volker, reflecting on his TD jaunt late in the second quarter as the Tigers went ahead 6-0. “I made a good read off of his block and then just sprinted to the end zone.” more

NO ORDINARY JOE: Joe Dubuque, left, and Chris Ayres display their intensity during a Princeton University wrestling match. Dubuque, a longtime Princeton assistant coach, will be taking the helm of the program from previous head coach Ayres, who departed for Stanford earlier this month to guide the Cardinal wrestling team. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The success of the Princeton University wrestling team has opened up opportunities for Joe Dubuque to head a Division I program.

The New Jersey native who chose to remain for 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Princeton, was named the new Tiger head coach on September 19 to replace previous coach Chris Ayres who departed for Stanford on September 11 after 17 years at the helm of the program.

“This is definitely my dream job to be able to work at the No. 1 academic institution in the country, while also doing it in my home state is something that’s very special to me,” said Dubuque, 41. “I think me being named head coach just validates everything I’ve been doing for the past 16 years of my career, which has led me to this point. Like anything, there were ups and downs in my career, but everything has put me into a position where I can continue to get better and then had the opportunity to be mentored by Chris. It validates everything that I’ve been doing and all the work and sacrifice that I’ve been making to get me to this point.” more

RISING STAR: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Pascale Carusone goes up for a header in recent action. Senior forward Carusone, who just joined the program this year, has emerged as a go-to finisher for PHS, tallying a team-high seven goals as the Tigers have gotten off to a 7-0 start. PHS plays at Nottingham on September 28 and at WW/P-South on September 30 before hosting Robbinsville on October 3. (Photo by Nicholas Niforatos)

By Bill Alden

During his first three years at Princeton High, Pasquale Carusone played a lot of soccer.

But Carusone honed his skills for MLS Next of the Players Development Academy (PDA) and didn’t compete at all for PHS.

This fall, Carusone, who has committed to play at the college level for the University of Rochester, decided it was finally time to play for the Tigers.

“It is my senior year, I definitely have to play for my high school,” said Carusone. “A lot of kids were giving me stuff for it and saying we could go super far with you this year.” more

DOUBLE PLAY: Princeton High girls’ tennis first doubles player Ashna Bushan makes a volley last week at the Mercer County Tournament as partner Maya-Alexandra Todorov looks on. The pair won the MCT first doubles title, topping Sienna Kulynych and Grace Weekes of the Lawrenceville School 6-0, 6-1 in the final last Wednesday at the Mercer County Park Tennis Facility. Their triumph helped PHS take fourth in the team standings at the event. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When it was all over last Wednesday afternoon, Maya-Alexandra Todorov and Ashna Bushan hugged each other on court 8 at the Mercer County Park Tennis Facility.

The pair were celebrating having just won the first doubles final at the Mercer County Tournament. Living up to their ranking, the top-seeded team of Todorov and Bushan rolled through the competition, winning each match in straight sets.

In the final, they topped Sienna Kulynych and Grace Weekes of the Lawrenceville School 6-0, 6-1, dominating the match with their combination of superb net play and solid groundstrokes. more