Springdale boys soccer gets past Chartiers-Houston in physical battle

Saturday, October 19, 2019 | 4:45 PM

Throughout the course of a soccer season there are certain moments when seniors feel the need to step up and make big plays.

On Saturday at Fox Chapel, senior midfielder Mike Mitchell did just that during No. 6 Springdale’s WPIAL Class A first-round victory over No. 11 Chartiers-Houston.

Mitchell received a pass on the left side of the field, crossed over a defender, made a move to the opposite side of the field and settled the ball.

After a moment, he let a shot rip from 25-yards out that flew over Chartiers-Houston’s goalkeeper and into the back of the net to put the Dynamos (14-3) ahead with six minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the first half.

“I think being a senior, when you’re one of the players with the most experience on the team, sometimes it just takes one run to get the team going,” Mitchell said. “I saw my chance, and I knew I had the outside back beat and saw the opening and took the shot.”

In a tightly contested and physical matchup, Mitchell’s lone goal stood and the Dynamos took down Chartiers-Houston, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals for the third straight year.

“In the playoffs, we know that anybody can beat anybody,” Mitchell said. “I think getting out of the first round can give us the momentum to keep moving forward.”

Springdale will take on No. 14 Bishop Canevin (10-6-2) on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

For Springdale to come away with a victory in the first round, it had to overcome a little adversity. One of the biggest was when sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Haus left the game for a brief period of time.

He was shaken up after coming out of the goal mouth to challenge a Chartiers-Houston through ball and colliding with a forward at the top of the 18-yard box. After a few moments on the ground, Haus walked off the field under his own power. A few minutes later, he was reinserted into the lineup and couldn’t have played a bigger role.

Chartiers-Houston (11-6-2) didn’t put a lot of pressure on the young keeper as they managed only seven shots and Haus made saves on six of them. His biggest save of the game came in the final moments.

The Buccaneers received a free kick within striking distance of the Springdale goal. With seven seconds left, Buccaneers midfielder Matt Bucha let a shot go from around the 30-yard line. Amid a group of attackers, Haus came off his line to win the ball in the air and secure the victory.

“Since the beginning of the season we saw what Andrew could do,” Mitchell said. “He’s been amazing for us.”

The Dynamos still have a long way to go in order to achieve their ultimate goal of winning a WPIAL title, something they came just short of last year by losing to eventual champion Avonworth in the semifinals. But they ultimately have an idea of what it will take to continue the success that they have established this season.

“Our conditioning has to improve, our touches have to improve and we have to get back to the fundamentals of our game,” Springdale coach Cesareo Sanchez said. “We just have to take possession throughout the game.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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