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Clouser, Hill School drop Princeton Day School 6-1

POTTSTOWN >> For Jen Weissbach, one of the biggest adjustments in stepping from the basketball court to the field hockey pitch was learning the acoustics from the sidelines.

“My voice doesn’t carry nearly as much out here,” laughed Weissbach, who also serves as the school’s girls basketball head coach, “so I get to be a little bit louder.”

Evidently, the Blues have gotten her message loud and clear.

The Hill School put together another dominant performance on Wednesday afternoon, holding Princeton Day School without a shot on goal until the 54th minute while dominating the possession on the way to a 6-1 non-conference win at Cunningham Field.

Hill School’s Isabella Palde (1) sends a pass to sister Josephine Palde (7) during the second half of Wednesday’s game against Princeton Day School. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

The win serves as The Hill’s fourth straight and improves their overall record to 7-2-1 overall on the season.

Senior forward Taylor Duffany opened up the scoring on Hill’s first possession, corralling a pass from Alex Conway in front of the cage before beating the Princeton Day keeper on the right side for the score less than a minute into regulation.

The Blues controlled the ball for virtually the rest of the opening half, but were getting nothing to show for it over the next 25 minutes.

Then with less than two minutes remaining in the half, sophomore midfielder Logan Clouser blasted one off an insert from Conway to give The Hill a 2-0 lead.

“We got out and were playing the way we like to play,” said Clouser, who wound up with three goals and an assist on the day. “Early on, when we were getting into the circle, we’d get choked up and slowed down by the defense. So we knew we needed to spread it out and use our speed in the second half.”

And that’s just what they did.

Sophomore midfielder Josephine Palde made it a 3-0 lead early in the second half when she secured her own rebound and sent a reverse chip into the back of the cage before Clouser added two goals in the span of four minutes to give the Blues a commanding 5-0 lead.

Hill School’s Maddy Orsi (12) dribbles the ball during the second half of Wednesday’s game. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

Junior forward Riley Bauer then iced it, finishing a beautiful cross from Clouser that was deflected off the stick of Conway to make it a 6-0 game.

“We were really able to connect our passes today,” said Weissbach. “That’s our focus — we play a passing style of hockey. We started off a little bit slow, but we kind of know what’s going to come. You’ve just got to wait to get that one and then the floodgates open.”

That same approach went a long way in the Blues’ impressive 2-2 tie against defending PAISAA champ Notre Dame Academy, the top-ranked team in the nation, earlier this season.

Trailing 2-0 in that game, the Blues scored both their goals during the second half to push the draw. It was the only game the Irish (10-0-1) haven’t won all season.

Hill School’s Josephine Palde, left, gets her stick in front of Princeton Day School’s Valerie Radvanyduring Wednesday’s game. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

“We were happy,” admitted Weissbach of that win, “but we weren’t surprised. We know the level we’re capable of playing at. The girls prove that to me every day in practice. That day, we were able to prove that on a bigger stage. We were content, but we also know we had chances to win that game.”

Now as they begin to eye up Mid-Atlantic Prep League play — four of their next five opponents hail from the MAPL — Weissbach and the Blues are far from satisfied.

“We know how good we can be and we know our ceiling is high,” said Weissbach. “We have a lot of potential, we’ve just got to continue to push day in and day out to get better and better.”

Hill School defender Tanner Eccleston, right, battles for a loose ball with Madison Izzard during the first half of Wednesday’s game. (Thomas Nash – Digital First Media)

NOTES >> For the game, the Blues posted a 21-3 advantage in shots on goal to go along with a 22-0 advantage in penalty corners. Sasha Sindwhani scored Princeton Day School’s lone goal while Lexie Hausheer made 18 saves in the cage.

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