The Providence High boys’ soccer team ended the 2012-13 season with a disappointing loss, as the squad fell to Tarbut V’Torah, 3-1, in a CIF Southern Section Division VII first-round playoff match.
However, as much as the loss stung for the Pioneers players and coaches, the defeat couldn’t dampen what Providence was able to accomplish during the season.
For the first time in program history, the Pioneers captured a league championship, earning a crown in the Heritage League with a 4-0-4 record. The berth in the postseason was also a first for the program.
“We had a great group of guys and we really came a long way as a team,” Providence Coach Kordo Doski said. “It was a tough loss for us in the playoffs, but I don’t think too many people are really thinking too much about how it ended. They’re more thinking about what we were able to accomplish and how we put it all together.”
With its success in league play, Providence had four players earn All-Heritage League honors, including senior center midfielder Sarkis Shaginian, who was honored as Heritage League Player of the Year. The top league honor was also a first for a Pioneers player.
Also making the list was senior stopper Anto Boghokian, senior midfielder Keerati Asawalapsakun and junior defensive midfielder Steven Villeda.
“It’s really nice to win the award and all, but the main thing for me this season was winning a league championship,” Shaginian said. “It wasn’t all about me and this sport is not about individuals. I had a lot of guys working hard with me and our coaches did a great job at helping us out and making us a team.
“I’m very proud of the guys. We did something no other soccer team at Providence has ever been able to do, and we have to be happy about that.”
Shaginian was a workhorse for the Pioneers (6-3-4), as he powered the team’s offense and led with his play on the field. Shaginian ended with a team-high 13 goals.
“I’ve seen enough good players, and he was by far the best technical player there was in the league, by far,” Doski said of Shaginian. “In terms of just ability and just technique, there aren’t many players like him, period. He can really do anything on the field; he has that kind of ability.”
Playing on a team that featured a mix of club players and athletes who hadn’t played much organized soccer, Doski said Shaginian was able to incorporate all the Pioneers players and get them involved.
“With a team that was so mixed … it is on the person who has the ball, who knows better, to make the right recisions,” Doski said. “You just can’t give the ball to someone who’s never played and expect them to make the right decision. You have to make the right play, but at the same time you have to change the game so other people can play with you. Sarkis did that so well for us.”
Doski said Boghokian played a major role in the success of the Pioneers this season, as he tallied four goals while handling the majority of the defensive load for the team.
“Anto is what made Sarkis successful,” Doski said. “He was a guy who had to work very hard for us and who had to do the important things to keep us in games.”