Field Hockey Ultimate Showdown
Written by Mallory Smith ’23
The Hun field hockey team played a highly competitive game against Blair, breaking Blair’s winning streak, beating them (2-1) on October 9th, 2021. On Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, Blair was looking for revenge at Hun, fighting with Hun for second place in the MAPL league. The game was vital as it was a state quarter-finals competition. Hun was hungry to advance to the semi-finals.
The Hun field hockey program has exponentially improved its’ record this year with 5 wins under its belt. Blair’s record last year was 12 wins and 5 losses beating Hun 8-0. This year, they have 8 wins and 2 losses, one of those losses being to Hun.
Ashley Jones ’22, a senior captain for the field hockey team–one of the top 100 players in New Jersey– said, “I think it was talent (that helped us win Blair the first time). We have put in much hard work this season, and tomorrow should be a really good game. Our team is lucky to play against a team as good as Blair. I am excited to see what tomorrow brings.”
Jones believed her team could take home the win again. She was equally as confident in her coach’s ability to help secure a win. Coach Tracy Arndt has been coaching the Hun field hockey program for three years and the Athletic Director. Arndt played at Penn State and went on to play at the national level after college. Before the game, Mrs. Arndt said,
“I believe we have prepared the team to be ready to play Blair, and we are excited to play! The coaching staff broke down the film from our first game to see tendencies from their team and strengths and areas to improve for our team. Now that the players are prepared, we look forward to seeing their hard work in action on the field!”
Blair and Hun are both in the MAPL League and play each other every year. Hun has lost to Blair for the past six years and finally broke their losing streak this year, which was huge.
Norah Kempson ’24, a sophomore starting Hun goalie, had 94 career saves this season. As the protector of the goal cage, she is one of the greatest assets on the team. Although it takes a whole team to thwart off competitive scores, goalies often feel much pressure because they are the last line of defense. Before the game, Norah said, “The sport takes a lot of trust between all players, but most of all the defenders and goalie. This trust builds through well-coordinated play and communication. We have been working on our communication in the back and scanning the field to fix placement.”
Although Hun lost to Blair in their rematch with a hard-fought battle 2-1, our field hockey team fought until the end, trying their best.
Girls’ Varsity Tennis Goes Into The MAPL Tournament 9-1
Written by Amanda Francis ’23
In the 2021 fall season, the Hun Girls’ Varsity Tennis team went to the MAPL tournament with a 7-3 record. The team has had many different coaches throughout the years, but this year’s team seemed stronger than in previous years.
A new tennis coach Ricciardi said, “I always knew that we would be a force to be reckoned with throughout our league. No one should underestimate us because we have all the right mindset and tools to win and go far in every tournament.”
In the first match of the season, the girls lost against Peddie 3-4, but Coach Ricciardi remained optimistic. He said, “Even though we lost, we learned a lot from that match. I knew the girls were nervous, but after the match, we talked about ways to overcome nerves and fight through adversity.”
According to senior tennis captains Esha Mogali and Lindsay Armstrong, out of their four years on the team, “Coach Ricciardi has pushed us harder than any other coach in the best way possible. We like the way he focuses on different shots each week to improve our games.”
After the first loss against Peddie, the girls won every match, successfully entering the Mercer County Tennis Tournament. Out of the sixteen high school teams competing for the team title, Hun placed third. On October 17th, the team then went to The Pingry School to compete for the State Prep A title, and the first singles player, Amanda Francis ’23 made it to the finals by beating the team’s rival, Lawrenceville School: 0-6, 6-4, 10-5.
A lot of the team’s success came from Coach Riccardi’s son, Ryan Ricciardi, who trained with the girls occasionally. The seasoned tournament player claimed that the key to the girls’ success was “The team’s positive energy.”
Mr. Helvey, a faculty teaching history at Hun, noted that “the team needs to keep their emotions and composure in check because if not, it will avalanche into more and more frustration.” Ms. McKee, an Administrative Assistant to Athletics, also said, “The team is flying under the radar. Seeing the tennis team over the years is night and day compared to the other years. If the team keeps doing what they have been doing, there is nothing to worry about.”
Hun’s varsity girls tennis team had a dominant season with the coach’s confidence instilled in the girls. This fall, the team dynamic was more robust because it was entirely in-person, attributed to their success, unlike last year.
Varsity Soccer Teams Prepare for Mercer County Tournament
Written by Marco Lainez ’23
Both Hun Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer teams are having an exceptional season preparing for the Mercer County Tournament.
The girls, with a record of 8-3-1, have had some major victories this season. Hun upset a #1 ranked Pennington School 1-0, with Tessa Falcone ’24’s goal. Furthermore, Zoey Palmer ’24 posted 10 saves on 10 shots by Pennington.
“Zoey Palmer has improved so much this year. She has made many big saves this season. Although being a goalie, her footwork is phenomenal and has made so much technical improvement since last season,” said center-mid Riley Hayes ’23.
Riley has become one of the leaders on the team, who has 11 goals on the season. She attributes her success to her work in the off-season.
“I have improved my work rate, being more aggressive and attacking the goal, along with switching the field more to get more players involved,” commented Riley Hayes ’23.
