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The Princeton girls soccer team will return to the pitch looking to rebound from a tough end to last season.

2020 Results: 2-7-3 (2-5-3 in M8); Forfeited to St. Francis is Section 7A Quarterfinals (COVID-19).

COVID-19 affected many teams across the state last year, cutting seasons short and ending postseason runs early.

The Princeton girls soccer team is a prime example of that, as the Tigers were forced to forfeit their opening round section contest, bringing their year to an abrupt end.

That abrupt end has lit a fire under many of the Tiger players as they look to return to the pitch strong this year.

Missing that game has given even more inspiration to succeed said senior Tess Jungroth. “It has given us a lot of extra motivation and it has motivated us more for this season,” said Jungroth.

Aiming to take full advantage of the fire lit under his team from last year’s unfortunate end, Princeton Head Coach Tim Donnay looks to mix up the formula from the previous teams to find success. “People are going to have to buy in, people are going to be in positions they haven’t been in before. We have a lot of different talent, it will just be getting them in the right spots on the field. If we can find the right mix, we will do well,” said Donnay, as the team has been busy scrimmaging in practice to see what works best.

Having those changes and swaps of positions has opened the eyes to different ways that players can help the team said senior Amelia Smith. “We have had a lot of girls try some different positions and find that the different things actually work better for them, which is going to be really beneficial for our team.”

Princeton’s Kendall Cox agreed with her teammate, adding that when other players find those new spots on the field, it helps the team improve. “When some of the new girls find their positions, it gives us a lot of strength as a team,” said Cox.

Having that strength on the field with players comfortable playing different positions will help as depth for the Tigers’ coming into the year is an area that will feature younger and unproven players. “There’s a bit of a drop for sure, but we will work through it. We just have to train up our younger players, that will be key,” said Donnay.

As the teams continues prepare and ready for the season, a new challenge will present itself as a different class and section await the Tigers. Princeton will move Class AA and Section 6AA, a bracket that will feature some Mississippi 8 foes and new one alike.

Being able to see some of those teams in the regular season will be a great advantage come playoff time believes Jungroth. “It pretty important we can do that. We will get to know how they play, their players and how to guard them,” said Jungroth on possible postseason match ups with conference foes.

For now, the Tigers are focused on starting the season on the right foot said Donnay. “They are ready to play,” he said.

Princeton began its season on hosting Grand Rapids, falling 7-3 to the Thunderhawks on Aug. 28.

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