VEVAY, Ind. – There may be 80 minutes in a soccer match, but Providence needed only two to take control Thursday night.
The Class A, No. 3 Pioneers scored three goals within two minutes of each other in the first half en route to a 5-0 victory over the Mitchell Bluejackets in the Switzerland County Regional semifinals.
After being held scoreless for nearly 20 minutes, the Pioneers opened the floodgates with three straight goals. Blake Huber at 20:50, Ethan Roberson at 20:15 and Braden Rainier at 19:21.
“I was a little frustrated with the first 10 or 15 minutes,” said Providence coach Brandon Rogers. “We weren’t controlling the ball. Obviously, being at regionals probably puts a few extra nerves. But once we put one in, the floodgates kind of opened up. We started finishing. We had plenty of opportunities on goal but didn’t finish a whole lot tonight.”
The Jackets (10-7-1) would have glimpses of sustained pressure on the Pioneers’ defense, but they couldn’t find enough to stay in the game. Still, Mitchell coach Jeff Selby was proud of his team’s effort.
“We went after them,” said Selby. “We paid a little bit of a price for it, but I wanted them to go out proud. We had a couple that we thought should have gone in, but it didn’t fall for us today. Some of those guys gave 110 percent today and worked really hard.”
Providence tacked two more on the board in the second half. Huber beat the keeper low with 33:56 left, while Kevin Chrisco added a score with 7:41 remaining for the Pioneers, who outshot the Jackets 24-5. Providence (13-4-3) advances to the regional final Saturday afternoon.
“I’m still definitely happy,” said Rogers. “We live to play another day and move on. We still have things to improve, but we’re there.”