PDS Fall Sports Recap


(Images courtesy of PDS Flickr, Collage by Nandini Kolli ’25)

Emily Zhu, Online Staff Writer

PDS sports are now back in full swing after somewhat of an off year, and this past fall season at the Day School could not have been more eventful. With spectators finally back, the fields, courts, and gyms have been overflowing with passionate athletes and fans since the first day of preseason. Every single fall sports team has had an incredibly successful season, each with its highlights, victories, and milestones. PDS Director of Athletics Katie Fay, looked back on the fall sports season with great contentment: “We welcomed a lot of new coaches and they had an immediate impact, leading us to two-state sectional championships… At the Mercer County Tournament Field Hockey finals, there was an incredible showing of parents, students, alumni, faculty, and staff–It was the best final in MCT Field Hockey history.” 

Field Hockey:

The girls’ varsity field hockey team’s season was one that will go down in the history books. The team had a great sense of energy and determination, which led them to have a fantastic season. Maggie Zarish-Yasunas, one of the senior captains this year, affirmed, “I would say our top four games were when we were the only team to beat PHS this season, beat Lawrence (shutting down Talia skkkkoo), when we scored with no time left against Stuart letting us go to semis, and then our final MCT game. Shout out to Ally for the last second goal letting us continue to overtime! As a senior captain, I’m extremely proud of this team and how we ended the season. I’m looking forward to hearing about the team’s further accomplishments in the upcoming years (hopefully earning that MCT ‘ship). Roll panthers!” 

Girls Soccer:

Girls’ varsity soccer has long made a name for itself at PDS and its rival schools, boasting a group of incredibly talented players and great team chemistry. One of the captains, senior Ali Surace, shared, “We finished with a winning record and had some thrilling victories, like our first NJISAA state tournament win in program history. We had great leadership from every grade which led to focusing not only on our soccer skills, but team chemistry and attitude. Both the team and each individual grew so much over the course of the season.” Seniors Maddie, Aislynn, and Ali were also selected for the Mercer County Hall of Fame Senior Game, and Aislynn and Ali made it to the Mercer 33 team.

Boys Soccer:

The boys’ varsity soccer team also made history this year, taking home another one of PDS’ first titles. Senior captain Milan Shah stated, “This year’s boys soccer team was a great transition period for the program. As a new head coach took on his first year at the helm of the team, a lot changed from years passed including the loss of ten seniors who graduated last year. From the beginning, many didn’t believe the team could have success, but in the end, they finished a strong season by winning PDS’s first ever NJSIAA Sectional Title for soccer, and reaching the non-public B state final.”

As one of our four Zoo leaders, Shah also had the chance to experience fall sports from the unique perspective of a spectator and supporter. He noted, “I could really feel the difference in energy comparing last year to now. We’ve made real progress. I feel that students enjoy and want to come out to games, and when they’re there, the student section is filled with panther pride and it radiates onto the field.”

Girl’s Tennis:

The girls’ varsity tennis team, a tight-knit group of passionate players, also found great success this fall. In many matches, they pulled away with several narrow wins against challenging opponents. In the Mercer County Tournament, Sophomore Kristina Wang managed to put PDS’ name on the leaderboard, winning third place for second singles. They followed that tournament up with an immense victory in the Non-Public A Tournament, where they took home PDS’ very first state sectional title with a team score of 5-0. 

Cross Country: 

The boys’ and girls’ varsity cross country teams each had many highlights throughout the season. One of the team’s senior captains, Will Sun, noted, “Overall the season was really good, especially considering the fact that we lost a lot of strong runners from last year. The girls finished third at the Prep Tournament and Emily McCann was the race’s champion. The guys did well too and we finished fourth at Preps.”

Girl’s Volleyball:

The girls’ volleyball team this year consisted of a staggering 40 girls. Even with such a large number of girls, the team chemistry was off the charts and there was never a dull moment on the team. With the previous season only having finished five months earlier, the progress made was tremendous, having garnered five varsity wins and two JV wins. Despite having a weaker record in previous seasons, the girls kept their spirits and hopes high and continued to support each other. In the end, their hard work paid off greatly.

Be sure to congratulate all of our fall athletes, thank the coaches and athletic faculty who helped this season go so smoothly, and continue supporting our sports teams!