By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A regular season that began for the Princeton girls soccer team in the stifling heat of August ended in the chilly darkness at their stadium Monday night, in much the same way it began — with a win.
The Tigers from Mercer County roared to a quick lead and beat the Tigers from Shady Spring 8-2 after leading 5-1 at the half.
Princeton (15-1-0) head coach Michelle Dye said about the season, “It’s flown by. It seems like August was just a couple of weeks ago.”
There was a big motivation to get in the match with Shady Spring, newly added to Class AAA this season.
“This kind of determined our sectional ranking,” Dye said. “You’re required to play all of the teams (within your classification) in your section, so ... we should be able to host the first round here. I guess it’ll probably be Woodrow Wilson, next Tuesday.”
There was the danger of a letdown after Princeton’s defeat of George Washington on Saturday afternoon to bag its first Mountain State Athletic Conference championship.
No worries, their coach said.
“I was really impressed,” Dye said. “They had a really quick start. We scored in the first five or six minutes of the game, and they jelled. They did their thing.”
Senior Jordan Thompson said, “I thought we were going to come out and say, hey, we’ve already won this because we’ve won the championship. But I think we came out pretty good.
“We tried to pump each other up in the locker room, to say we haven’t won it yet, we’ve just got to put it behind us. I was pretty proud of the way we came out and put it behind us.”
Junior striker Shaylah Walls said, “The quick start was a major factor. We had to get the quick start, get a few goals in and really get ahead of the game before it could even really begin.”
Walls had a hat trick with three goals by halftime. Ashley Culicerto and Amanda Barrett netted one ball in each half.
Both of Shady Spring’s goals came from Lindsay Thompson, one in each half. Her final score of the night, making the score 7-2, came when she outran the Princeton defense and drew the goalkeeper to the right and fired the ball into the left side.
Princeton’s Jessica Inman took a nice cross from Barrett and booted it in with 7:02 remaining for the last score of the evening. Substitutes played often for Princeton in the second half.
And the weather?
Walls said, “Actually, we didn’t even notice it. We knew it would be chilly ... but it wasn’t even a factor for us.”
Princeton is ranked fifth in Class AAA in the coaches’ association rankings released on Monday.
— Contact Tom Bone at