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Tengan leads all-league list for Providence boys' soccer

Tengan leads all-league list for Providence boys' soccer
Providence High's Weston Tengan was voted the Independence League Player of the Year. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Playing as a defender, Providence High boys' soccer player Weston Tengan doesn't expect much fanfare or recognition and knows he's not going to put up big-time stats playing in the backline.

"I know usually it's an attacking player or a goalie that gets the most attention in soccer," said Tengan, a senior. "But that's just how soccer is.

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"To be strong on defense was my only job and if I don't do my job, the forwards and midfielders can't do their jobs. If I don't play my role as a center-back and lead the defense, then we have a low chance at winning."

Tengan received some of that much-deserved recognition when he was named the Independence League Player of the Year after helping the Pioneers to a second straight league championship.

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"When I heard that I got the award, I was surprised and I was excited, as well," said Tengan, who had one goal and one assist moving to the back after never playing the position before. "It was really nice to be able to win something like that and truthfully I was happy for myself. I received that and I kind of said to myself, "Yeah, I do deserve that.'"

Providence had four other players honored on the singular all-league list: senior midfielder Paul Swaine, senior forward Elias Ferguson, senior defender Montgomery Greene and freshman forward Bryan Ortiz.

Tengan played an instrumental role helping the Pioneers (11-5-1, 5-1 in league) secure the league title and capture the program's first playoff victory.

"Weston is a completely different player in terms to what he brings to the table," Providence coach Ronald Neef said. "He's athletic, he understands the game and he's solid in all the fundamentals. But also he was the one player through the course of the season that myself and assistant coach Chris Bonawant never had to worry about. Never had to worry about his effort and his decision-making.

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"Not that he didn't make some spectacular plays on defense this year, because he did. But his play was almost like when you have a good official because the good officials are the ones you never remember because they go out and do their job so well."

Tengan said although the league championship was fulfilling, notching a 5-0 win in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs for the program's first postseason victory was something he and his teammates were striving for.

"The league championship was our goal and it felt really good to win that," he said. "But our bigger goal for the whole team was to win a playoff game. Winning that playoff game meant everything to us, because it had never been done at Providence before."

Swaine was Providence's leading scorer with 18 goals and had 11 assists.

"Paul was the second-leading scorer in our league," Neef said. "When he is clicking on all cylinders, he physically dominates the game. He just scored some goals this year that were just ridiculous. He would take the ball and he would dribble, and he would finesse and he would physical his way through and shoot and score."

Ferguson, the 2017 league player of the year, tallied 16 goals and dished out 11 assists.

"Over the course of the past two years, Elias was easily our most consistent player," Neef said. "He has a mindset of focus that he brings to the game on excelling. It just wasn't important for him to win, but it was important to excel. … That is just a drive that you can't coach. He has the desire to do everything that he can to impact the game positively."

Ortiz made an impact in his first season with the program, finishing second on the team with 17 goals to go along with seven assists.

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"As a freshman, Bryan was exactly that stellar club-type player that every program likes to get," Neef said. "His skill level is just off the charts and he has such a great soccer IQ. He is one of the players who has so much creativity and often he is able to make something out of nothing."

Greene finished with five goals and four assists.

"Montgomery was a four-year starter and just the experience he brought to the team was tremendous," Neef said. "He came out this year and he made an impact and he was easily our best attacking defenseman, something that he did very well."

Twitter: @jefftsports

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