Providence cruises past St. Francis at regional


Published: Friday, January 30, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 12:44 a.m.

In just its third year with a varsity girls soccer team, St. Francis claimed its first district championship last week and hosted its first regional-playoff match on Friday night.

Jacksonville Providence, the team that faced the Wolves, are no strangers to Gainesville. For the fourth straight season, the Stallions traveled to Gainesville to open the regional playoffs.

And for the second consecutive season Providence left town with a victory.

The Stallions ran past the Wolves 4-1 in a Region 1-2A quarterfinal, bringing an end to St. Francis’ breakout season.

Amy Hamaty and Emily O’Shea each had a goal and an assist for Providence, which travels to Orange Park St. Johns Country Day for Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

Hamaty opened the scoring for the Stallions (9-9-5) by finding the back of the net from about 10 yards away in just the third minute of play. Seven minutes later, O’Shea placed a corner kick from the left corner and sent it in front of the St. Francis goal. The ball made its way to the far post, where Cami Jackson knocked it in for the 2-0 lead, which Providence carried into halftime.

“We started a little slow and we have had a habit of doing that,” said St. Francis coach Henry Couch. “I was really proud of the fact that we kept scrapping and pretty much played them even especially in the second half and didn’t quit. And that showed a lot to me because we are a young team, but you can’t take anything from Providence. They played very well.”

The Stallions, who were 1-2 in opening-round playoff meetings with Oak Hall the three previous seasons, kept the pressure on to start the second half. O’Shea scored on a penalty kick to make it a 3-0 contest just four minutes into the second half.

Nicole Presutti’s goal came off what appeared to be wide-shot-attempt-turned-assist from Hamaty to give Providence a comfortable 4-0 cushion in the 50th minute.

The highlight of the evening for the Wolves came in the 72nd minute of action. Freshman Alana Colvin placed a free kick from about 25 yards away on the right side perfectly into the upper-left corner of the net to provide the eventual final margin.

Providence out-shot St. Francis 14-3 for the match, which was moved from Thursday night to Friday night because the field was drenched by rain a few nights earlier. Freshman Marchieta Wiley made six saves in goal for the Wolves (19-4-3).

“It was a great season. We’re a young team, we’re still developing,” Couch said. “I think we have a real good future, they’re great kids.”

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