Another critical component to the Raiders’ success this season is center-back Tooni Olaleye ’23, with her speed and physicality.
“Not only has she improved her soccer IQ, but her communication on the field has also kept our backline solid. She’s also proven that she will give her best effort no matter the score, and that has made her into a role model on the team,” said Riley Hayes ’23.
The Raiders have their first round of the MCT Tournament on October 21st, vs. Hightstown, who is 8-6 on the year. The Raiders will be a formidable opponent for anyone who lines up across from them with an impressive season.
The girls went on to win the state championship over #2 Ranked Pennington in a 4-3 OT thriller with a golden goal by captain Riley Hayes.
The boys, whose record is 8-4, are also preparing for the MCT Tournament.
“Our main strategy…is to watch a film on them, gather information on how they play, what formations they like to do, their good players, and which players to attack,” said Joaquin Peres ’23, the left-wing for the Raiders whose assist to Massimiliano Verduci ’23 helped add a goal to defeat Blair 4-2 during the season.
The boys have been faced with adversity throughout the course of the season. After a .500 start at 3-3, they met St. Benedicts, the nation’s #2 boys soccer team. Losing 7-0, Hun’s record was 3-4 at the season’s midway point.
“Those games have helped us get back on track, focus even harder, and pushed us to become better as a team,” said Joaquin Peres ’23.
Another key component to the team’s success is the team’s chemistry.
“We have gotten close this year off the field. Our communication to each other is solid on the field because we know what everyone else is thinking,” said Matt Sipos ’22, an outside back whose defensive effort has helped aid the Raiders to a 4 game winning streak leading into the MCT’s.
The Raiders beat Lawrence by a score of 3-0 in the first round of a double elimination playoff. The boys lost 5-0 to Pennington on October 23rd and 3-1 to Pennington again on November 1st. They did have a final consolation game against Lawrenceville to honor the seniors, which they won 3-1.
Rowing Team Finishes Season With New Head Coach
Written by Charlie Stowe ’23
On November 13th, the Hun Crew team finished their season at the Frostbite Regatta on Mercer Lake. Since October, they have rowed without their three-year Head Coach Anna Kalfian who left to coach at Princeton University.
Although there was a temporary drop in morale throughout the team after losing their beloved coach, the season has been the most successful in recent years. The team raced at the coveted Head of the Charles regatta and won a bronze medal in the coxed quad event at the Head of the Sckukill. In the Mercer scrimmage, they got second in the men’s eight and first in the women’s four.
“We haven’t slowed down,” said Rowan John ’23, the team’s co-captain. “We are working as hard as ever and are ready to give it our all.”
They were intensely training every day of the week, often with early morning and weekend practices. With the fall season over, the team prepares for rigorous winter training to prepare for spring racing. The New Head Coach Parker Nelson has laid out clear goals, and it’s full steam ahead.
Coach Nelson’s primary goal is to improve the reputation of the Hun School Crew, who over the past decade has not qualified for many high-level events such as the HOTC. “It’s been a lot more than expected to take on, but it’s been an exciting challenge and one I’m not giving up on.”
Coach Nelson was hired this year as the Head Coach of the Rowing team. Now, he and Doctor Coach Margery Mark work as partners to coach the team.
“I was hired (as the Head Coach) with intent to distribute the load between the girls and the boys’ teams. However, when I got here, Anna was still running it because we didn’t have a girls and a boys team,” says Coach Nelson.
Coach Anna Kalifian announced her departure on September 29th and coached through the Head of the Housatonic Regatta on October 9th. All the rowers, novice and varsity, both feared and loved her, and she left an impact on the whole team.
“It was sad, but I was happy for her.” Armaan Vohra ’23 commented although he refuses to let it affect his effort or morale. He has his mindset on the race and plans to row his absolute best. “Every race, every practice I just think, do it for Anna.”
Football Team Beats Hill, Moves on to Cheshire
Written by Zachary Aamland ’23
The Hun School of Princeton’s football team had huge success over the Hill School in an away game on October 16th with a final score of 40-0.
“It was amazing. We all work so hard for things like this to happen, so when we won, and we stayed undefeated, it was a great feeling,” linemen James Muller ’24 stated.
Though, some players weren’t delighted with the win and believed more points could be made without several mistakes.
“We definitely could have eliminated mistakes and had fewer penalties, but the best is yet to come,” said linemen David Siegel ’22.
Due to the incredible speed, Hun was able to score on Hill, and the varsity team only played half a game. Even when confronting some varsity players, The JV team held their own after joining the game during the second half. “I’m glad and grateful that I was able to contribute to the team’s win. It felt great to get out there and contribute to some of the points scored,” said QB Jack Moran ’25.
On October 23rd the Hun School is traveling up to Cheshire Academy to play. This game is going to be a fight between two undefeated teams. The practices this week between Hill and Cheshire games have been essential for this upcoming game.
“The team is preparing by making sure we have excellent practices and also making sure the scout team knows exactly what looks to give the starters to make sure that we are playing with perfection when we do go down to Cheshire,” said David Siegel ’22.
All the Hun football players have on their mind is to achieve the 6-0 record and stay undefeated.