The Providence boys’ soccer team has been perfect all season.
Wednesday night, they stayed that way, completing a flawless 21-0 regular season with a 2-0 win over Charlotte Catholic (18-3-2, 11-2-1), to also finish 14-0 in SoMeck 8 conference play on senior night.
While the Panthers have accomplished a lot, Providence soccer coach Timothy Long says they want more.
"21-0 is nice and we are very proud of it," Long said. "But when we started the season we broke in down in three seasons, the non-conference, the conference and the playoffs. We check each one off as we go. Right now, the third season is most important. We want to play six more games and we don’t want to miss out on any of them."
While Providence has plenty of momentum going forward, their win over Catholic didn’t come without drama, as both Panthers’ goalkeeper, Gordon White and Cougars’ forward Alec Ostendarp received red cards in the 14th minute after a foul and the ensuing retaliation by both players.
Long said both White and Ostendarp will likely miss four games in the postseason, being suspended two by the state and two under Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) rules.
Without their regular goalkeeper or a true backup, according to Long, the Panthers turned to senior Michael Zendan, who looked good with eight saves and a shutout.
"I do play a lot of goalkeeper in practice," Zendan said. "I was confident and came in and got the job done. I’m pretty excited and pretty nervous, because now we’re going into the playoffs (and playing goalkeeper) is just going to get harder."
"We don’t have a true back up goalkeeper," Long said. "But Michael (Zendan) is always trying to play goalie in practice. Sometimes I have to tell him to get back in the field. But tonight, when the red cards were given and I was still talking to the officials, he grabbed his gloves and was ready to go. He was one of many seniors who stepped up big for us.
The Providence defense was also strong all night with the back four of junior Dan Dieringer and seniors Connor Kirby, Quincy Kroeschell and Andrew Zendan was strong all night limiting Catholic opportunities.
Meanwhile the Providence offense was opportunistic as senior Evan Pournaras made a perfect cross to set up teammate Matthew Nozedar for an easy volley and score in the 16th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Then, in the second half, Pournaras scored in the 62nd minute, when a Providence throw-in bounced over the head of Nozedar and a Catholic defender. Pournaras was right there to finish it, giving his team a two goal advantage.
Catholic hung tough all night with Desi Toal creating the most consistent offense, but they couldn’t put the ball in the net.
Score By Half
1 - 2 - Final
Charlotte Catholic 0 - 0 - 0
Providence 1 - 1 - 2
Goals: Providence: Matthew Nozedar, Evan Pournaras.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less