Springdale boys soccer ready to make another run through WPIAL playoffs
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | 9:36 AM
The Springdale boys soccer team clinched a WPIAL playoff berth with a 1-0 section win Oct. 11 at Carlynton.
The Dynamos improved to 6-4-1 in Section 3-A, good for third place behind Winchester Thurston and Eden Christian, then followed up with a 4-2 section win Oct. 13 against Riverview.
“Coming from graduating seven starters last year and replacing them this season, I think our performance has been outstanding considering all the underclass players starting this year,” coach Cesareo Sanchez said.
“To keep playing top soccer the rest of the season, including the playoff games, is not just my expectation but also the players’.”
Springdale went 8-0 in section play in 2020 and advanced the WPIAL semifinals, where it lost to Greensburg Central Catholic, 2-0. The Dynamos, who have played in the semifinal round four straight years, won 10 consecutive regular-season games and ended up 12-2 overall.
The Dynamos were ranked No. 5 in the Class A preseason by Trib HSSN and had four starters back from last year’s squad. They consisted of of seniors Andrew Haus (goalkeeper) and August Tabacheck (midfielder), junior midfielder Chris Mitchell and sophomore forward Billy Lawrence.
The foursome has been joined in the starting lineup this fall by juniors Joey Wylly (D), Cooper Perrote (D) and Brett Overly (MF); sophomores Mason Gent (D) and Jackson Pribanic (F); and freshmen prospects Patrick Wylly (MF) and Mathew Lawrence (D).
“Even with late(-season) injuries to Chris Mitchell and Billy Lawrence,” Sanchez said, “other players like Nathan Dubas and John Duku have stepped up and helped us maintain our place as one of the top three teams in the section.
“I think the players’ performances have been great, but there is always room for improvement.”
Haus, Tabacheck, Mitchell and Joey Wylly are the Dynamos’ co-captains.
Duku (MF) and Dubas (D), both freshmen, and sophomore John Fitzgerald (D) are leading reserves on the team.
Springdale started out 5-1 with victories against St. Joseph, Avonworth, Trinity Christian, Aquinas Academy and Bishop Canevin, as Haus, a third-year starter, posted three consecutive shutouts. Springdale climbed to 10-4-1 with the win against Riverview, its rival from the other side of the Hulton Bridge.
The Dynamos have 26 players listed on their varsity roster, including six seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and nine freshmen.
Springdale has enjoyed success on the pitch in recent years. Before this season, the Dynamos qualified for the WPIAL playoffs from 2016-20, captured two section titles, logged a 70-25-2 overall record and advanced to the PIAA tournament twice.
The Dynamos won eight, 10, 10, 10 and nine section games the previous five years, going 38-6-2 in league play from 2017-20, and finishing as a WPIAL finalist in 2017.
Sanchez is in his 12th year as Springdale’s coach. He also coached at Wilmington (1994-03) and Neshannock (2004-06), both Class A schools located in Lawrence County.
Under Sanchez, the Dynamos have advanced to the WPIAL playoffs nine times and the state playoffs twice. They also have won five section titles, including 2019 and ‘20.
A native of the Canary Islands, Sanchez came to the U.S. in the late 1970s. He played soccer for two seasons at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia before suffering a knee injury and played semi-pro soccer in Venezuela.
He moved back to the U.S. in 1991 and now moves back into the WPIAL postseason.
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