EAST PEORIA — Even though virtually every other sporting competition in Northern Illinois was cancelled on Friday evening, the Princeton Tigresses and the Peoria Christian Chargers took to the soccer pitch at Eastside Centre in the annual Kickin’ Out Cancer event. Dressed in bright pink outfits with white letters, PC came away with a 2-0 victory over Princeton who donned white outfits with bright pink letters.
The event was originally supposed to be held at Shea Stadium at Bradley University and included six other teams and three other matches. However, Bradley cancelled to preserve its field conditions and Princeton and Peoria Christian were the only two teams that found their way to the pitch in East Peoria.
“I was proud of my team. I thought they overcame adversity on whether not knowing the match would be canceled than changing venues missing four starters doing just great showing great team attitude and spirit and in just proud of them and showing that we are ready for the next opportunity Tuesday in the regionals,” PHS coach Ed Young said.
The rain held off throughout the game but the conditions were definitely sloppy. In fact, very few of the Princeton uniforms were white at the end of the game.
This was especially true for goalkeeper Kelly Schmidt and the defense. It is actually a testament to the Princeton defense and Schmidt keeping the Chargers to only one goal in each half.
The stats show only nine shots on goal for the night, but with crisp passes, field switches, and effective use of overlaps on the outside, the offensive pressure from Peoria Christian was constant. In fact, Princeton only had one shot on goal for the night.
Princeton (7-7) did enter the game with a short bench, four girls out due to injury, all of whom were starters. Included in that group was leading scorer Michelle Kelly. To add insult to injury, outside midfielder Kim Schlesinger was carried off the field during the second half after sustaining an injury.
The Tigresses only have a few days to lick their wounds as state playoff action begins on Tuesday in Rock Island where they face off against Hall. The winner of that match advances to the regional championship Friday night against the winner between top seed and host Rock Island Alleman and DePue.