Princeton finished strong to pull away from Streator in the third-place match of the Princeton girls soccer invitational on Saturday at Little Siberia Field.
Junior forward Mariah Hobson scored two second-half goals and Nora Schneider added her second of the game as the Tigresses turned a 2-1 halftime lead into a 5-1 victory.
“Once we can score a couple, our confidence really builds,” PHS coach David Gray said. “We kind of play better if we can get a goal early and settle us down. If we don’t score early, we tend to push and then when we have breakaway chances, we’re pressing instead of just finishing.”
Schneider was the first to score in the second half on a breakaway to make it 3-1 with 16 minutes remaining in the 25-minute shortened half.
“She turned and had a lot of space to run into. She carried the ball all the way down. And I thought she was going to try to play the ball across, but I think the space just continued to be in front of her, so she took it all the way in and scored,” Gray said. “I think that was the one that really ended the game.”
Hobson and Schneider each scored in the first half to give the Tigresses a 2-1 lead. Freshman Joey Puetz scored the lone goal for Streator.
Gray was happy to get third place.
“It’s a pretty balanced tournament overall,” he said. “The one loss we had to Orion-Sherrard, I thought that game was even. It was just they were able to finish a couple chances they had and we were unable to.”
Hobson also turned a hat trick in a 5-0 opening win over Sterling. Tori Segerstrom and Schneider also scored.
PHS lost to Orion-Sherrard United 2-0 in pool play.
Streator coach JT Huey said the Bulldogs, who beat L-P, 6-5, on penalty kicks and lost to Dixon, 2-0, in pool play, got everything out of the tournament they wanted and played more kids in the second half against Princeton.
“We saw the opportunity to get the minutes for some girls,” he said. “It was a good battle. We knew we were going to come in third or fourth place, so we were really trying to save our line for next week when we start conference. We don’t want to add any injuries.
“All the girls that we had got in good, solid minutes and good experience. Princeton does a good job of controlling the ball. They have a good striker. It helps us because when we go back to our area, it helps us get better and learn to see what we’ve got to defend against.
“We love coming out to the Princeton Tournament. It’s a good Saturday for us.”
Notes: In other crossover contests, Dixon beat Orion-Sherrard, 5-4, on penalty kicks for the championship while Sterling edged L-P, 1-0, for fifth place.
PHS Invitational scoreboard
Princeton 5, Sterling 0
Orion 2, Princeton 0
Orion 5, Sterling 0
Dixon 2, Streator 0
Dixon 4, L-P 1
Streator 1, L-P 1 (Streator wins on Penalty Kicks 6-5)
5th place: Sterling 1, L-P 0
3rd place: Princeton 5, Streator 1
Championship: Dixon 1, Orion 1 (Dixon wins on Penalty Kicks 5-4)
Source: The Daily Chronicle