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MOLINE — Ed Young gathered his Princeton girls soccer team in a huddle following Friday’s 8-1 season-ending loss to Rock Island Alleman.
As the 13th-year Tigresses coach talked to his squad, his players shed tears and shared hugs following the loss in the Class 1A Rock Island Alleman Regional championship. Young, however, couldn’t have been prouder.
“It’s painful. I feel their pain and I feel for them,” Young said, “but — even though it’s weird to say — it’s kind of good to see their tears because it says how much they care, and if they are caring they are going to keep putting into it and working to get better.”
With just one full-time starter back this spring from last year’s super-sectional squad, Young’s team was overmatched in Friday’s game.
However, his squad continued to fight and netted a late goal in the final minutes. “Everybody was hungry and there was no quit, and it just shows the attitude of being a team and trying to make things happen,” Young said. “We still got after balls, made the simple passes and took our shots when they were there.”
However, in the end, the Lady Pioneers (12-3) just had too much skill.
Alleman controlled the game and flow from the start as it scored four goals in each half and built an 8-0 lead.
Emily Bollman scored an unassisted goal for the Lady Pioneers just 5:19 into the contest. Alleman added another goal when Raven Wyatt scored nearly 10 minutes later, and the Lady Pioneers made it 3-0 when Alexandria Serra netted a tally less than four minutes after Wyatt’s goal.
Less than 20 minutes into the game, Alleman held a 3-0 lead.
A goal with 17 seconds left in the half made it 4-0 at intermission.
“We struggled at the beginning of the season getting up and taking it to teams right away,” Alleman coach Randy Bollman said. “The last three or four weeks they’ve really focused on it and have gone out and put teams away early. It was good and (getting the early lead) relaxes things a little bit.”
Alleman continued to attack in the second half as two goals within the first 3:23 made it 6-0. The Lady Pioneers pushed the lead to 7-0 with 25:29 left in the game. The seven-goal second-half lead cut the clock in half to 12:44.
Alleman netted a final goal with 11:02 left in the game to make it 8-0.
Down, Princeton was far from out as it continued to play and got on the scoreboard in the final 10 minutes.
From the right sideline, Princeton ‘s Eliza Young lofted a long touch shot over the head of Alleman goalkeeper Macy Hoskins and into the net with 9:37 to play in the game. “Eliza lined one up and hit it sweetly and put it in the far side,” Young said. “It was a good looking shot.”
Unfortunately for PHS, it was the only goal it scored as Alleman outshot the Tigresses 14-3 in the game.
“They are a very good team who when you make mistakes they definitely make you pay,” Young said. “They got some things rolling and then they got to relax with no pressure while we still had to push to try to find something. That unbalance made it really tough.” With the defeat, the Tigresses end the season at 8-8.
“It’s never fun to lose — you always want to bring a regional championship back to town — but I’m proud of our girls,” Young said. “I think we represented our school, communities and families with great honor and dignity. We never quit, kept getting after it, never laid down and kept good attitudes. That’s what we want from our kids.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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