A draw was almost as good as a win for Providence Day girls’ soccer at the Queen City Showcase.
Saturday’s 1-1 tie against Weddington at Charlotte Latin was confirmation the Chargers (3-2-1) are capable of playing with top-flight public school competition. Cyan Mercer’s goal in the 73rd minute pulled Weddington (3-0-2) even in the showcase, a fundraiser for ThyCa, a thyroid cancer awareness nonprofit.
“On the run of play from start to the finish, it was a fair result,” Providence Day coach Dan Dudley said. “I coach a number of (Weddington players) on the club level as well, so I knew the level of talent they had, and I think the biggest thing for Latin and ourselves this weekend was respect with the private schools.”
Providence Day jumped in front early in the first half when Chargers forward Carson Jones lifted a shot just inside the 18-yard box that nestled over the goalkeeper into the net. It gave Providence Day a jolt of confidence and forced Weddington to scramble for an answer.
“Our goal today was to not hide, to stand and be counted for,” Dudley said. “Win our (individual) battles and put our chances away when we had them. We did it in the first half; unfortunately we couldn’t do it again.”
Weddington limited the damage and turned aggressive on offense in the second half when Mercer moved from center back to forward. The strategy paid off when Mercer won possession in front of Providence Day’s goal and pushed the ball past the defense for the equalizer.
“We were getting into the attacking third and we were just fizzling out, our ball movement slowed down and our forwards weren’t moving,” Warriors coach Powell Williams said. “I had to make something happen, so I moved my center back, who never plays up top. She’s got a lot of speed and is a physical kid. It kind of sparked something.”
The draw sparked something for Providence Day, which lost to Marvin Ridge 2-1 Friday in the first game of the showcase.
“I think we’ve shown in the two games we’ve played we’re just as competitive as the public schools,” Dudley said. “A lot of respect was earned today.”