FLOYDS KNOBS — Luke Hesse’s putback of his own miss put a decade’s worth of frustration in Providence’s rear-view mirror Thursday night.
The junior forward’s go-ahead goal with 5 minutes, 1 second to play capped the Pioneers’ comeback and lifted them to a 3-2 triumph at Floyd Central.
“It was a hard-fought win for sure,” Providence coach Jake Stengel said. “I’m really, really proud of the guys and really, really proud of the coaches. It’s been over 10 years since we’ve beat them, so it means a lot to us.”
The Class A No. 6 Pioneers (3-1) tallied two goals in the final 12:40 to pull out the victory.
“I’ve played them the past two years, they’re always a tough opponent,” Hesse said. “To get the win against our rivals like this, it’s amazing.”
Hesse helped Providence take the early lead by converting a penalty kick in the 5th minute of the match after the Highlanders were whistled for a foul in the box.
It stayed that way until the 25th minute when diminutive Floyd freshman Dakota Hart drove Drew Cromwell’s cross, which had been deflected by Pioneers goalie Jacob Braswell, into the back of the net.
The Highlanders took the lead in the 7th minute of the second half when Kyle Rippy ripped a shot past Braswell off a nice feed from Pablo Flores.
Floyd remained in control for much of the half.
“We struggled to string many passes together to keep possession. It just seemed like in the last 20 minutes we were just a little faster to the ball than they were,” Stengel said.
In the 68th minute Providence junior Evan Scott beat Floyd goalie Liam Fitzgerald off a free kick from just outside the box.
Play was fast and furious, and back-and-forth, over the next several minutes before Scott found Hesse open in the box.
“Evan had a great chest to me in the middle of the box. I just tried to do anything to get it past the goalie, I barely touched it by him,” Hesse said. “It hit off the post, then I just tapped it in from there.”
The Pioneers held on from there, handing Floyd its fourth loss in five matches this season.
“This was a bitter pill to swallow because we dominated much of the game,” said Highlanders coach Scott Menne, whose team was coming off a 4-1 loss to two-time defending Kentucky state champion St. Xavier on Tuesday. “It’s a learning process for us, but it’s frustrating not to get the result.”
“We felt we were in control. … They’re a scrappy team. They put all their heart and their pride into this game. This is like, for all intents and purposes, a state cup game for them and I understand that. It’s a cross-town rival and I get that, but we still should’ve gotten the result at the end of the day.”
Providence plays at Covenant Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, the Highlanders host Jasper at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.