October 27, 2021

Senior Standout Lis Saving Her Best for Last, Helping PHS Girls’ Soccer Make MCT Semis

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis displays some fancy footwork last Monday as third-seeded PHS played second-seeded Hopewell Valley in the Mercer County Tournament semifinals. Senior star and Lehigh-bound Lis scored a goal but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 3-1. PHS, now 15-2, is next in action when it starts play next week in the state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sophia Lis is determined to make the most out her final postseason run with the Princeton High girls’ soccer team.

“I want to stay on this team for as long as possible,” said senior star and Lehigh-bound Lis. “It has been so great, it has been such a fun year.”

Last Thursday, Lis had a lot of fun, tallying two goals and four assists as third-seeded PHS defeated 14th-seeded Ewing 7-0 in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament.

“We have been looking forward to the MCTs starting and the states,” said Lis. “It is great to be here and already off to a good start.”

The Tigers showed great balance in the win as Casey Serxner tallied two goals and two assist with Holly Howes scoring two goals and Megan Rougas chipping in one goal and an assist.

“We have really been working in practices a lot,” said Lis. “I feel like we have the chemistry off the field, that is really showing on the field. We have done so many dinners, we just went to Conte’s and a whole group dinner there. Everyone is such great friends, we all want each other to score.”

Lis displayed her connection with sophomore Serxner, assisting on her two goals as PHS jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

“We know each other well from playing together last year,” said Lis. “I am really glad that is showing off this year.”

After assisting on the first three goals of the game, Lis found the back of the net with 22:11 left in the first half. In the second half, she got her second goal of the contest with 30:00 left in regulation.

“I am definitely trying to work on my shot accuracy but also with me getting more shots. I want to make sure that my team does the same,” said Lis. “We work well as a unit to make sure to get the final product no matter what.”

Lis kept burying shots, scoring the lone goal as PHS edged sixth-seeded Hun 1-0 in overtime in the MCT quarterfinals last Saturday. On Monday,  Lis found the back of the net again but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 3-1 to second-seeded Hopewell Valley in the county semis and moved to 15-2.

With PHS slated to start play in the state tournament next week, Lis believes that the Tigers will show resilience.

“I think our reaction to the first loss of the season made me happy,” said Lis, referring to a 3-2 regular season defeat to HoVal on October 5.

“It was tough, we really wanted to go all the way undefeated but obviously things like that happen in soccer. We know we can recover, we can come back when the other team is in the lead.”

PHS head coach Dave Kosa is proud of the way his team has come together this fall.

“We are enjoying our journey and everybody is enjoying one another out there, it is really fun to watch,” said Kosa. “All of the girls are trusting, supporting and communicating with one another. It is a great feeling.”

The Tigers displayed that trust on offense in the win over Ewing.

“That is something we practice on each day. We love to set one another up, we love to make great passes to one another,” said Kosa.

“They just feed off of one another. Our team is so unselfish. It is awesome to see when they are really clicking like that, and they were today.”

Kosa credits Lis with playing in key role in getting PHS clicking.

“Sophia is such a great kid, she is a great person,” said Kosa.

“The fact that she wants to see everybody do well and understands that just makes us better.”

Kosa is confident that PHS will keep doing well as it heads into the final weeks of the season.

“It is just the fact that we are all coming together, I think we are playing our best soccer right now,” said Kosa.

“It is just a matter of going out and playing hard every day and being ready and making sure that our minds are right. If we are like that then whatever happens, happens.”

Lis believes that the Tigers will play hard to the end. “I think the keys are just finding each other in the field,” said Lis.

“We need to keep combining, always look to goal, and keep working as a unit.”