Springfield Township saw its historic season come to an end when the Spartans fell to Hershey 1-0 in double overtime in Friday's PIAA 3A state title game.
PIAA 3A state final
#3-1 HERSHEY 1, #1-1 SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP 0 (2 OT)
The ending came quickly and without warning.
The Spartans – who dominated play throughout Friday’s contest – saw their dream of a state title come to a heartbreaking end when the Trojans scored on a counterattack. Ian McGrorty turned a deflection of a goalie save on a breakaway into the game-winner with 11:41 remaining in the second overtime.
Although they settled for silver, the Spartans were golden – capturing their first SOL Freedom Division title, winning the program’s first District 1 3A crown, earning the program’s first ever trip to the state tournament and putting themselves in the record books with 21 wins and a trip to the state title contest.
“We told them after the game – it wasn’t the trophy we came there for, but when things calm down and they look back on it, what an incredible season,” Springfield Twp coach Dan Meder said. “Winning the first league title, winning that first district title, not only making it to the state tournament but taking it to the state final and playing really well in the final. They have a lot to be proud of.”
The weather wasn’t exactly ideal for Friday night’s PIAA 3A state title game at Eagle View Middle School in Mechanicsburg. Not only was the game played in frigid conditions, but it also snowed for a stretch of the contest.
“That wasn’t a factor, but it wasn’t nice either,” Meder said. “We definitely controlled the game. That was their strategy – they were packing it in. They had five or six guys back on two forwards the whole game.
“Honestly, that’s how they won in the last round as well. We tried to get a little more creative and create spaces. We hit the post, their goalie (Hannes Budde) made some saves, we missed some shots wide. They had an opportunity and they put it in. It was not what I expected. I thought either we were going to score or we were going to PKs.”
Meder bids farewell to 13 seniors – Kevin Bui, Julian Casabon-Aznar, Dan Fitzpatrick, Timothy Gabriel, Robert Gibson, Jack Hartman, Andrew Hubley, Zachary Kalier, Matthew McHugh, Manny Mexquititla, Jack Sharpe, Peter Schmidt and Jeffrey Tisoskey.
“The senior leaders on the team were terrific,” Meder said. “They paved the way, they helped make this mark and helped make Springfield history with their accomplishments.
“The younger guys have big shoes to fill, but at the same time, our jayvee went undefeated, and we have some young guys on the bench itching to get in. Maybe we can keep this thing going.”
Springfield Township closed out its historic season with a 21-4 record overall. Friday’s loss snapped a dazzling 14-game winning streak dating back to Sept. 22 when Springfield fell to Plymouth Whitemarsh, 2-1. The Spartans captured the SOL Freedom Division crown with a 13-3 record.
Springfield Twp 0-0-0-0 0
Hershey 0-0-0-1 1
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