Providence Boys’ Soccer Falls In League Opener

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Plenty of gopher holes and patches of dirt encompassed the field before the Providence High boys’ soccer team began Prep League competition Tuesday.

Providence faced Chadwick and yielded a hat trick to Derek Linden in a 3-0 league defeat at John Ferraro Fields in between Burbank and Glendale.

The Pioneers (4-4 overall) trailed, 2-0, at halftime, when it lost starting senior goalkeeper Jason Chavez for the remainder of the 80-minute match to an apparent head injury he sustained after he collided with a player from Chadwick (4-2, 1-1 in league) just before the half concluded.

Chavez stayed on the ground before having an ice pack applied to the back of his head. The California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles City Fire Department entered the venue a short time later to provide medical attention to Chavez before taking him to a park bench adjacent to the field. Chavez walked off the field with some assistance.

“He has a welt on the back of his head,” Providence coach Rey Suarez said of Chavez, who finished with six saves. “We want him to be OK and he’s a big part of our team. We took the tape off his body and also some equipment so the blood could circulate.”

Linden opened the scoring when he rolled a shot by Chavez in the second minute.

Chavez made two outstanding saves a short time later before Linden made it 2-0 in the 7th minute.

The Pioneers’ best scoring chance came when Sasun Karapetyan’s direct kick from about 25 yards was stopped by leaping Chadwick goalkeeper Josh Goodman (five saves) with about 22 minutes left in the match.

Linden closed out the scoring with about 30 seconds remaining against reserve goalkeeper Jacob Jimenez.

“We had some defensive mistakes early in the game and we couldn’t get going,” Suarez said. “We tried to come back and we have a young team. We feel like we have some building blocks in place. It’s a good opportunity for them to get some more experience and we played some really good nonleague matches against Brentwood and Paraclete.”

Jimenez, making his season debut, recorded five saves.

The Pioneers, who finished last in league last season, and Dolphins will face each other again at Chadwick on Jan. 12.