Tiger boys tie Rockets with progress on the pitch

Princeton boys soccer battled through three games this past week as the team is stepping up against the competition.

Tiger sophomore Elliot Arens (2) chased after the ball and a Wildcat during the Sept. 12 Mississippi 8 match at home.  Photo by Jeff Hage
Tiger sophomore Elliot Arens (2) chased after the ball and a Wildcat during the Sept. 12 Mississippi 8 match at home. Photo by Jeff Hage

On Sept. 12, undefeated Mississippi 8 leader Chisago Lakes took a 4-0 win home from Princeton, taking advantage of a penalty kick score in each half after the Tigers were called for penalties in the box.

“The Wildcats moved the ball well, and we came out a little flat against them. They also play a tough defense,” said Tiger Coach Paul Roth.

On Sept. 10, Big Lake nipped the Tigers 2-0 in another conference contest despite Princeton owning a 16-8 shots advantage in the match.

“We moved the ball well, just missing on opportunities by a half-step on crosses and other chances. This was an exciting game to watch between two evenly-matched teams,” said Coach Roth.

In a Sept. 16 non-conference match, the Tigers tied host Rockford 2-2. Travis Stevens netted both Princeton goals in the first half for a 2-1 lead. The Rockets then scored on one of their two shots in the second half to forge the tie. Chance Brown stepped in as keeper and did a great job in net, added Coach Roth.

• Two weekends ago, the Tigers finished in third place at the Becker Invite. After opening with a 2-1 loss to Christo Rey, Princeton defeated Two Harbors 4-1 for the team’s second victory of the season. Scoring for the Tigers were Elliot Arens, Marshall Bies, Sam Barthel and Chase Arens as the boys put 23 shots on the Agates’ net. Defender Travis King was selected as a tourney MVP for his play.

Princeton’s first win of the season came against North Branch in a 3-2 game when E. Arens cashed in on a penalty kick in overtime. He and Barthel scored the Tiger goals in regulation.

“The biggest thing we are seeing is how the guys are playing their positions, particularly on defense,” described Coach Roth of the growth seen on the team so far this autumn. “We are gaining possession of the ball and controlling it for longer periods. Also, our goal keeper, Justin Carlson, is doing an outstanding job for us.”

Roth’s Tigers will host North Branch in the conference match Sept. 19 before a long road trip Sept. 21 for a rematch with Two Harbors.

Mississippi 8 Boys Soccer: Chisago Lakes 3-0, 7-0; Rogers 3-0, 4-5; Cambridge-Isanti 2-2, 4-5; Buffalo 2-1, 2-4; Monticello 1-1-1, 4-2-1; Big Lake 1-1, 1-4; St. Michael-Alb. 1-1-1, 1-6-1; St. Francis 1-2, 2-5; Princeton 1-3, 2-6; North Branch 0-4, 2-5.