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February 23, 2012

Clere, Rhoads honor Providence girls’ soccer team

Pioneers receive accolades for state title at Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, introduced a resolution on Thursday honoring the Providence High School girls’ soccer team for winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class A state championship last fall at the Indiana Statehouse

It was the first team sport state title in the school’s 60-year history.

“It’s an exciting milestone for Providence,” said Rep. Clere. “The players, coaches and parents worked incredibly hard to bring this title home to Southern Indiana.”

Providence successfully made its way through the sectional, regional and semistate stages of the first-ever Class A state soccer tournament. The team did not concede a single goal in the last seven weeks of play and only gave up six goals the entire season. Their stingy defense led to an undefeated season with a final record of 21-0-2.

On Oct. 29, 2011 at Kuntz Memorial Soccer Stadium in Indianapolis, the top-ranked Pioneers won in dramatic fashion by beating Mishawaka Marian 3-1 in a penalty-kick shootout after a scoreless game.

“It was a thrilling end to a thrilling season,” said Rep. Clere, who coaches youth soccer for the Southern Indiana United soccer club and New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries. “It’s a challenging and demanding sport, and, as with any sport, winning a state championship is a rare and exceptional achievement.”

Rep. Clere was joined on the floor of the House on Thursday by the players, Providence head coach Dave Smith, Providence president Joan Hurley, Providence principal Mindy Ernstberger and other coaches and parents involved with the team. Other parents of the players observed the presentation of the resolution from the House gallery.

Hurley and Smith addressed the House.

“Our motto or mantra — these girls represent our state with tremendous class — is ‘put God in your heart, put the ball in the back of the net,’” said Smith.

The resolution was co-authored by State Reps. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, and Rhonda Rhoads, R-Corydon, and sponsored in the Senate by State Sens. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, and Jim Smith, R-Charlestown.

Rep. Rhoads congratulated the Pioneers for their state championship on Thursday.

“I am so proud to be honoring these accomplished girls for their supreme athleticism and dedication on the road to winning Providence’s first IHSAA championship,” said Rep. Rhoads. “These girls identified their ultimate goal, figured out how to be successful and didn’t let anything get in the way of their mission. Their team motto — ‘Go Get It’ — emphasizes this mentality and effort put in by every member of the team.”

Among the standouts, Casey Marlin and Leah Mattingly were named first-team all-state by the Indiana Soccer Coaches’ Association. Additionally, Dave Smith was named Class A Coach of the Year and District 5 Coach of the Year by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association.

— News and Tribune

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