MOLINE — The Princeton Tigresses’ soccer season came to an end as they suffered a crushing 8-1 loss to the Rock Island Alleman Pioneers Friday night in the Class 1A regional final rematch from last year.
Alleman turned the tables, rolling through the regional portion of the state tournament in the same manner as Princeton’s Super Sectional Team did last year.
“It’s a true blessing to win like this,” said Alleman senior captain Jessica Tucker. “This team has grown so much since last year so it’s nice to see how we’ve come together.”
Both senior captain Lexi Marselle and PHS coach Ed Young expressed their pride in the team for refusing to give up. It was Young’s own daughter, freshman Eliza, who showed that on the field, scoring Princeton’s only goal in the 58th minute.
“We worked together as a team, it’s just on this one they were superior. We didn’t give up the whole time,” Marselle said.
Three different Tigresses were assisted off the field due to injury (Marselle, Callie Albrecht and Emma Reidner) which reflects the plight of the season. Princeton rarely had a full squad during the season, at times having four or five starters out to injury.
“It was particularly rough when girls like Callie [Albrecht] got hurt,” said Ed Young. “She brings both speed and quickness to the field.”
It did not take long for Alleman to grab control of the game when in the sixth minute Alleman super freshman forward and coach’s daughter Emily Bollman found the back of the net.
After two goals from sophomore forward Alexandria Serra in the 20th minute and 24th minute, it looked like the Tigresses found some game, holding the defensive line and occasionally pressuring the Pioneer half of the field. But then Bollman broke their backs, weaving in on her own to score with just 17 seconds to go in the half and then feeding teammate Mary Kim Tadda just 67 seconds into the second half.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” said Alleman Coach Randy Bollman. “They worked hard. At the beginning of the season they struggled to put teams away.”
When asked about the play of his own daughter, he said with smirk and a wink, “She could do better.”
Serra completed her hat trick in the 44th minute and then freshman Katie Johannes scored in the 55th minute pushing the lead to 7-0 and halfing the clock. Sophomore Raven Wyatt then completed the Pioneer onslaught two minutes later.
Alleman has a bright future. With a squad packed with freshman and sophomores, they move on to the sectionals to play Quincy Notre Dame on Tuesday in Bloomington. When asked for a prediction, Tucker said, “I hope we go to state and I have faith that we can do it.”
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