P.K. Yonge’s second-half rally fell just short in a 3-2 loss to visiting Providence in the 3A Region 1 finals on Tuesday.
The Region 1 top seeded Blue Wave (14-2-2) girls soccer team was looking to advance to the program’s first ever state semifinals appearance.
No. 6 seed Providence scored the first three goals starting with a free kick at the 25:24 mark in the first half and then lobbing a shot just over P.K. Yonge goal keeper Norah Pancoast with 1:41 left in the half for a 2-0 halftime lead. The Stallions went up 3-0 a little over seven minutes into the second half.
“It was just a shame, it just took us a little bit longer to sort things out tonight than we would have wanted to,” P.K. Yonge coach Rebecca Schackow said of her team’s slow start.
Momentum swung P.K. Yonge’s way midway through the second half when freshman Faith Hardy scored on a 1-on-1 with the Stallions’ goal keeper and then Hardy knocked in her second goal a little over a minute later on a penalty kick with 19:21 left in the contest.
“That [first goal] just lit us up, we knew we could do it, there was just an energy because some people were feeling a little low and we got a renewed energy and said this is it,” Shackow said.
Providence found a way to keep the Blue Wave from finding the back of the net again, staving off multiple P.K. Yonge shots on goal.
“The playoffs, the wins are so sweet, the losses are terrible because it’s the end of your season,” Schackow said. “We are such a tight-knit group and they’re bawling because it’s over. I mean trophies are great, moving onto state would have been phenomenal, but we just didn’t want this season to end. We loved training together, working together and being together, so it’s sad. It’s sad for the girls to already start thinking about six seniors graduating and not playing next year because it’s a family so it’s hard to say goodbye to people.”
Pancoast, an 8th grader, was starting her second straight playoff game for the Blue Wave filling in for sophomore Jadyn Marks, P.K. Yonge’s regular goal keeper, who sustained a concussion in last Tuesday’s 4-1 region quarterfinals win over Florida High (Tallahassee).
“[Pancoast] did a great job, she had a lot of saves, she’s got to be excited about the future,” Schakow said.
P.K. Yonge entered the contest going 11-0-2 since its last loss on Nov. 30. The Blue Wave beat Wolfson (Jacksonville), 2-1, in the region semifinals on Friday.