A Review of the Past Week in Providence Academy Athletics
The boys and girls cross country teams had an exciting week in competition. On Saturday, September 26th the varsity participated in the IMAC Virtual race. They raced in person against Breck and St Paul Academy, then added in the scores from Blake and Mounds Park Academy. The boys finished fourth and the girls finished third overall. The course was on the Blake Campus and no spectators were allowed on site.
On Wednesday, September 30th, Providence hosted another meet at Elm Creek Park Reserve. The weather was tricky, but all races were run eventually against Maranatha and Minnehaha Academy. The girls won the varsity race and the boys finished second.
Junior and team captains Emma Kelly ran her season personal best time of 19:55.88 for the 5K race, finishing first overall. Aly Marshall finished second with a time of 21:28.31. Sophomores Liz Burns and Kira Cmiel came in together for third and fourth places with a time of 21:53. Olivia Menzel finished 5th, Sophie Koch finished 6th, and Annie Hamilton finished 7th. Samantha Mahoney rounded out our varsity team.
Freshman Tomas Palomarez finished second with a great time of 18:25.37. Junior and team captain Jack McElroy finished 5th with a time of 18:51.65. The rest of the team included Jacob Olson who ran his PR time of 19:05.15, Aidan Flynn with his PR of 19:25.12, Will Wehmann, Jayden Mersereau, Alex Rynders, and Grant Heim.
“These athletes are working hard and being successful in a difficult time. They are improving each race. I expect some big-time drops come Sections,” says Head Coach Rachel Fogle.
Next Up: IMAC Conference Race on Tuesday, October 6th – no spectators are allowed. Sections is currently scheduled for Thursday, October 15th (Boys Varsity) and Friday, October 16th (Girls Varsity) in Mora.
Defensively, centerback Junior Mary Rillens Lee, centerback Sophomore Rylie Schoenfelder, and goalkeeper Grace Counts had stand out games, stopping many attacks and getting the ball forward. In the end, SPA had the upper hand in the midfield and were able to get the ball forward too many times.
“It was a frustrating game for the team,” Coach Cronin said. “Many felt it was an off game. Games like this happen, and it’s important to use the pain of loss as a powerful motivator. We’ll look to leverage it on the training ground and to fire up the competitive spirit for our next game.”
Next Up: The team has its last regular-season game on Tuesday, Oct 6 home at Mithun Field vs Heritage Christian Academy! Kick-off at 7 pm!
This week, the story went quite differently. At halftime of both games, the score was tied 0-0 and PA was playing solid defense. “We have a small roster and a very young squad”, comments Coach Lev Buslovich. “When playing top teams, our game plan is to stifle their attack and counter until the field opens up because opponents get frustrated and start sending more players forward. At that point, there is more space and we can build our own combinations. By the end of games, we are attacking more than our opponents.” This has been the case since our game against Breck and all subsequent opponents. The Lions scored all four goals of these two games in the second half. Against SPA, Senior Captain JP Luedke score both goals. First was on a turn in the box from a pass by senior defender Josh Jung, where JP placed his shot in the opposite side of the net. The second goal was a finish at the far post from a glorious run in the box by Senior Captain Sam Schroeder who served a tidy pass back across the goal to JP. That brought JP’s tally to a season-high of 5 and team-leading scorer. Sophomore Goalkeeper Ben Martin got another shutout. “I think the defense and especially the center backs, Senior Paul Pellegrene and Sophomore Ryan Hutt, were outstanding,” says Assistant Coach Brad Fewell.
The Waconia game was much of the same. Another top seed comes calling to Mithun Field. The game was tied 0-0 at half, but the Lions were growing with confidence. “We found our game plan. We were disciplined, patient, and learned when to strike. We proved that the SPA result was not a fluke,” said Coach Buslovich. Just as in the first game, the Lions scored twice in the second half from an inside-the-box finish by Captain Sean Donohue, delivered from a pass by 9th grade stand-out, Roy Kyle. The second goal was scored minutes later from a poor clearance by Waconia defense that Roy buried from outside the box. Ben Martin notched another clean sheet. “This is the best two games we have ever played,” said Junior Captain Eli Schmidt. “Our confidence is high and it’s really fun,” commented Senior Defender Thomas Vos. “I am super proud of the boys and see their confidence and enjoyment growing,” beamed Coach Buslovich. “I did not think we would reach this level of play at this stage of the program. They are exceeding my and their own expectations because they work for each other and play as a team. It’s fantastic to get these results, but also a tremendous life lesson of what hard work, discipline, following a game, and having the audacity to challenge much bigger and more renowned teams. These boys deserve this because they are repeatedly standing up to Goliath and winning. I guess you can say that they are truly playing like Lions.” What a week to remember for Providence Academy boys soccer. Let’s all hope the results continue to go their way.
Next Up: The Lions host Minnehaha Academy on Wednesday, October 7 for Senior Night.
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