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Pioneers give Tigresses a cold welcome

ROCK ISLAND — The Princeton Tigress Soccer Team was the only PHS team who braved the cold, damp weather on Thursday night and take the field. But the Rock Island Alleman Lady Pioneers gave them a cold welcome, powering in four first half goals on their way to an 7-1 victory.

Halftime provided at least a glimmer of hope as the Tigresses changed sides of the field and had the wind, albeit a cold one, at their backs. But the Lady Pioneers put an end to that when junior forward Andrea Serra found the back of the net just 1:17 into the second half and senior mid fielder Mary Kim Tadda followed suit just 20 seconds later.

Even though the Tigresses were dominated, head coach Ed Young was far from upset with their performance.

“We knew coming in what we were facing,” Young said. “We were worried about developing our game, and not so much what they were going to do or what the scoreboard says. We accomplished a lot of the things we wanted to do... for our communication to get more confident and our vision to get richer. They feel good. I feel good. We’re OK.”

The Tigresses seemed somewhat dejected after falling down by six goals with senior keeper Kelly Schmidt’s daring saves on breakaways the only thing that kept the Lady Pioneers from halving the clock.

Then in the 72nd minute, junior midfielder Malena Wheeler gave the Tigresses a lift with a ricocheted goal.

“It (the ball) got knocked in there, and Keyanna (Altizer) had it and it bounced off a defender. I tapped it in after the bounce off,” she said.

Much of the satisfaction for the game came not only because of the goal, but because the underdog Tigresses played a good overall game against a very strong Alleman team who dominated them last year both in the regular season and again in the regional finals.

“The goal definitely lifted our spirits,” Wheeler said. “We were already having fun anyways because we played a really good game, but it really lifted the spirits I think once that goal was scored.”

The Lady Pioneers, who expect to go deep into the playoffs this year after losing to the eventual state champ in the sectionals in 2013, did not let the Tigresses celebrate their goal very long. Freshman forward Raquel Gonzalez beat Schmidt on a break away just 16 seconds later and sealed the Alleman victory at 7-1

• PHS has a JV contest scheduled on Saturday against DePue at their home pitch in Tiskilwa.

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