Providence boys’ soccer gets break in league win against Flintridge Prep
Simon Habash didn’t stop running while following the ball in an offensive rush.
The Providence High freshman boys’ soccer player was rewarded for his quick-thinking move.
Habash scored his first career goal Wednesday in the first half to lift visiting Providence to a 1-0 Prep League win against Flintridge Prep.
Habash provided Providence (10-2-3, 2-2 in league) with a jolt and helped turn aside defending champion Flintridge Prep (9-4-5, 2-1-1).
The Pioneers, in their second season in the Prep League, and Habash got a break they needed.
On the goal, Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Jiashu Wang came out to get the ball, but it went through his legs. An uncovered Habash corralled the ball and scored into the vacant net in the 30th minute.
“You have to be ready for anything in that kind of a play,” said Habash, a forward. “Their goalie was a little shaky handling the ball the first time we played them and he seemed a bit hesitant going for the ball on the goal today.
“The ball got by him and I had to keep hustling to the ball and scored. It’s a big win for our team.”
Flintridge Prep, which has won three straight league championships and earned a 5-3 win against Providence on Jan. 17 at the Glendale Sports Complex, peppered Providence. However, Flintridge Prep couldn’t solve Providence goalkeeper Gabriel Malong, who finished with 10 saves.
Malong turned aside a shot inside the box in the 48th minute.
In the first half, Malong made a leaping save on a shot by Dylan McGaraharan in the fifth minute.
“Gabriel made some big saves and he gave us an opportunity,” Providence coach Rimal Patel said. “The key to beating Flintridge Prep is to work straight-up hard and it’s tough to match them skill wise.
“We didn’t have too many opportunities, but we executed on that one goal. Simon kept going to the ball and he put himself in the right position to score.”
Providence, which came into the match in third place behind Flintridge Prep and Chadwick, finished with five shots on goal.
Flintridge Prep, which advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs last season, had a shot by Simon Siskel hit the outside of the right post with about a minute remaining in the first half.
The Rebels had one final chance in the game’s closing seconds, when a corner kick went untouched through the crease.
“The better team won today,” Flintridge Prep co-coach Stanley Curiel said. “We were a little sluggish in the first half and they capitalized on a miscue.
“Providence has a good defensive team and we started chasing the game after they scored. You make mistakes sometimes; it happens. It’s tough what happened. We’ve got to find a way to minimize our mistakes.”