Princeton is a two-time defending regional champion and returns the firepower, including BCR Player of the Year Mariah Hobson, a record scorer, to make a run at a 3-peat.
The Tigresses ran through their own regional last year, defeating Hinckley-Big Rock (6-0) and Genoa-Kingston (6-2) before falling to Rockford Christian (2-1) by penalty kicks in the sectional semifinals.
“We are hoping to have a solid regular season and get a favorable seed going into the playoffs. Our first goal is to win the regional again, and hopefully take that next step,” PHS coach David Gray said.
Princeton won the sectional championship in 2021, dropping the supersectional and falling one match from state.
Coach: David Gray.
Key returners: Abby Brown (jr., D), Devin Dever (so., M), Claire Grey (sr., D), Mariah Hobson (sr., F), Emma Kruse-Carter (so., D).
Key newcomers: Olivia Mattingly (so., F), Chloe Ostrowski (fr., M).
Worth noting: Hobson scored a single-season record 63 goals last year, ranked fourth all-time in state history, and is just 11 goals away from the school’s career scoring record, held by Jasmine Kunkel. The Tigresses also look for some scoring punch from Mattingly, Dever and Ostrowski, and “Hopefully, we get some from unexpected places as well,” Gray said. Mattingly sat out much of last season with an injury and Gray anticipates her to have a big impact this spring. ... Sophomore midfielder Nora Schneider, who had a breakout freshman season, is sidelined with an offseason knee injury and is doubtful to be cleared by the end of the season, but Gray said he is holding out a little hope. ... Defensively, the Tigresses return several players with starting experience with Kruse-Carter, Brown and Claire Grey. Sophomore Maddie Oertel steps up to fill the hole left at goalkeeper by the graduation of Mya Gartin. ... Other squad members are juniors Melany Arellano-Garcia (D), Anagrace Isaacson (D), Jayden Sims (D) and Evelen Grabow (F), sophomore Ella Gray (M) and freshmen Audrey Thompson (M), Xiomara Cortez (D), Riley Rauh (F) and Kayleigh Sims (M). ... “The strength of the team looks like it will be the chemistry,” Gray said. “The girls have been putting in the work at practice, and seem to be gelling nicely. We have some players who do not have much experience, so it remains to be seen what our ceiling will be, but we are optimistic.” ... The Tigresses are scheduled to open the season Saturday at Metamora.