By KEVIN HARRIS
The Providence boys’ soccer team is a win away from its first regional title in six years.
The Pioneers scored four first-half goals and shut out Salem in the Class A Switzerland County Regional semifinal on Thursday night, 5-0. Providence (11-5-2) will face Lawrenceburg (12-7) in the regional championship at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Switzerland County.
“The boys played well, but they will need to bring their A game [on Saturday] if we want to bring home a regional title,” Pioneers’ coach Brandon Rogers said.
Providence needed only seven minutes to get on the scoreboard. Senior Pierce Crawley converted a penalty kick to put the Pioneers up 1-0.
Providence extended its lead to 2-0 in the game’s 22nd minute as Andrew Wimp scored off an assist from Evan Hollkamp.
With about 10 minutes left in the first half, senior John Murray knocked in a goal off a Crawley assist to up Providence’s lead to three goals. Then with two minutes remaining in the half, junior Brent Hesse made a goal thanks to a Crawley assist to give the Pioneers a 4-0 lead.
The Pioneers’ lone goal of the second half came in the game’s 62nd minute. Sophomore midfielder Jared Ostrader hauled in a pass from sophomore Roman Arvizu and booted in the final score.
“We controlled the majority of the game, even though Salem brought plenty of intensity and physical play,” Rogers said. “We had contributions from several players with goals.”
Salem concluded its season at 11-7. Providence has won four regional championship in its history, which were in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2006. All of them were in the old single-class format.
If the Pioneers win the regional, they will play in the Class A semistate at Floyd Central a week from Saturday.
CLASS A SWITZERLAND COUNTY REGIONAL
Salem 0 0—0
Providence 4 1—5
P — Pierce Crawley (penalty kick), seventh minute
P — Andrew Wimp (Evan Hollkamp), 22nd minute
P — John Murray (Crawley), 30th minute
P — Brent Hesse (Crawley), 38th minute
P — Jared Ostrader (Roman Arvizu), 62nd minute