The Providence boys’ soccer team knows a thing or two about posting shutouts in the 2013 state tournament.
Entering Monday night’s Class A Switzerland County Regional championship match, the Pioneers had blanked their first four postseason opponents.
On Monday, they increased that number to five.
Providence won its second consecutive regional title with a 5-0 win over Trinity Lutheran. The Pioneers (13-6-2) will face Class A No. 17 Oldenburg Academy (14-4-1) in the first semifinal of the Floyd Central Semistate at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“It’s great. It’s my senior year, so I’m really glad we had this championship,” said Providence senior goalkeeper Jeffrey Wiles, who earned the regional’s most valuable player award. “I’m on Cloud 9 right now. It’s such a good feeling to come back and win it again.”
Wiles ended up with nine saves as he has been in goal in each of Providence’s five postseason wins.
“Without a doubt, he definitely contributed to the shutout and the defensive pressure that we were able to apply,” Pioneers’ coach Brandon Rogers said. “Knowing we have a solid keeper back there that we can rely on is a huge deal.”
But Wiles gave a lot of credit to the Providence defenders who help him protect the goal. The Providence defense includes seniors Evan Hollkamp, Tommie Davis and Nick Reas and juniors Nathaniel Makowski and Jason Murner.
“They’re a big help,” Wiles said. “They tell me if I need to help them out. They tell me if I need to come out to get the ball and kick it over. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Providence’s first goal came in the early minutes of the opening half.
Freshman Eli Coker attempted a shot in the box that deflected off Trinity Lutheran starting goalkeeper Luke Onken. Pioneer senior Brent Hesse collected the rebound and instantly kicked the ball into the goal with 34:41 remaining in the first half.
Providence had several other chances to extend the lead in the half, but could not capitalize. The Pioneers outshot the Cougars on goal 13-6 in the first 40 minutes and had three corner kicks.
Trinity Lutheran (11-9) had two chances to tie the match in the opening minutes of the second half. But Wiles prevented both scoring opportunities from happening.
Cougar senior Stone Riddle attempted a 10-yard shot 1 minute and 15 seconds into the latter half, but Wiles deflected the ball over the goal.
Then with about 37 minutes left in the match, Wiles deflected another Trinity Lutheran shot, this time by Titus Meurtz.
Coker put the Providence up 2-0 when he booted in a rebound with under 30 minutes remaining off a deflected shot from teammate Connor Vanhook.
Hesse scored his second goal of the game with 19:01 remaining when he received an assist from Vanhook and kicked in the score to up the Pioneers’ advantage to 3-0.
Rogers said Hesse benefited from Monday’s regional final getting postponed by rain on Saturday.
“Brent has been kind of plagued with injuries as of late,” Rogers said. “With that extra couple of days of rest, it really helped him. He was close to 100 percent tonight. He was really able to possess the ball through the middle and he got into a position to finish. He’s another workhorse that doesn’t quite once he comes on the field.”
Hollkamp provided the icing on the cake for the Pioneers in the final minutes. Hollkamp made a goal on a free kick from approximately 40 yards out with less than five minutes left to give Providence a 4-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Hollkamp made his second goal on another free kick from about 35 yards.
Rogers said all of his players have contributed in pulling off the regional repeat this season.
“Honestly, the entire team has stepped up,” Rogers said. “Yes, the seniors have led the way. But it’s really been a joint effort. There has not been one guy we look to constantly to score or to provide assists. It’s literally been a team effort.”
Rogers expects a challenging match with Oldenburg Academy on Saturday.
“Oldenburg Academy is going to be a tough squad – there is no doubt about it,” he said. “We’ve got to come ready to play. We’re going to take them one at a time. We’re going to look past anybody. We’re not going to see a sloppy team from here on out.”
Providence players joining Wiles on the All-Regional team were Hesse, Vanhook and Hollkamp.
CLASS A SWITZERLAND COUNTY REGIONAL
PROVIDENCE 5, TRINITY LUTHERAN 0
P — Brent Hesse (unassisted), 5:19.
P — Eli Coker (unassisted), 50:09.
P — Hesse (Connor Vanhook), 60:59.
P — Evan Hollkamp (unassisted), 75:22.
P — Hollkamp (unassisted), 78:13.
Shots on goal: Trinity Lutheran 11, Providence 19.
Saves: Trinity Lutheran 8, Providence 9.
Corner kicks: Trinity Lutheran 0, Providence 5.