PRINCETON: Little Tigers fall in state soccer semis

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   TOMS RIVER – For most of the night Wayne Sutcliffe felt like his Princeton High boys soccer team was controlling play in its state Group III semifinal against Timber Creek.
   But it was the South Jersey sectional champion that found the back of the goal once in each half on its way to a 2-0 win that ended Princeton’s season. The loss was the first of the year for the Little Tigers, who finished 20-1-2.
   ”We got off to a good start and we were dictating the pace.” said Sutcliffe, whose team had already captured Central Jersey Group III, Mercer County Tournament and Colonial Valley Conference titles this season. “There was an unfortunate call that gave them a re-start and that led directly to their first goal.
   ”We’re not used to being behind in games. But I couldn’t be more proud of the perseverance and the quality of the whole team. I am so proud of Ben (Davis) and Kyle (Ehrenworth) and all the seniors.”
   The loss was just the third in three years for a group of seniors that also had a role in the Little Tigers winning the state Group III title in 2009.
   ”They gave us all that they had and met the demands of every single game,” Sutcliffe said of his senior class. “Even this one, although we came out on the wrong end of it, how much more can you to meet the demands of the game.
   ”They have had a great run and I am very proud of them.”
   The three-year run culminated with this season, which saw the team win three championships and come close to a fourth.
   ”It was a good run but not good enough,” Sutcliffe said. “I think when you feel as though you were the better team on the night and had more of the ball and more of the chances it is disappointing not to come away with the win.
   ”I am so proud of our coaching staff and more so of our players. They are great kids. We won three championships. What else can you ask for? I am so proud of the quality and the class and the tone they set.”