And They’re Back
Men’s soccer returns to old form outscoring opponents 9-2 on the weekend
The Freemen men’s soccer squad made a 16-hour trip to Moberly, Missouri Wednesday night with one goal resonating in their minds; redemption. After being thwomped 4-0 in their previous weekend’s matchup against Northland International University, and being dropped six spots in the national poll, Providence had a point to prove in their match-ups against Central Christian College of the Bible and Nationally-ranked #10 Atlanta Christian College.
“Learning from our loss against Northland, and then making some tactical changes to the way that we approach and play the game (were key for the weekend),” Freemen head coach Martin Ward commented. “The player’s new determination to do well after a game like that was also very important.”
Providence’s first test of the weekend was against the central region’s Central Christian College of the Bible. And after a shortened week of tutelage and tactical alterations put out by ‘The Wizard’ (Coach Ward’s affectionately given CCSN nickname) the Freemen came out with a new-look line-up, attack and team defense.
Providence came out flying and were rewarded by two early goals rifled home by the sure foot of the ‘South American Sensation’ Andry Geisbrecht, as he finished crosses put in by sophomore Miguel Fictoria and senior Adam Mywaart. Fictoria then put away a goal of his own, as he headed home an awkward header that tricked the CCCB keeper to find its way into the back of the net and put Providence up 3-0 at the half.
The Freemen then continued their quick-attack style into the second, and Andry earned Providence an early penalty kick that senior captain Yohannes Asrat put away. CCCB then responded with a goal of their own midway through the second half, as they finished a re-taken free kick to pull within three.
However, Fictoria quickly gained the momentum back for the Freemen as he took a pass from freshman Matt Price, worked his way from his own 40-yard line, took on five CCCB players, and rifled home a left-footed shot to score what coach Ward referred to as one of the most memorable goals seen during his coaching tenure. The El Salvadorian connection then finished the game’s scoring as Fictoria crossed in a ball that freshman Norvin Campos headed away to seal a 6-1 win for Providence.
Providence then faced #10 Atlanta Christian College Saturday morning under a hot Missouri sun. The Freemen came out with a tenacious approach once again, and played one of their most dominant games of the season, as they were once again able to control play throughout the match.
Andry once again started the scoring as he cleverly shielded a bouncing ball from ACC’s keeper and swiveled a left-footer into the net. Andry then scored his second of the match, and fourth of the weekend, as he took a pass from Fictoria early in the second half and headed it home.
Mario ‘The Freak’ Giesbrecht then put away his own goal late in the half as he volleyed a bouncing ball to the right corner to put Providence up 3-0.
ACC were then able to finish the game with a controversial goal of their own. With the clock run down (NCCAA rules void stoppage time in favor of a time-clock) the referee chose to continue play following the typically game-ending buzzer. The strange occurrence then allowed ACC to score Providence’s arguably weakest-allowed goal of the season, as a slow pass made its way through the defense and was put away. The referee then ended the game following the goal, and the scoreline ended 3-1 in Providence’s favor.
After a shaky start the season, Coach Ward left the weekend highly optimistic with his squad’s future and pleased with the way his team responded after the tough Northland loss.
“I thought it was one of the better road trips that we have had over the last few years,” Coach Ward said. “It’s always a challenge to play well after a long road trip, but you have to learn how to overcome those challenges, and it was good to still see the improvement in the team.”
“Once you experience playing well, then you get an understanding of how to reproduce that, and the momentum grows. Hopefully this weekend was a building block to the rest of our season.”
The Freemen now continue the busiest 4-week span of their season, as they prepare to play three games in four days to finish of their MCAC schedule. A home game against Canadian Mennonite University on Saturday is sandwiched between two games in Winnipeg where they face St. Boniface University Thursday night, and the powerhouse squad from the University of Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon.
Notes: K Josh Friesen will miss at least the rest of the regular season with a broken pinky...The Freemen once again relied on their depth as all eligible players saw ample playing time throughout both games.
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Providence University College & Seminary