Having been stymied in its season opener, the Providence High girls’ soccer team looked to get back on track by competing with a bit more of an edge.
Providence had that opportunity Thursday, when it faced Village Christian.
Providence responded in a big way, as it received a first-half goal from Jett Belson to register a 1-0 nonleague road victory.
The Pioneers (1-1) began their season Tuesday with a 6-1 nonleague defeat against de Toledo, signaling the need to be more aggressive against the Crusaders (0-2) on Thursday.
“It was a very physical game and I liked the way we responded today,” Providence second-year coach Gregg Cohen said. “I think we were much more focused and a lot of our players were playing their first game the other day.
“We got the goal early from Jett and we played better overall.”
Belson used her speed to get behind a Village Christian defender and roll a shot just inside the left post to give Providence the lead in the 19th minute.
Belson’s heroics helped pave the way for the Pioneers.
“I just saw the ball and followed it through,” Belson said. “I was lucky to get it and take the shot, but I wasn’t sure if it would go in the net.
“We were able to pull through today. We are still meshing, but I liked how we were more aggressive.”
Cohen praised Belson’s effort.
“Speed is definitely one of her strengths,” Cohen said. “She could see the play [developing] and she was able to punch in it.”
Providence additionally received an impressive effort from goalkeeper Siena Alarcon. Alarcon finished with six saves before being removed with about 10 minutes remaining in the second half after colliding with a Village Christian athlete.
Alarcon received medical attention before being replaced by llew Doherty, who registered two saves to help preserve the victory.
Alarcon, who applied an ice pack to her head after the contest concluded, made two big saves in the first half. She made a save inside the box on a shot by Isabella Ohanganian in the 30th minute before turning aside a shot up close by Zoie Herpin with about two minutes to go.
The Crusaders’ best scoring chance in the second half game when Herpin curled a long shot just past the left post with about seven minutes left.
Providence will meet host Muir in another nonleague match at 4 p.m. Saturday.