It was a back and forth affair between Monticello and Princeton on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Entering the game with both teams tied atop the Mississippi 8 Conference with 6-0 records. The winner would take the regular season conference crown.
It was a good game with both teams giving the other all they could handle. Monticello came back from a two goal and a one goal deficit, even more impressive considering they were down a man for much of the second half after Jack LePage was whistled for a red card with 31:34 left in the second half.
Two minutes into the game, Monticello had a free kick, but couldn’t convert the set piece and Princeton was able to counter the other way, converting the first goal of the game and taking a 1-0 lead.
Both teams kept up the pressure on each other throughout the half, but neither team could make the most out of their chances until nearly right before halftime.
The Magic hit the framing of the net and missed a rebound attempt midway through the half. Later the Magic got another good chance, but couldn’t get a shot on goal. Shortly after they had yet another chance, but their shot was saved by the keeper by pushing the ball up into the crossbar and then jumping on it before Monticello had a chance to tap the ball in.
Not a minute later the Magic had a shot go over the net.
The Tigers reset and got the ball up quickly and got a shot to find home far post to take a 2-0 lead with 3:40 until halftime.
Coming out of the break, Monticello got to work quickly.
Just two minutes into the half, Alex Westveer converted his chance off a corner kick, cutting the deficit in half, 2-1.
A few minutes later, a Magic shot hit the post on what would have been a stunning equalizer.
With 31:34 left in the half, the Tigers’ Cooper Nowak appeared to have a breakaway opportunity, but LePage tackled him to the ground, saving the would-be breakaway scoring chance, but it cost him a red card. The Magic played the rest of the game down a man, but they didn’t lay down.
Right after LePage had to leave the game, Ty Modaff broke free for the Magic and scored the equalizer bringing the score 2-2 with 31:19 left in the game.
A few minutes later Nowak got his revenge. His shot snuck by the Magic goalie and Princeton took a 3-2 lead with 24:39 left in the game.
With under 20 minutes left, Tate Jacobson tied the game up one last time for Monticello. There was chaos in front of the Tigers’ net and Jacobson was able to put himself in prime position to find the back of the net and Monticello tied the game up 3-3 with 19:27 left.
Jacobson and Modaff both got more chances for Monticello to take a lead, but were unsuccessful.
That opened the door for Princeton to put away the shorthanded Magic.
With chaos in front of the Monticello net this time, Jayden Loshaw got a tap-in on the goal line for the game winning goal with 7:19 left and they held on to win, 4-3.
It was a tough match to lose for Monticello. They played great, even when they were down a man.
Head Coach Matt “Mac” McLachlan thought in the first half his team moved one by one individually instead of as a unit and the energy of the team changed once Westveer got their first goal.
“It’s just something we have to take care of a little better,” McLachlan said. “We just have to mark a little cleaner,” he added. McLachlan finished off saying, “got a good chance to run into them up here (during sections). It would be nice to see what happens there. See if we can get a full 80 in instead of just 40.”
Monticello was tagged as the third seed in section 6AA and hosts St. Francis on Saturday in their opening match-up of section quarterfinals. Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 12 p.m.
Breck 1, Monticello 3
In the last regular season game for Monticello they hosted Breck on Thursday, Oct. 7. Portillo, Jacobson, and Griffin Froemming had the goals for the Magic. Modaff and Andrew Frickel were credited with an assist each.