Making dad proud: Provins' header helps Hobart advance in Chesterton Sectional
CHESTERTON -- The Provins, dad Toby and daughter Cecilia, have shared a soccer field since the Hobart senior was about 6.
Thanks in part to Cecelia's first-half header, they'll get to do it at least one more time as the Brickies edged Michigan City 2-1 on Tuesday in the Class 3A Chesterton Sectional.
"I think I cry more about it than they do," coach Provins said. "It is super special. I put a lot of pressure on myself, knowing it's my daughter's senior year and all of her friends, they're like daughters to me, too. I've developed relationships with all these girls. I've known them all since they were little. It just means a little more. I coached them when they were younger, but I never expected to coach them in high school. The spot opened up and they asked me to do it. I want what's best for my girls."
Provins took over after Cecelia's freshman year, but wasn't just a temporary fix that would leave when she graduated. He also coaches the middle school team and has step-daughter coming up next season.
"It really means a lot to me," Cecelia said. "We've struggled this year, winning games. I felt this was a really good win. I felt we worked really well together and we really needed it to go into our next game."
Hobart jumped in front at 9:12 on a 15-yard shot that Kaitlyn Roscoe angled into the far corner. Provins doubled the margin at 29:54 when she elevated to get her noggin on a long free kick served into the goal mouth.
"I've got a little height," she said. "I just saw it in the air, I saw the goalie coming. The last game, I got a few touches on the ball with my head on a corner, but it's usually more from out on the field."
Headers are sometimes an acquired skill, both physically and psychologically, though Provins has never had a reluctance about them.
"She's got a knack for tracking those in the air," coach Provins said. "Growing up, she played on boys teams a lot, so she had to step up to match that level, so she's never really had a fear of it. A lot of kids, you've got to break that fear. I think she was motivated by her teammates."
City drew within a goal on a left-footed Mary Pat Kelley score about midway through the second half, but couldn't get the equalizer by Brickies keeper Rylee Cotton.
"I think, at halftime, I could tell there was a lot of frustration on the girls' faces," Wolves coach Mike Ramsey said. "I think they were looking for somebody to motivate them. We said, look guys, if you're going to do anything, coach Parker and I can't do this for you. You've got to step up and do it yourselves and they did. I don't like to lose, but I don't feel bad going out on a half like that. Hobart played a really good game. They have a couple quick players in the back. They were picking up all our attacks at the end."
The Wolves' last good chance came with five minutes to go on a low, hard Olivia Shinn direct kick, but Cotton sprawled to turn it away.
"All year, we've played to the level of our competition," coach Provins said. "We just played good enough to lose, so we needed this. We're a good team. The record just doesn't show it. These girls are solid. I'm super proud of them and we're looking forward to Thursday. I hope this gives us some momentum."
For City, it's the end of a season that saw it notch seven wins, the most in Ramsey's four years.
"My first year, they won two games, I said, guys, I'd like you to help us be a part of a rebuilding of Michigan City soccer," Ramsey said. "Every year is a different year, I don't know what's going to happen next year, but I can tell you these girls went from two wins to four wins to five wins to seven wins. Our goal differential was minus 41 last year, it's even this year. Valpo, it went from 12-0 to 5-0. We took Lake Central to penalties. They all did an incredibly good job."
Ramsey has coached nine of the seniors all through high school -- Aryanna Hartsburg, Reyna Rosales, Aviana Garner, Shinn, Kelley and Maggie McLinden, who re-classified a grade. Several others -- Erin McGuire, Jessica Wilhelm, Reese Attar and Thalia Cardenas -- he's coached since seventh grade.
"This is my original group. It was a big year," Ramsey said. "One of the things I told them before the game, we didn't even know if this was going to happen, go out and have some fun. I think they forgot that part of it the first half, but they got it back."
For Kelley, it's the end of a career that dates back to Kindergarten.
"It's gonna be weird not playing it any more competitively," she said. "I've been playing with a lot of these girls since I was 10 years old. I'm gonna miss it a lot."