JASPER — Two nights after picking up their first postseason win in five years, the season came to an end for the Princeton Community girls soccer team Thursday.
The Lady Tigers ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Jasper in the second semi-final match of the Class 2A sectional hosted by the Lady Wildcats.
Jasper scored just 31 seconds into the contest when Kara Krueger broke free down the right side of the field and scored from 15 yards away.
Krueger went on to record a hat trick in the Lady Wildcats’ 6-0 win which ends Princeton’s season with a 6-9-3 record.
Lady Tigers’ first-year head coach Patrick Donnell mentioned the scoreboard did not tell the whole story.
“I told the girls the score tonight did not reflect how we played,” Donnell said. “At times I thought we really frustrated them, but they just happened to get through a couple times, but that is just how it goes in soccer sometimes.”
Aside from the quick strike in the opening minute, Princeton held the Lady Wildcats scoreless for the remaining 39-plus minutes of the first half.
Sophomore keeper Makinlyn Winkler stoned five of the six shots Jasper sent on goal in the first half to keep the Lady Tigers in the match.
Regan Munday gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead when she scored in the 43rd minute on a centering pass from Krueger on a 2-on-1 breakaway.
Eight minutes later, Jasper put the game away with a trio of goals in a span of two minutes for a 5-0 lead.
“We played right there with them for the first half, but it takes two whole halves to win a soccer game,” the Lady Tigers coach said.
Jasper won the regular season matchup, 9-1.
“We saw what they are capable of when they came to our place earlier in the year,” Donnell said of the Wildcats. “They gave us a pretty good whooping which kind of served as a reality check for us, so we knew tonight was not going to be an easy match.”
Princeton was only able to place one shot on goal during the 80-minute match — a corner kick from Gracy Key.
Jasper recorded 16 shots on goal as well as numerous scoring chances which wide wide or high.
“They do such a great job of spreading the field and then switching back to get us out of position,” Donnell said of the Jasper offense. “They are patient and played the ball to the feet of their players well.
“But I thought our keeper Makinlyn just killed it back there tonight. She made a lot of great stops for us, unfortunately you are not going to be able to save them all.”
With losing just two starters from a six-win team, Donnell said he is eager to see how much they can improve next season.
“I think we were overlooked by some teams this season,” the coach said. “It may have took us a little while to get it back together after a 2-0 start, but I am happy with the way the team played down the stretch and I am excited for the future. We have a lot of really good girls who are coming back and they all work so hard.”