RIVER CLUB — A wave of adrenaline surges through 12-year-old Carly Provan every time she steps onto a soccer field.
For the past eight years, the Braden River Middle School sixth-grader has been immersed in soccer. Her passion for the sport runs so deeply that there’s rarely a time when Provan isn’t on the soccer field.
So when her Braden River Rage soccer club season came to an end, Provan began looking for different ways to keep playing the game she loves. She decided to try out for Braden River Middle’s girls soccer team, and she couldn’t have been more pleased with her decision.
“I like to play soccer — it’s one of my passions — and I thought it would be a cool thing do,” she said. “It was great to see how everybody worked so hard together.”
Provan and fellow sixth-grader Talia Falco carried the Panthers throughout the season and eventually into the middle school soccer championship game against Buffalo Creek Middle June 2. It was the first time that Braden River Middle had advanced to the championship game since the county implemented its middle school sports program two years ago.
“This is the first year that Braden River Middle School has made it to the playoffs, so that’s a nice accomplishment in and of itself,” Braden River Middle coach Bob Singer said.
With the score tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, the game went into a head-to-head overtime shootout. In the end, the Panthers fell just short of earning their first girls soccer championship with a 3-2 loss to the Hawks.
With only four eighth-graders on the roster, Braden River Middle started the season with a 2-1 loss to Haile Middle as many of the players were still adjusting to their new teammates.
“The first game was a learning experience for us to see who could do what,” Singer said.
“They came together quite rapidly and worked really well as a unit. They had confidence in each other and worked hard in practice and it paid off in the games.”
After a season-opening loss, the Panthers tallied four straight wins, including three shutouts. Provan and Falco combined for 15 goals and seven assists while goalie Kat Elliot allowed just five goals in regulation.
“This season was amazing,” Provan said. “When we went on the field we always had a positive attitude, and we were always having fun and a good time even if we lost.”
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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