Rivals Riverview, Springdale play to draw in 1st meeting

Thursday, September 21, 2017 | 8:45 PM

As the first half of the Section 3-A slate came to a close Thursday afternoon, the Riverview and Springdale boys soccer teams each had three points in mind on the field at Oakmont’s Riverside Park.

However, the rivals’ first meeting this season produced just one point for each in the section standings.

The Dynamos and Raiders played through 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime and had to settle for a 1-1 tie. Each team picked up a goal midway through the second half.

“The guys were a little disappointed because they didn’t get the win, but to me, a tie on (Riverview’s) home field is like a win,” Springdale coach Cesareo Sanchez said. “Riverview always plays very well (at Riverside Park). Both teams played a great game. There were some great saves by both goalkeepers. I am satisfied with the result.”

Riverview coach Mickey Namey said each game in this rivalry series is close and competitive. The Raiders were hoping for a measure of revenge on the Dynamos, who came to Riverside Park for the section finale last year and defeated Riverview, 2-0, knocking the Raiders out of a WPIAL playoff spot.

“It’s a close game every time we step on the field together, no matter what the situation is coming in,” Namey said. “It’s that pressure to hold the home field. These are the kind of games you want to have as you get closer to the playoffs.”

Springdale, now 5-1-1 in section (16 points), remained in second place behind unbeaten Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7-0, 21 points).

The Dynamos came into Thursday’s contest with the Raiders on a five-game winning streak.

The section-leading Trojans gave up only their second goal in nine games overall Thursday against third-place Avonworth (5-2, 15 points), but they defeated the Antelopes, 4-1.

Riverview, which was outscored by a combined 10-0 in recent losses at North Catholic and Avonworth, checks in at 4-2-1 (13 points) in section play.

The teams split high-percentage scoring chances in overtime.

Riverview senior midfielder Adam Walker delivered an uncontested shot from about 15 yards in the first OT, but Springdale junior keeper Mike Zolniercyk was there to make the stop.

In the second 10-minute extra session, Dynamos senior forward Justin McClafferty had a rebound come to his feet at close range, but he got too much lift on the ball and bounced it off the crossbar.

The Raiders’ defense then cleared the ball out of danger.

“That happened in overtime in our playoff game last year (against Freedom),” Sanchez said. “We hit (the crossbar), and then we lost the game. Both teams had their chances (Thursday). I think the 1-1 tie was a fair result.”

Riverview had the better offensive play in the second half. The Raiders put two shots on net in the first seven minutes. The third shot, coming with 28:19 left in the second half, broke a scoreless tie.

Junior Christoph Hudack fed senior Sean Abraham, and Abraham did the rest. His laser shot made it past Zolnierczyk to give the Raiders the lead.

“Mike’s a great goalie,” Namey said. “He makes it tough because you have to put it in the perfect spot to get a goal, and Sean had a really nice run in and found the back post. It was a really nice goal.”

Both teams had chances in the first 40 minutes, and Springdale held a 4-1 shot advantage at halftime.

The shots evened up with the Riverview goal, but the Dynamos got the equalizer five minutes later.

A Riverview foul in the box set up a penalty shot, and Springdale senior Logan Panza buried the attempt into the back of the net past Riverview senior keeper Jordan Zatawski.

“It’s tough when you feel you dominated a team for a period of time but just can’t find the net one more time,” Namey said. “It’s been like that the last couple of games. We’re moving the ball but just not connecting in that final third.”

Springdale and Riverview will meet again at Springdale on Oct. 12.

“I’m sure it will be another close game,” Sanchez said. “It will be our senior night. The game should mean a lot for playoff positioning. It should be something special.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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