Two tough physical tests for Tiger girls soccer

Princeton girls soccer earned its first Mississippi 8 win of the season with a hard-fought 1-0 effort over host Buffalo Sept. 5. The game-winning goal came on passes from Haley Sandin to Taylor Laabs to Alanna Mattson who buried the shot.

“Buffalo was another team that tried to get under our skin. They played very physical, sometimes questionable, and I thought we handled it fairly well. I think it adds fuel to our play, actually,” said Tiger Coach Heidi Finstad. “Even though it was such an action-packed game with so many great moments, my favorite play of the game was probably when Bridget Walter tracked back about 20 yards at top speed to win a ball back with just a few minutes left in the game. It was such a great example of the heart and commitment to play that our players carried throughout that whole game. It was a very emotional win for us.”

Cloquet 3, Princeton 2

On Saturday, the Tigers traveled to Section 7A rival Cloquet where they ran into another physical battle. The game saw five cards handed out by the referees, and the Lumberjacks won it on a penalty kick with just over two minutes remaining.

Beautiful extra effort footwork by Jordan Blomquist turned into the Tigers’ first goal by Maggie Peterson who nailed a solid ground ball into the far corner. Next, Michelle Menshek got a bobbling ball under control and fed it to Walter who ripped a solid shot to the back of the net.

“Both goals were pretty, and I am glad we are seeing these type of goals at this point in our season. Players are recognizing game-changing moments,” noted Coach Finstad. “I thought our defense struggled a little bit. When we got it into Cloquet’s end, they had a hard time getting it out again. This made it difficult for our defenders to mentally stay in the game. I think this is where our mental lapses came in.”

• On Sept. 10, the Tiger girls blanked visiting Big Lake 5-0.

Mississippi 8 Girls Soccer: St. Michael-Alb. 2-0-1, 5-1-1; St. Francis 2-1, 2-3-1; Princeton 2-1, 3-2-2; Chisago Lakes 1-0, 1-2; Cambridge-Isanti 1-1, 4-3; Buffalo 0-1-1, 0-3-2; Big Lake 0-1, 2-4; Rogers 0-0, 1-4; North Branch 0-2, 3-3; Monticello 0-1, 1-3-1.

Tiger Boys  top Vikings

Princeton boys soccer began last week with a 3-2 victory at North Branch in a Sept. 3 Mississippi 8 match. The Tigers then fell to Buffalo 3-0 at home on Sept. 5.

Mississippi 8 Boys Soccer: Chisago Lakes 2-0, 5-0; Big Lake 1-0, 1-3; Rogers 1-0, 1-5; St. Michael-Alb. 1-0-1, 1-4-1; St. Francis 1-1, 2-4; Buffalo 1-1, 1-3; Princeton 1-2, 1-4; Cambridge-Isanti 0-1, 2-4; Monticello 0-1-1, 2-1-1; North Branch 0-2, 1-3.