The Red Bank boys soccer team made its mark in Mercer County with road wins over No. 3 seed Hightstown and No. 2 Steinert on the way to the first NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III final appearance in program history on Thursday.

Thursday at top-seeded Princeton, however, the premier program in Mercer County over the last decade was too much for a Bucs team hoping to make some more history.

Sam MacPherson staked Red Bank to a one-goal lead in the 24th minute, but the Little Tigers rallied to tie the game just before the half and erupted for three goals in the second half to beat the Bucs, 4-1, and win a fourth Central Jersey Group III championship in the last six years.


Video by Mike Manley, Shore Sports Network Contributor

Senior Justin Gilson assisted MacPherson's goal with a long throw-in from the right sideline. MacPherson rose up over a Princeton defender to redirect the throw into the goal to put Red Bank on top, 1-0.

Princeton's Nick Kapp equalized in the 38th by heading in a cross from the right corner after Red Bank goalkeeper Connor Kelly saved an initial shot. The Tigers took the lead for good early in the second half when Nick Halliday's corner kick deflected off a Red Bank defender and into the goal.

With Red Bank pushing forward, Princeton scored twice within a span of 47 seconds to cap the scoring. Andrew Goldsmith finished off a well-placed through-ball from Chase Ealy and Luis Lazo followed that goal up with a breakaway finish to put the game away.

Princeton will take on South Jersey Group III champion Ocean City Tuesday at Toms River North in the Group III semifinals.