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Swift response: After slow start, Stars roll into quarters

LILBURN -- After a two-week break, Providence Christian went back to its trademark play to knock off the rust and advance in the Class A boys soccer playoffs.

The Stars turned three throw-ins from Brent Hansen into goals, and scored five unanswered in a 5-1 victory over First Presbyterian on Wednesday. Providence advances to Saturday's third-round game at Savannah Country Day.

While the Providence coaching staff was pleased with the win, its message to the players after the game was they needed to possess the ball more for a crisp attack. The Hansen throw-in, while effective, shouldn't be the only way to score.

"Our touch in the game, and pressure from the other team, you just can't duplicate that in practice," Providence coach Todd Henry said. "It made us a little sluggish at first, and we did really well switching fields. But there's going to be good defenses out there and we can't just rely on the long throw all the time."

It was the first time since early in the season that Providence had its entire roster after the Stars were hobbled by multiple concussions and a broken foot. Conditioning and depth have grown out of that adversity as players moved to alternate positions.

First Presbyterian (14-4-2) opened the scoring less than nine minutes into the game.

Then Providence (14-5) answered when Matt McGlamery came off the far post, and Hansen's throw from 30 yards away bounced to McGlamery all alone.

Three minutes later, Ted Perry scored the first of two goals in the game after another Hansen throw-in pinballed off of Robby Lyew.

Providence added second-half goals by Perry, Ryan Mozzone and Taylor Henry, who scored on a penalty kick.

Mozzone said the three-goal second half after the Stars trailed in the first 10 minutes is not unusual.

"Usually we start off the game, kind of with our heads down, we're kind of still asleep, you could say," Mozzone said. "But usually when we stop playing around and get serious about it, we string a few good passes together and get goals."

Saturday's game will be a rematch of a meeting last year when Savannah Country Day beat a 6-10 Providence team.

The Stars returned every starter this season, but Henry said the they can't continue a season-long trend of letting opponents score first.

"We know their field, we know their team," Henry said.

"Our defense has been solid, but every once in a while somebody gets through, but we can't do that down in Savannah."