Estrada, Tigers sink Little Giants in OT
MOLINE — Princeton coach Jason Bird called it a great high school soccer game. He was glad to be on the winning side of things.
After 100 minutes of soccer, Bird's Princeton Tigers outlasted the DePue Little Giants 4-3 in double overtime of Wednesday's semifinals of the Rock Island Alleman Regional. Jacob Estrada scored the game-winning goal with just under five minutes remaining in the second overtime.
"It was a great game for soccer fans. It was a fun game to be part of. I know I wouldn't want to be on the other side of it, but it was great high school soccer game," Bird said.
The Bureau County rivals played to a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation. Senior captain Raider Keenan scored for the Tigers five minutes into the first overtime on an assist from junior Nate Duffy, but DuPue's Carlos Acosta evened the score with just 20 seconds left.
After a five-minute stalemate in the second overtime, the Tigers broke through off a free kick by Tyson Lorenzen. Garrett Duffin directed the ball to Estrada with a header, and Estrada who in turn, headed the ball into the net.
"It's something you dream about happening," Estrada said. "Tyson always has a good solid free kick. He just had a nice ball right to the six, and Garrett Duffin gave me a nice flick and was just at the right place at the right time."
Bird said he really didn't see what happened with a lot of bodies in the box. "All I saw was the ball going into the net," he said.
Estrada said the Little Giants (8-8-1) proved to be just who they thought they would be, but they had something to prove.
"We knew coming in it would be one of the harder games we'd play in regionals," he said. "Earlier in the week, DePue's coach said they had the best team in the league, and that gave us a big boost. We just wanted to put it to them."
DePue drew first blood in the game with a goal by Hugo Perez at the 5:25 mark. Brody Hunt tied the game just 35 seconds later for a 1-1 halftime score.
Hunt struck again at the 52:19 to mark to give the Tigers a 2-1 edge. Acosta, with an assist from Hugo Perez, scored again at 57:22 to tie the game back up, and the defenses took over from there, sending the game into overtime.
The outcome marked the second time in five years PHS edged its neighbors in overtime in the postseason. In 2008, the Tigers sneaked by on a "golden goal" by Justin Jenkins, his first goal of the season.
Notes: PHS will meet host Rock Island Alleman at noon Saturday at the Alleman Athletic Complex at 1186 43rd Ave., Moline. The Tigers are 2-0 against Alleman this season in two early-season contests (2-0, 5-1), but Estrada said "things change in the postseason." The fourth-seeded Pioneers (9-11-2) advanced to the finals by shutting out top-seeded Monmouth-Roseville 2-0 in Wednesday's first game. DePue beat M-R 6-0 in regular-season play Oct. 6 ... With two goals, Acosta, a DHS junior, finished the season with 31 and now has 83 over three seasons.
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