The sun was shining as the girls field hockey team gathered on the plastic green turf for the semifinals of the Mercer County Tournament against Allentown High School on October 22nd. While waiting for the football players to trail off the field, the team came together to center its focus before the game.
Earlier in the season, the girls team played Allentown and lost 1–4. According to Co-Captain Lucia Matteo ’16, left back, Allentown was one of team’s biggest rivals this season and the Little Tigers were determined to use the loss as a springboard for success in the approaching state tournament.
Serverson credits its first loss to a lack of adjustment early on in the season.
“The first time we played [Allentown] was in the very beginning of our season while we were adjusting to our losses to graduation from the previous season,” said Head Coach Heather Serverson. “The second time we played them we had clearly found our new normal that was working very well since we met in the MCT semifinals … and we played one of our season’s best games against them.”
The team applied what they learned in the loss in semifinals to their performance during the state tournament. In the first round of the tournament, the team received a bye, and beat East Brunswick High School 6–1 in their second round. The girls moved up throughout their bracket and finally lost to Hunterdon Central Regional High School 3–4.
According to Georgia McLean ’17, the game against Hunterdon was extremely close, and had a lot of back and forth scoring. In the first thirty seconds of the game, Avery Peterson ’17 scored the first goal for Princeton. Hunterdon gained more ground throughout the game and were up 3–1. However, the team made a temporary comeback, when Gwen Koehler ’17 and Peterson scored yet again, briefly tying the game.
“At the beginning, we struggled with playing as a unit and keeping the energy up. [However], throughout the states tournament we did a great job at that,” Matteo said. “The whole time we were talking on the field and we had high energy. It shows how the team has grown this season.”