Behind a smothering defense and pinpoint scoring, the Providence Day Chargers defeated the Country Day Buccaneers 2-0 Tuesday at home in an opening-round NCISAA soccer playoff match.
Kade White and Alex Cook scored goals for the Chargers and the Providence Day defense provided limited exposure for freshman goalkeeper Connor Clark who earned the shutout.
“Country Day was well-coached and I think playing them only four days ago we kind of knew what to expect, both teams,” said Providence Day coach Dan Dudley. “I thought tonight for us the key was defensive discipline. They (Country Day are very good at set pieces and corners, and I thought tonight defensively we were resilient from start to end.”
Providence Day scored first off a corner kick in the 26th minute. The Chargers were awarded a corner kick which was taken by Hayes Olin who perfectly placed the ball in a favorable position in the box. White was there to head the ball home and Providence Day led 1-0.
“It was a great ball from Hayes (Olin) off the corner,” said White in describing his goal in the first half and the game-winner. “I just saw it, attacked it and it was 1-0.”
The Chargers nearly made it 2-0 just two minutes later when Olin’s effort pin-balled off both goal posts, but fortunately for Country Day the ball stayed out.
The Chargers came out of the halftime break and scored a goal in the first minute.
Cook was wide open five yards in front of the Country Day goal. Charlie Moore found the open Cook with a perfect pass and he easily finished to give Providence Day a 2-0 advantage.
After falling behind by two goals, Country Day didn’t quit. The Buccaneers began to push numbers forward in an attempt to score and get back in the game.
Country Day’s best chance to score came in the 60th minute when Clark was pulled away from his goal while making a save. The ball came to the Bucs’ Tyler Swinehart who fired a shot toward the net with no goalie in sight. Fortunately White hurried back to man the front of the Providence Day goal and was able to head Swinehart’s shot out of danger.
With Country Day pushing forward and leaving their back end vulnerable, the Chargers had several odd-man rushes in an attempt to increase their lead. The best opportunity came from John Morris Byrne from 15-yards out. But Byrne’s shot just missed wide of the far post.
RECORDS: Country Day (10-11) Providence (10-7-1)
THREE WHO MATTERED:
John Morris Byrne, Providence Day: The speedy and high-energy junior striker played both ends of the field well, created chances offensively and came back often to defend.
Kade White, Providence Day: Junior midfielder and captain scored the game-winning goal, and defensively prevented what appeared to be a sure Country Day goal by heading the shot away in front of the net while his goalkeeper was pulled away from the goal to make an initial save.
Connor McPhilliamy, Country Day: Senior goalkeeper kept the Bucs in striking distance with several key saves, especially in the second half when his defenders were pushing forward trying to score.
THEY SAID IT
: “It’s going to be another local rivalry. It’s two Charlotte teams that know each other very well, coaches that know each other very well, we know the style. When we went there last week they were ranked No. 1 in the state and they still are and for good reason. They’re a very good team and have had an excellent year. I do feel I’ve got athletic players going forward that can continue to hurt other teams and even Latin on Friday. But it’s going to be a tough game.” Providence Coach Dan Dudley previewing Friday’s quarterfinal playoff game against Charlotte Latin on Friday.
Country Day and Providence Day split the two-game regular-season series, with the Buccaneers winning on penalty kicks at home 4-3 on September 24, with the Chargers winning at home just six days ago 1-0.
Country Day goalkeeper Connor McPhilliamy faced 11 shots while making five saves, while Providence Day goalie Connor Clark faced four shots and made two saves.
During the regular season the Chargers split the two-game regular-season series with Friday’s playoff opponent, Charlotte Latin. Each team won on the road with the Hawks winning 5-2 on September 18 while Providence Day was victorious 4-1 on October 7.
Country Day coach Dustin Swinehart was a long-time member of the United Soccer Leagues’ professional Charlotte Eagles. A star at NCAA D1 Miami of Ohio, Swinehart still holds many of the Eagles’ records and remained in the Charlotte area following his retirement.
The season ended for Country Day with Tuesday’s defeat while Providence Day will play at Latin Friday in an NCISAA quarterfinal playoff game.
Myers Park in national rankings
Myers Park’s soccer team is No. 23 in the USA Today national poll. The Mustangs are the only N.C. team ranked.
Myers Park (11-2-1) plays at Southwestern 4A rival Butler Wednesday at 6.