Photo: David McGregor. Providence's Matt McGlamery celebrates his game-winning goal over Wesleyan on Wednesday.
NORCROSS -- In a tightly played game on a slick field, Providence used its signature play to gain a couple extra bounces and the edge on Wesleyan.
Brent Hansen, a Providence senior, tossed a long throw-in toward the box that somehow trickled through a slew of players to find junior Matt McGlamery on the far post for the game winner. McGlamery's goal with 13 minutes remaining was the difference in a 2-1 Providence victory over Wesleyan on Tuesday night, which gave the Stars their fifth straight win.
"We got kind of a lucky bounce, and the ball skipped through," Hansen said.
Even though Providence is confident scoring off of the long throw-in, Hansen said the Stars don't want to base the entire game off of one play.
Providence coach Todd Henry said Hansen has recorded six or seven assists off of that play alone this season. A Hansen throw with 22 minutes to play in the first half led to a goal by sophomore Ted Perry.
"I felt like we faced 30 of them throughout the night," Wesleyan coach Billy Coxhead said. "Unfortunately, it was just a matter of time almost, until one goes in, and two went in. He's very dangerous on those throws, and they make a big deal out of those long throw-ins."
On paper, the teams entered the game heading in opposite directions. Providence, which missed the playoffs last season with a 6-10 record, is the top-ranked team in Class A and returned every starter from last year. The Stars had scored 21 goals in five games entering Tuesday, following a 3-2 loss to Greater Atlanta Christian on Feb. 22.
The perennially strong Wesleyan program graduated six players from last year's state runner-up team, including Chris Duvall, who's now playing at Wake Forest. The Wolves also had a seventh starter transfer from their team that went 13-4-1.
Wesleyan (3-5), which has scored one goal combined in its three losses, is looking for the kind of offensive playmakers that graduated last year. Though the Wolves' scored on a Cole Warren header with 16 minutes to play to tie the game.
"We're still trying to find our identity," Coxhead said. "I feel like we gained some confidence tonight, even though we lost, which we're trying to do every day trying to get used to new starters."
Providence (6-2), conversely, is rounding into the form many expected out of the experienced lineup.
Despite missing three seniors at times this season because of injury, most of the Stars' upperclassmen have started since they were freshmen or sophomores.
"They've all played high-level club (soccer), they know what it takes," Henry said. "Hopefully we'll be able to keep pushing on."