Providence girls’ soccer can’t get rolling in playoff loss to Ganesha

LOS ANGELES — After winning the program’s first league championship, the Providence High girls’ soccer team looked to make more history in the playoffs.

Taking on Ganesha in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs, the Pioneers were attempting to win a first-ever postseason contest.

Unfortunately, Providence wasn’t able to accomplish that feat, as it suffered a 6-0 loss to the Giants Thursday afternoon at Occidental College.

“Even with his loss, we still have a lot to be proud of this season,” Providence junior Kelly Fitzgerald said. “At the beginning of the season, I was a little nervous because we just got a new coach and everything, but we really improved so much throughout the season and I’m really proud of the team.

“For the first time in Providence history, we won league for girls, so I think we can all be proud of that. I was looking forward to the playoffs and hoping to go far, but hey, there’s always next year.”

Providence (6-4) had trouble getting its offense going against Ganesha (10-11-2), which finished third in the Miramonte League. The Giants controlled the tempo throughout the contest and afforded the Pioneers few scoring chances.

“I think their defense did a really good job at breaking us down up front and that made it hard on us on offense,” Providence Coach Emma Johnson said. “We did have some problems on defense and they were able to score on that.

“But all in all, I’m super proud of these girls for what they’ve given me this season and I’m happy with the effort that they’ve had. There are just some things we need to work on so we will be ready for next year.”

Providence fell behind early after Ganesha received a goal from Ofelia Bustos in the second minute and a goal from Karla Zepeda in the fifth minute. The Giants added another goal by Diana Mejia in the 32nd minute and went into halftime with a 3-0 lead.

The Pioneers labored to create any scoring opportunities. In the first half, Providence’s only chance came in the 19th minute when Fitzgerald dribbled a shot on frame, but goalkeeper Denisse Gonzalez was able to easily scoop it up.

Ganesha continued its dominance in the second half, tallying goals in the 43rd, 63rd and 74th minute to take a commanding 6-0 advantage.

Things could have been worse for the Pioneers if not for the play of junior Noelle Aladgem (nine saves), who made some key saves.

Providence’s had a good opportunity in the 66th minute when Fitzgerald had a free kick 25 yards out and straight away, but the shot was stopped by Gonzalez. Fitzgerald also had a long shot stopped by the goalkeeper in the 68th minute.

“I think we have a great team, but the other team was just a little better today,” Johnson said.

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