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Pilots Soccer Teams in Minneapolis for Region Tournament

The Pilots Soccer teams headed down to Minneapolis, Minnesota for their regional tournament this past weekend. The women took the field first against Faith Baptist Bible College. Providence came out pretty sloppy in the first half. Faith was the more dominant team in the early goings and had a lot more energy which put pressure on the Pilots defense and the freshman keeper Kiran Hodges. The game remained scoreless until just before half time when Brittany Heaman made a nice run down the ride side and dangled past the keeper from Faith to put the Pilots up by one. After a much needed half time break, Providence came out with a lot more energy and execution. Jessica Gzebb netted 3 goals in the second half while Jess Caul and Robyn Coffey each added one as well to put the match out of reach. The final score was 6-1 for the Pilots.

Their second game of the weekend was against the host team, North Central University Rams. Providence started this game much better than the first and controlled play throughout the first half. Neither team could convert as the teams went into half in a scoreless tie. Julika Kehler of Steinbach, MB broke the tie with a nice dangle passed the keeper. Just four minutes later, Jessica Gzebb converted on a free kick as she picked the top corner beautifully from out 25 yards out. The game finished with a score of 2-0 in favor of the visiting Pilots.

Coach Giancarlo Calla commented about the weekend, “I was pretty disappointed in our effort and attention to detail in our first game. We were fortunate to convert 5 times in the second half because I felt like it could have been a different result. The second game I was much happier with our concentration and poise with the ball. NCU is a good team and they will be ready for us at Regionals. We will need to be better to ensure the same result.”

The Men’s team took on the same opponents as the Women having Faith in the first match and North Central in the second. The Eagles from Faith came out very strong in almost a surprising fashion against the Pilots. Within minutes, Providence were on their heels and almost found themselves down one early but a superb save by Liam Hodges kept the game scoreless. Faith didn’t relent and potted two goals before half. The Pilots made a much stronger effort in the second half and found the net with a Peter Garrecht cross to Eric Harvey who scored his first of the season. A fast goal from Faith separated the two teams by a pair of goals again. Conroy Janzen got the Pilots within one on a cross again from Garrecht but it wasn’t enough as the Pilots took their first loss of the season.

The second game proved to start much similar as the first one. A slow start from Providence had them defending in their own zone for the first ten minutes. Again like the first game, their opponent got on the board first. The Pilots woke up after the goal and countered with their own attacks. The Rams played really good defense and the keeper stopped a few chances, but it was Peter Garrecht again who was able to tie the game just before half. Each team had chances in the second half but played to a 1-1 tie after regulation. Two 10 minute overtime periods settled nothing and the teams left in a draw.

“Results wise this was a disappointing weekend and we have a real challenge ahead of us to improve enough to win the regional tournament again this year,” Martin Ward, Head Coach of the Pilots said after the games. “We sometimes struggle to play well on bumpy pitches but it’s the same for both teams and we have to overcome that. I was impressed with the hard work and attitude of our players and we have a good foundation to build on. In the long run I think this is a wakeup call which will be good for our team and we are excited about the challenge ahead of us.”

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