Needless to say, expectations for Providence to put together a successful season were pretty low.
“When we suited up and we took the field for our first game, I had eight guys on my roster who had never played organized soccer before,” Doski said. “We have a lot of guys who have just come out for soccer, and they really didn’t know that much about the sport.
“At the beginning of the season, I really didn’t expect us to do a whole lot. I just wanted us to be competitive.”
Doski’s expectations were realized early in the season. The Pioneers opened the campaign with three straight losses to Armenian General Benevolent Union (Canoga Park), Holy Martyrs and Pilibos.
Providence looked like it had begun down a path to another unproductive season.
However, something unexpected happened. The Pioneers — infused with five talented freshman players — began to win. One victory became two, and then three, and then four — all in a row.
Since dropping their first three contests, Providence hasn’t lost yet. More importantly, all those four wins came in league play, and Providence is currently in first place in the East Division.
“I’ve definitely had to reevaluate my expectations for this team this season,” Doski said. “Our whole philosophy has now switched from where it was when we started. We know that we can play well, and now we expect to win when we go out there.”
Doski said the reason for the turnaround wasn’t that hard to pinpoint.
“We just started playing together, better than we did in those first three games,” he said. “When we saw what the guys could do, it was a matter of us just letting them play a lot more and coaching a lot less.
“It is really a great group of guys, and they have really responded to what we have been trying to teach them.”