Historic season ends for Pioneers boys' soccer in first round of playoffs

GLENDALE — The Providence High boys' soccer team was hoping to continue its historic season Thursday when it faced Tarbut V'Torah in a CIF Southern Section Division VII first-round playoff match.

The Pioneers came into the postseason after winning a league championship for the first time in program history. The team’s appearance in the postseason was also a first.

However, in the early going against the Lions, it looked as if Providence would have to come up with some additional magic if it hoped to move on in the playoffs.

The Pioneers struggled in the first half, surrendering three goals, and couldn’t overcome the deficit, falling, 3-1, at Glendale Community College.

The loss ends the season for Providence (6-3-4), which was able to capture a title in the Heritage League.

“Team-wise, it just didn’t work out for us,” Providence forward Sarkis Shaginian said. “We could have played better, but it is what it is. Sometimes you have games like this and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“But I’m still proud of our guys. We did something no other soccer team at Providence has ever been able to do, and we have to be happy about that.”

Despite arriving late to the contest after being stuck in traffic on its trip from Irvine, Tarbut V’Torah (14-5-1) — the No. 3 team from the San Joaquin League — came out revved up against the Pioneers.

The Lions struck for the first goal in the 10th minute. Dan Friedman, who just missed a goal four minutes earlier, got by defenders on the right side and rifled a shot for the score.

“We have a lot of inexperienced players and I think that showed,” Providence Coach Kordo Doski said. “They were a pretty good squad that we played against and not to take anything away from them, but I think we were just as good as they were. We just let in three goals that I thought were pretty soft goals.”

Tarbut V’Torah’s second goal came in the 22nd minute on a free kick that seemed to catch the Pioneers off guard.

With a 2-0 advantage, the Lions went up by three goals with a tally in the 35th minute and carried that lead into halftime.

The Lions kept the ball primarily in the Providence third for most of the first half. The Pioneers’ best chance to score in the first 40 minutes came on a free kick from Anto Boghigian in the 36th minute. From about 25 yards out, Boghigian delivered a high, hard shot that looked like it was headed top shelf in the net. But Lions keeper Ari Zwiren went up high and tipped the offering over the cross bar.

With few opportunities early in the second half, the Pioneers finally got on the board late in the stanza when Shaginian made good on a penalty kick in the 72nd minute.

“Even with the loss, it was a good season for us,” Doski said. “I started with a lot of these guys when they were freshmen and they really came a long way.”

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