Ben Winderman recaps Friday’s SOL boys’ soccer action. CR North/Archbishop Wood photos provided courtesy of John Gleeson. Check back for a gallery of photos. (CB South/Neshaminy photo courtesy of Ben Winderman)
By Ben Winderman
SEPTEMBER SOCCER SOL STYLE
Several SOL teams kicked off soccer season with hardnosed play in this hard-to-find-the-back-of-the-net game. None of the three conferences seems to have an outright favorite to win championship, but some of the major candidates were in action on Friday. Let’s see how they fared:
CB South 1, Neshaminy 1 (2 OT)
Neshaminy coach Tom Foley acknowledged that Friday’s season opener probably won’t be included among his team’s best performances of the year.
“But Don Brady does a good job with his program, and I think we had some real positives and things we can build on going forward,” the Redskins’ coach said.
One of those positives was the phenomenal poise of freshman goalkeeper Trevor Rush, whose save in the early moments of the first overtime saved a point for the visiting side. “That was definitely the save of the match,” said Foley who inserted Rush with the game tied 1-1 at halftime.
Not to be outdone on his home turf, Titans’ GK senior Brady Day made difficult situations look routine. Although neither team enjoyed sustained pressure or possession, both sides did generate good opportunities.
Day positioned himself wisely all afternoon and prevented Neshaminy attackers Vincent McGlynn and Vince Hosephros from scoring the game winner. Neshaminy played without standout Jack McCourt due to injury, but strong performances were turned in by several players. Foley praised the play of his veteran crew of defenders Kevin Hanuscin, Jared Stonkus, Joe Indelicatto and Chase Rider.
“Joe (Indelicatto) did a nice job limiting South’s space coming down that right side,” the Redskins’ coach said.
After the visiting side found the back of the net early on a goal by Kevin Sheenan, CB South knotted the game on an own goal off a long Ryan Rieber throw-in. The ball appeared to glance off a defender’s back and found its way into the Neshaminy net. From there it was hardnosed play, sporadic half-chances, and a few squandered opportunities. The Titans stood their ground in the back, led by the strong play of senior Tate Pfendner. Kyle Bethel showed strength and smarts anchoring the South midfield.
CB South (0-0-1) hosts Pennridge next while Neshaminy (0-0-1) waits an entire week before taking on Bensalem in its second match.
CR South 3, Harriton 2 (2 OT)
Speaking of CR South…coach Alan Nicholl’s boys beat Harriton 3-2 in an overtime thriller! Up 1-0 at the half, this game appeared to be in hand when CR South scored again to make it 2-0, but Harriton was not about to agree, rallying to knot the score late in regulation.
South was able to regain its composure, and when senior Conor Sweeney’s goal found the back of the net in the second overtime, this experienced CR South side had reason to celebrate.
Overall, South did a lot of defending as the Pioneers held a 13-6 advantage in shots. Coach Nicholl praised the play of CR goalkeeper Drew Bresnan.
“He kept us in it with a solid game,” the Golden Hawks’ coach said.
But center back Nick Santos got Nicholl’s nod as the “Man-of-the-Match” for his expertise in keeping Harriton's potent attack in check.
Scoring single goals for Rock South were Pat Wilczynski and Dan Maggio. Maggio had a busy day with a goal and two assists for the Golden Hawks.
Council Rock South (1-0) will host Archbishop Wood at Walt Snyder Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Golden Hawks will visit Hatboro-Horsham Tuesday night under the lights.
Harriton 0-2-0-0 2
Council Rock South 1-1-0-1 3
Central Bucks West 1, Malvern Prep 0
Luke Fehrman turned a Reed Sturza pass into a goal, and goalkeeper Dylan Smith turned away the only shot he faced to earn his first clean sheet of the season.
Central Bucks West (1-0) will travel to William Tennent for Wednesday’s SOL opener.
Pennridge 3, Plumstead Christian 0
The Rams charged out of the 2017 gate with a convincing win.
Pennridge goalkeeper Adam Gurysh turned away three opponent shots, earning the shutout for the Rams, and Matt Stevenson’s two tallies opened up a lead the Rams wouldn’t squander. Stevenson was assisted by Nick Dunn and Jack Taplett respectively en route to a 2-0 lead at the half.
Sebastian Perkowski scored midway through the second half, assisted by Jonah Hartzell to make it 3-0.
