By JON REITER
CLARKSVILLE — They were challenged throughout by a sturdy Lanesville defense, but that still wasn't enough to keep the Providence Pioneers' boys' soccer team out of the net — and away from another championship trophy.
The Pioneers (11-6-2) scored one goal in both periods to capture a 2-0 victory and their second consecutive Class A sectional championship yesterday afternoon.
"You have to give them credit," Providence coach Brandon Rogers said of the Eagles. "I think they really came in with a good plan against us, and they stuck with it. Luckily for us, we were able to score and keep them out — that's a big credit to our defense, which has been good all season long."
Providence goalkeeper Jeff Wiles stuffed the four Lanesville attempts on goal, but the fact that the Eagles only had four shots was a credit to the Pioneer defense.
On offense, Providence passed well and had 10 shots on goal. The Pioneers began to mount a serious threat to the Eagles with about eight minutes left in the first period.
At 7:51, Brendan Tucker's shot missed at left net, and seconds later a kick from Connor Vanhook was gobbled up by Lanesville goalkeeper Kevin Schulze. A minute later, a header from Brent Hesse hit the crossbar to give the Pioneers three good looks within the course of 90 seconds but no goals.
"It was a matter of being patient and continuing to attack," Rogers said. "We knew there would be other chances."
At 1:12, with the ball bouncing around near the net after another Providence shot on goal, defenseman Logan Rauck put the deflection past Schulze towards left net for the go-ahead goal.
At 6:39 remaining in the second period, the Pioneers closed things out with a one-timer after a pass from Rauck to Juston Betz resulted in another goal, giving Providence a 2-0 lead.
"That's what we've been working on this season — getting the ball wide and finding people in the middle to finish off the chances we do have," Providence senior and co-captain Evan Hollkamp said. "It was going to come to us as long as we kept working."
The hosts were able to keep the Eagles (9-5-1) on their side of the field for the remaining minutes of the contest, and hoisted the sectional championship trophy on their home field minutes later.
Rauck, a junior, credited seniors Wiles, Hesse, Thomas Davis, Nick Reas and Hollkamp for providing the leadership for the rest of the squad this season.
"We played a strong game, but I think our seniors really get a lot of the credit for this one," he said. "They know what it takes to win a sectional and helped us get there."
For Lanesville — a program in just its second season — getting to the sectional championship and hanging with the defending sectional champion was a big step.
“It’s not normal to see a two-year program come to the finals of a sectional,” Eagles coach coach Scott Rogers said. “The kids came together as a team early last year, that’s what it’s all about. Coming this far, I think we’re all happy. We’re celebrating even though we lost.”
Providence takes on 15th-ranked Jac-Cen-Del (13-2-2) at the Switzerland County Regional on Thursday.
CLASS A PROVIDENCE SECTIONAL
PROVIDENCE 2, LANESVILLE 0
Providence 1 1—2
Lanesville 0 0—0
P — Logan Rauck (unassisted), 1:12.
P — Juston Betz (Rauck), 6:39.
Shots on goal: Providence 11, Lanesville 4.
Saves: Providence — Jeff Wiles 4; Lanesville — Schulze 9.