This week we wanted to take a moment to recognize one of the many Princeton Day School winter sports teams that fought hard this year and developed a strong program. While losing some beloved seniors, the team also boasts several experienced returning players who are poised for an exciting and competitive season next year.
We also wanted to take a moment to recognize senior star Julie Patterson, who earned 100 career points in a PDS hockey jersey. Julie won the Varsity Award, announced at last week's PDS Winter Sports Awards assembly, for her dominance on the ice and her leadership in driving the team's offense for four years of varsity play. She never faced a player she couldn't outmuscle or a goalie she didn't test. She captained the team for the past two seasons and has earned numerous awards throughout her high school career, most recently being named to the NJISAA All-State Team. We're going to miss her physical presence and her point production next season, and we wish her the best as she continues her hockey career at the NCAA level for Wilkes University! Read Coach Cook's season recap, below.
This season our PDS Varsity Girls Ice Hockey team had a solid core of 13 returners and added nine new players to our roster. Our young, new players were tested early and had to acclimate quickly as we faced several injuries to experienced juniors and seniors during the first half of the season. We picked up two wins early, but then hit a tough stretch of games and fell to 2-6 going into winter break. Despite those early losses, the experience was valuable and we built on that momentum throughout the winter.
The team got healthier and rallied to go 7-4 in January. We faced Chatham-Madison in the HRM Invitational championship and fell just short, but grew stronger and picked up big wins against in-state rivals Summit, Immaculate Heart twice, and Morristown-Beard. We felt confident going into February as we focused on the process and were playing our best hockey going into the Prep tournament and our league playoffs.
We played Morristown-Beard in the Prep semifinal, and gave them their toughest game of the tournament, but we lost 3-2 and they went on to win the Prep title. That was the most complete game we played all season, and it was disappointing to miss making the Prep final so narrowly, but we were proud of the effort from our group in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of that tournament.
We hosted the WIHLMA playoffs, and earned a spot in the Miran Division semifinal, for a much-anticipated rematch with Holton-Arms, a team that had defeated us twice in Maryland back in December. This time, we got the win to advance to the championship game, but unfortunately lost for a third time this season against a strong Rye Country Day team.
We played a lot of memorable games on the road, including under the lights against Portledge at their outdoor rink on Long Island, the overnight trip to Maryland to play Holton-Arms, and across town against Princeton High School at Princeton University's historic Baker Rink. We finished the season with a 12-12 record, and had a couple players hit career milestones. Our sophomore goalie Jillian Wexler picked up her 1,000th save, and was consistently strong for us finishing with a .924 save percentage on the season. And senior captain Julie Patterson recorded her 100th career point, with 37 points this season, including two hat tricks and 13 multi-point games.
Five of our players were selected for the NJ Girls High School All Star Game, played in Newark last weekend: Julie Patterson '19, Caroline Haggerty '20, Jillian Wexler '21, Hailey Wexler '21 and Maisie Henderson '21. Julie scored, which was a perfect ending for her final game in a PDS jersey. Jillian came in for the second half of the game and had a challenging sequence right away, but she shut the door after that with several big saves including stopping a penalty shot (any penalty was an automatic penalty shot) to keep the lead for her team. Maisie had an assist. Caroline had a lot of tough plays to make and held her own well on defense. Hailey was still injured so could not play, but she was on the bench to enjoy the experience.
The NJ.com All-State First Team and Honorable Mention designations will be announced later this month, so look for an update soon! While we are truly sad to see some great seniors moving on, we are looking forward to continued girls varsity ice hockey excitement and competitive play next season. Congratulations to all of the players!
2018-19 PLAYER AWARDS
PDS Varsity Award – Julie Patterson '19
PDS Coaches Award – Bryn Aprill '19
PDS Coaches Award – Flynn Gorman '19
HRM Invitational's Christopher Reeve Sportsmanship Award – Bryn Aprill '19
NJISAA All-Tournament Team – Julie Patterson '19
WIHLMA All-Miran First Team – Julie Patterson '19
WIHLMA All-Miran First Team – Jillian Wexler '21
WIHLMA All-Miran Honorable Mention – Caroline Haggerty '20
WIHLMA All-Academic First Team – Aaliyah Sayed '21
WIHLMA All-Academic First Team – Caroline Haggerty '20
WIHLMA All-Academic Honorable Mention – Charlotte Haggerty '20
WIHLMA HRM Sportsmanship Award – Sasha Sindhwani '19
NJ All-Star Game Selection – Julie Patterson '19
NJ All-Star Game Selection – Caroline Haggerty '20
NJ All-Star Game Selection – Jillian Wexler '21
NJ All-Star Game Selection – Hailey Wexler '21
NJ All-Star Game Selection – Maisie Henderson '21
Team roster: Bryn Aprill '19, Brianna Astbury '20, Natalie Celso '22, Madeline Chia '21, Hannah Choe '21, Franny Gallagher '22, Flynn gorman '19, Caroline Haggerty '20, Charlotte Haggerty '20, Maisie Henderson '21, Julie Patterson '19, Courtney Richter '22, Jules Romano '21, Aaliyah Sayed '21, Ellie Schofield '20, Sasha Sindhwani '19, Annabel Thomas '20, Lizzie Thomas '22, Hailey Wexler '21, Jillian Wexler '21, Rebecca Willner '22, Jordan Young '21
Contributed by PDS Varsity Girls Ice Hockey Coach Lorna Cook
Photos: NJ High School All Stars from PDS, Julie Patterson, Caroline Haggerty, Hailey Wexler, Maisie Henderson and Jillian Wexler with Coach Cook on March 2 at Newark's Barnabas Health Hockey House, home of the three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils and Isobel Cup Champion Metropolitan Riveters (Coach Cook's team). Team photo, courtesy Photo Haven Photography.