“We’re looking forward to our next game versus CB South,” said Pennridge coach Pete Valimont.
An early season clash it should be when Pennridge (1-0) travels to Central Bucks South for its season opener next Friday. Will dynamic Matt Stevenson and the Rams have the firepower to defeat the speed of Tate Pfender, savvy of midfielder Kyle Bethel, and steady play GK Brady Day? Stay tuned!
Pennridge 2-1 3
Plumstead Christian 0-0 0
Hatboro-Horsham 1, Radnor 1 (2 OT)
For the visiting Hatters, an early-season match against Radnor, the defending District One 3A champion, was not unfamiliar. Although the traditional opponents took last year off HH coach Kyle McGrath was happy to accept the game and renewed rivalry. In the end, both team would settle for a draw and be satisfied with some excellent performances and valuable lessons learned.
Radnor scored in the fourth minute off an own goal from a corner kick.
“But we settled down, and Nick Hatzenbeller picked up the ball around midfield, dribbled by four Radnor defenders and beat their keeper near post,” McGrath said.
Hatzenbeller’s goal came in the 12th minute of play.
“(It was) a great individual effort,” according to McGrath. “Hatzenbeller, Colin Bateman, and Ryan Cole controlled the center midfield and really helped us control the game’s tempo.”
The Hatters have some big questions to answer in the back due to the loss of Chandler Ryan to graduation and Colin Davis to Union Academy duty, but early signs were positive for the men in red and black as Will Kemp and Josh Hagerty anchored a solid effort in their center back roles. While making their varsity debuts at outside back, Jason Czaplicki and Jake Weiss both held up well.
McGrath praised the play of junior GK Zack Kim, who had saves for the Hatters.
“Both teams went back and forth the majority of the game,” the Hatters’ coach said. “Colin Bateman had a half volley from 40 out that their keeper made an excellent diving save.”
A lot will be expected of senior Colin Bateman if this H-H squad is to improve upon last season’s third place finish in the American Conference. Along with Davis, the Union Academy also plucked junior Danny Bateman, the team’s leading scorer last season, from the Hatters’ roster.
In Friday’s opener, the Hatters appeared balanced, and after an early corner kick hiccup, they loosened up and moved the ball well.
Hatboro-Horsham’s second test comes at home Tuesday night when the Hatters (0-0-1) host a hyped up Council Rock South at 7 pm.
Hatboro-Horsham 1-0-0-0 1
Conestoga 1-0-0-0 1
Abington 3, Cheltenham 0
The Ghosts jumped all over their neighboring rival for a 3-0 victory.
Sean Touey opened the 2017 campaign by scoring during the first minute of the game. Touey would later score the Ghosts’ third goal, and in between, Danny Heller found the back of the net for Abington. All three goals were scored in the first half as the teams played a scoreless second half.
Abington (1-0) will be on the road at Lansdale Catholic for a non-league game on Tuesday, and Cheltenham (0-1) will travel to Upper Dublin for its SOL opener on Wednesday.
Abington 3-0 3
Cheltenham 0-0 0
Archbishop Wood 1- CR North 0, 2OT
It was a disappointing result for Council Rock North when Wood junior midfielder Cody Taylor scored the game winner off a failed clearance by a CR North defender.
This game was aptly categorized as a defensive showdown, and according to CR North Coach Joe Stackhouse, “We held possession the greater part of the game but didn't finish the build up of play.”
Stackhouse identifies “Poor execution in the final third,” as a critical factor in his team’s defeat, but CR North will continue to work on their execution and figure to be a key factor in the race for National Conference glory.
Council Rock North (0-1) will host Harriton in a non-league contest on Saturday.
Archbishop Wood 0-0-0-1 1
Council Rock North 0-0-0-0 0
FATHER JUDGE 1, UPPER DUBLIN 0
The Flying Cardinals could not find the back of the net and were forced to absorb a 1-0 loss in Friday’s hard-fought non-league contest.
“I was proud of the effort from our boys,” first-year coach Andy Meehan said. “Both teams played hard and tough. We dominated possession and moved the ball well, we just couldn't put one away.”
Upper Dublin (0-1) will host Cheltenham in Wednesday’s SOL opener.
NEW HOPE-SOLEBURY 5, UPPER MORELAND 1