Princeton boys soccer closed its season after No. 5 seed Grand Rapids held for a 5-1 win in the Section 7A opener Oct. 11.
The Tigers drew first blood less than a minute into the match when senior Bailey Carlberg took a long pass, cut across the middle and broke away from the defense for a goal. With 10 minutes left in the half, the Thunderhawks forged a 1-1 tie which carried to the break.
Grand Rapids used odd-man rushes to set up several chances in the second half and scored the four goals to pull away from the Tigers.
“After our first goal, we got a little stuck on going for the ‘home run’ long pass and got away from our controlled passing. But credit Grand Rapids for its attack where they repeatedly set up quality chances in that second half,” said Tiger Coach Paul Roth.
The Tigers finished 2013 with a 4-11-2 overall record.
“It is pretty exciting for our program to keep stepping in the right direction. Our offense scored more this season since we had good ball movement, and our defense cut it’s goals-against by two-thirds from last year,” said Coach Roth. “We graduate just the four seniors, and the returning boys will be rolling into next year after playing winter and summer soccer.”
• In Saturday’s quarterfinals, the Thunderhawks kept advancing by downing No. 4 Duluth Marshall 4-3 in overtime. Grand Rapids (7-9-2) took on No. 1 seed Chisago Lakes in the Oct. 15 semifinals after the Wildcats beat Denfeld 3-0 on Saturday. No. 2 seed Monticello (10-4-3) and No. 6 Hermantown (10-6-2) paired up in the other semifinal match. The 7A championship will be Oct. 17 at Duluth Public Stadium.