Playing hard until the last second of the overtime thriller, PDS Field Hockey fell 5-4 to Lawrence in MCT final


GREAT FINAL: Princeton Day School field hockey player Ally Antonacci, right, faces a Lawrence High player for the ball in the Mercer County Tournament Championship game last Thursday night. Senior star Antonacci netted a goal and an assist in the game as third-seeded PDS lost 5-4 in overtime to fourth-seeded Lawrence. The Panthers, who fell to 13-4 with the loss, are next in action when they compete in the non-public northern section of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) where they are fourth seeded and host the fifth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in the quarter-finals on November 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton Day School field hockey team played at Lawrence High in late September, it turned out to be one of the most spectacular games of the fall.

Playing in the spotlight, a disjointed PDS team upset the previously undefeated Lawrence 4-3 on a goal from Lily Ryan in the fourth quarter in the September 24 game.

Last Thursday night, the opponents met on the same field again in the Mercer County Tournament Final and they outdid themselves, producing a championship game for the ages.

The third-seeded Panthers took a 2-0 lead over the fourth-seeded Cardinals thanks to goals from Jadyn Huff and Tessa Caputo. After Lawrence responded with a goal from Princeton University superstar Talia Schenck, who recently set the state record for goals in one season as she passed the 100 mark, the Panthers have took a 3-1 halftime lead over a second Caputo goal with eight seconds left in the second quarter.

“It was a good start,” said Farlow. “It was going out aggressive, playing possession and playing our game, that’s the whole game plan.”

In the third quarter, Schenck scored two goals to tie the game at 3-3. With 21 seconds left in the fourth, Schenck found the back of the cage to make it 4-3, seemingly doing the deal.

But rushing en masse onto the pitch, PDS put the ball into the circle and senior Panthers star Ally Antonacci pushed the ball into the goal with: 00.1 left just before the last whistle sounded to tie the fight to 4-4 and force overtime.

In overtime, PDS had a few chances but Schenck pulled it off, securing an assist as Caroline Rotteveel slid the ball into the goal to give Lawrence a 5-4 victory.

In Farlow’s view, a key competitive streak when a Panthers player was carded for 10 minutes midway through the third quarter, putting the Panthers on their heels as the Cardinals had the one player advantage.

“Being a downed player for 10 minutes in a championship game puts you at such a disadvantage,” said Farlow. “I thought our kids were doing very well despite this.”

Farlow liked the way his players took on the challenge of containing Schenck.

“She’s tough, we know that, but our whole game plan was to keep our feet moving and keep our stick in,” Farlow said. “I think we played as well as we could. “

Antonacci played very well in the loss, finishing with one goal and two assists.

“Ally was all over the field tonight, she’s an incredible player,” said Farlow. “She’s an underrated player, she’s been great.”

PDS also got good efforts from goalkeeper Frances Bobbitt, midfielder / striker Huff and defender Franny Gallagher.

“I was happy with Frances in the goal, I think she played really well,” said Bobbitt’s Farlow, who made 11 saves in the game.

“We have a new goalie coach this year, Tia Brown, she has done a great job with Frances. Jadyn Huff had a great game. I was very happy with Franny Gallagher in defense.

While the Panthers are expected to play in the Non-Public North section of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) where they are ranked fourth and will host fifth-seeded Montclair Kimberley Academy in a quarterfinal game. on November 3, Farlow is confident her players will continue to do a good job.

“We won without any more time on the clock; we play until the end of the game until the ball comes in and the whistle blows, ”said Farlow. “Our daughters fought this year, we play the full 60 minutes.”

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