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Megan Ostlund controls the ball versus a Becker defender in a contest earlier this season. Princeton’s season came to an abrupt end Tuesday night due to a positive COVID-19 test.  

Princeton’s girls soccer team was all geared up to head into Section 7A play and battle third-seeded St. Francis on Oct. 13 on the road. The opportunity to upset the Saints and advance past the first round was ripped from the Tigers’ hands as a positive COVID-19 test cancelled the game and ended the team’s season.

The Minnesota Department of Health decided to shut down and quarantine the program after receiving a positive COVID test.

The cancelled game will go down as a 1-0 loss for Princeton as St. Francis will advance to the next round in the Section 7A tournament.

Head Coach Tim Donnay was saddened to hear the news that Princeton’s season would be over. “We are disappointed, especially for the seniors who thought they would be able to play at least one section game,” he said.

Princeton Athletic Director Darin Laabs, who notified the team they would not be able to play their section game knew it was a tough end to the year for the team while bringing back memories of another team whose season was cut short. “It’s a very difficult way to end the season. It brought me back to the discussion I had with the boys basketball team last March where we had another really tough decision in a very similar situation,” explained Laabs.

The boys basketball team was able to win their section tournament but saw the state tournament cancelled due to COVID.

Coming into the season for the Tigers, they were not sure if they would be able to play let alone be able to fit in 11 games. Donnay wasn’t sure what to expect from this year but was excited to play their entire regular season schedule. “We didn’t know what each week would bring but we are thankful we got to play a full regular season,” he stated.

The team finished their year with a 3-3 tie to Becker on Oct. 2. Princeton had a 2-6-3 record.

As the careers end for the Princeton seniors, Donnay will miss the players he has coached since their days in the youth program. “I’m going to miss all of them. This is the last group I’ve had the chance to coach since they were eight and nine years old. Not being able to coach them anymore is sad,” said Donnay.

The positive test ends the season for eight Tiger seniors.

The girls soccer team is the second instance of a season being put on hold for Princeton. The volleyball team, who aims to resume sometime next week, was also shut down.

Every time a team has a COVID case, Laabs and Princeton gain knowledge to prevent further positive tests. “We are learning from each one of these episodes. We are learning what is tight in our programs in terms of sanitization and we are also learning where to tighten things up,” Laabs said.

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