PRINCETON: Shannon enjoying leadership role with Panthers

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By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Peter Shannon is enjoying being one of the senior leaders on this year’s Princeton Day School boys lacrosse team., “It is definitely different,” said Shannon, who helped the Panthers improve to 8-2 with a 14-6 Senior Day win over Albany Academy on Sunday. “The senior leaders last year left their mark and it has been really important for our senior class to build our own legacy and it has been really cool for us. We are a really tight knit class and we’re all really close. It has been really cool for us to be at this point., “It has been one incredible ride. It is crazy for me to think that it is almost over. I am focusing on the last couple weeks and making sure they are the best possible.”, The Panthers topped Newark Academy on Wednesday in their final regular season game to earn their ninth win and are set for tournament play from this point on. PDS is the No. 1 seed in both the Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep B tournament. The Panthers will host either Steinert or Pennington in the MCT quarterfinals on Saturday. They host Newark Academy in the Prep B semifinals on May 15., “It has been a good season so far,” Shannon said. “It all started in the preseason. We had a great trip to Florida. It started there building the base for this season. And then we started with a big win over a big rival (Hun) and we just kept grinding ever since making sure we’re not peaking. We’re staying ready and prepping ourselves for tournament time., “You always look forward to tournament time every year. Coming off last year we are definitely looking to get back to where we were. We’re not taking anything lightly. We’re going into every game like we normally would. Every game is a big game.”, The Panthers enjoyed tournament success a year ago, winning both the MCT and Prep B titles. This year of course is even more special for Shannon and his fellow seniors, as they close out their careers with PDS., “For me this year it has been important,” Shannon said. “I didn’t get a lot of runs my first two years before stepping up. It has been really important for me this year to be a leader and make sure everybody is collected on the field and everybody is feeling good and being comfortable out there. It has been cool seeing myself grow over the years., “You kind of grow through the ranks and it is really cool to see. It’s an amazing program and it has really been an honor for us to be a part of it. We gained a little bit of steam each year. It’s been really incredible ever since freshman year. Looking back from freshman year until now it has been awesome.”, The Panthers are balanced offensively, with Elon Tuckman leading the scoring with 27 goals. Senior Will Brossman has scored 20 goals, while Coby Auslander and Jack Konopka are also in double figures. The senior group is six players strong and they have grown along with the program over the last four years., “We have a really tremendous group of seniors,” PDS coach Rich D’Andrea said. “The team dynamic changes a little bit each year. This is a group that we have known would be a special one for a number of years now. It’s great to see them as leaders and as guys the rest of the team looks up to.”, “This group has a really sharp-witted sense of humor. They are a pretty fun group. They are a group that knows when to work and when it is time to be serious and get to work. They are a fun dynamic group of seniors.”