PRINCETON: Panthers rule Prep B lacrosse

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Pictured are members of the Princeton Day School boys lacrosse team

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
The Princeton Day School lacrosse teams are as good as it gets in Prep B this season., In fact, both the Panther girls and boys teams have made a habit of being as good as it gets in Prep B lax lately., The PDS girls captured their third straight Prep B title with a 19-13 win over Montclair Kimberley Academy on Tuesday. One day later, the Panther boys made it two straight Prep B titles and their third in four years with an 11-2 win over Rutgers Prep., The boys capped off a second straight year of winning both the Prep B and Mercer County Tournament titles behind four goals and two assists from Elon Tuckman, as well as three goals and three assists from Will Brossman., “We just kept playing our game on offense and making stops on defense,” said Brossman, part of a senior class that came away with five titles in four years. “We really executed which is what we had to do. We went in knowing we had to possess the ball., “The best part of it was fitting into different roles. Last year I was a utility player. I was a shooter and we had a bunch of senior guys who would come up big. This year I stepped into the captain role and it was nice to be able to rely on some of the younger guys.”, After posting a 10-2 win over Newark Academy in the semifinals of the Prep B tournament, the Panthers broke open a close game with a huge second period against Rutgers Prep in the final. The Panthers have enjoyed great team success over the last four years while turning over the roster in the process., “It’s something that you don’t notice until you are a senior in high school, that the team is ever changing,” Brossman said. “My mom is always talking about how she doesn’t recognize some of the guys on the field because we are constantly graduating kids. Coach (Rich) D’Andrea does a great job of meshing everyone together and making sure the chemistry is always good. We’re all brothers on this team., “I think we have a bunch of guys who are going to step up next year. I think we have this mentality of winning and brotherhood and I think that will stay true even after we graduate.”, PDS has built a winning culture that has seen the players on the field change, but the success stay the same. And that is something the Panthers would like to see continue., “These guys have really bought into taking ownership of this thing and you can see that humble but winning attitude has made its way into the program,” D’Andrea said. “(Peter) Higgins does a great job with the middle school guys and that is prevalent with these guys as well., “The dynamic changes every year. We have been fortunate to string some talented classes together. I think that is the tell of a lasting power of a program. We have been fortunate to put together several strong seasons in a row.”, PDS finished 14-2, losing only to Lawrenceville and Springside-Chesnut Hill this season., “We try to load up on those big prep teams at the beginning of the year and we play some great Mercer County talent as well.” D’Andrea said. “MCTs and Prep B at the end of the year is when we try to peak and put it all together.”, The Panther girls have also managed to peak at the right time the last three years, winning the Prep B title each season. In the win over MKA, Morgan Mills finished with eight goals and three assists, while Madison Mundenar added seven goals., “It was exciting to be playing my last game at PDS, but at the same time it’s incredibly sad to be leaving the program, especially after four years,” Mills said after the win. “I feel I have grown as a player and watched the team grow., Winning three straight titles cements the Panthers as the best there is in Prep B, “It means the world to these kids,” said PDS coach Jill Thomas, whose team finished 10-4 on the season. “When you start thinking about the season in the winter and you have this date on your calendar and when you get there and you have a chance to win it it’s still special., “I’m really happy for the girls. We knew what we wanted to do and they were a good team.”, The defense, led by senior Abby Atkeson, played a huge role in the win as well., “I am so proud of my team that we got to this point,” Atkeson sad. “I am so happy for my team and that we were able to do it three years in a row is pretty incredible. It was a lot of hard work from these girls.”