EVANSVILLE — Providence is headed to the IHSAA State Finals for the third time.
The No. 2 Pioneers topped No. 8 Indianapolis Lutheran 3-0 in Saturday's Class A Evansville North Semistate.
Providence (16-3) will face No. 1 Argos (18-3-1) at 11 a.m. next Saturday at Fishers High School for the state championship. The defending champion Dragons outlasted No. 7 Heritage Christian 4-3 in the Kokomo Semistate on Saturday.
The Pioneers previously advanced to the state final in 2013 and 2016. Both times they lost. In 2013 Guerin Catholic edged Providence 1-0. In 2016, Mishawaka Marian topped the Pioneers 4-0.
Providence advanced to the semistate in 2017 and 2018, but lost both times. Saturday, though, the Pioneers wouldn't be denied.
Senior Luke Hesse had two goals and an assist to power Providence into the title tilt.
"It feels good," Pioneers head coach Jake Stengel said. "We've been to the semistate a few times in the last few years and we weren't successful in the prior years so we felt good to get the win. Our kids really wanted it."
The match was scoreless until the 20th minute, when Hesse converted a head off a feed from his brother Quentin, a freshman.
"Luke just jumped higher than the (defender) and put it in the side net," Stengel said.
The score remained 1-0 through halftime and until about 20 minutes remained in the match. That's when Luke Hesse and Evan Scott hooked up for a combination play that resulted in a goal by Scott.
Hesse found the net again with about five minutes remaining to add some insurance for the Pioneers.
"Obviously our kids are excited, but coming off the field they were saying, 'One more game,'" Stengel said. "They're happy and celebrating the win tonight, but we'll get back to work next week."