The Providence High Panthers are embracing the challenges of an undefeated season.
The Panthers, No.1 in the Observers soccer Sweet 16, extended their streak to 18-0 with a 3-2 win against SoMeck 8 4A rival Ardrey Kell on Monday at Providence after falling behind early. But the Panthers recovered with three unanswered goals to sweep the season series and push their league mark to 11-0.
I think thats part of the dynamic of this team, Providence coach Timothy Long said.
Weve told other people we start each game where were 0-0. After that games over with, well talk about what our record is, but we have bigger things we want to do, like win a conference championship, which hasnt been done in a while and make a deep run into the playoffs and see if we can get to a state championship game.
Ardrey Kell (12-4-2, 7-4) put Providence in a hole early when Zhuvonte Wilson tallied for the Knights. Ardrey Kell produced scoring opportunities, but the Panthers defense and goalkeeper Gordan White limited the damage until Cameron Reinhardts goal in the 79th minute pulled Ardrey Kell to within one.
Theyre a tough, tough team, Knights coach Kim Montgomery said. We played our hearts out. Im super proud of my boys. We played them to the end.
Matt Nozedar scored the equalizer in the 21st minute off Conner Kirbys assist, followed by Evan Pournaras blast from 28 yards in the 49th minute just under the crossbar into the net. Nick Aparicio, whose pass led to Pournaras goal, tallied the clincher in the 63rd minute when he tracked down Michael Zendans rebound for a 3-1 advantage.
Their counterattack theyre relentless and they attack with numbers, Montgomery said. Theyre big, theyre strong and theyre tough. We had our chances too, just not as many fell for us tonight.
Providences defense was responsible for that, especially White, who turned away four shots during the final 15 minutes as the Knights went all out to get into contention.
AK is a very, very dangerous team offensively, Long said. So, I talked to our defense and said lets get a shutout tonight. I knew it was going to be a challenge to do.
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