Springdale boys soccer set to build on successful season
Monday, November 11, 2019 | 6:05 PM
Over the course of the past three seasons, the Springdale boys soccer team has proved itself to be one of the best in WPIAL Class A.
The Dynamos made a WPIAL playoff appearance in all three years and were on the cusp of a WPIAL championship in 2017 before losing to North Catholic in the finals.
They also made two PIAA state playoff appearances.
This past Saturday, after pushing Greensburg Central Catholic to the brink for the second time in two weeks, Springdale’s season came to an end with a 1-0 golden goal overtime loss to the Centurions in the PIAA quarterfinals.
“I was very proud of all the players. They always exceeded my expectations,” Springdale coach Cesareo Sanchez said. “The two (GCC) games were very different. On Saturday, either team could’ve won. We both had our chances. But it just takes one second to change the game and that’s what happened.”
Not only did their season come to an end, the high school careers of Springdale’s five seniors did as well.
Since they were freshmen, Mike Mitchell, Matt Taliani, Sammy Rzeszotarski and Alexander Barch have contributed at the varsity level. During their freshmen season, they assisted in the Dynamos reaching the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Then, as sophomores, Ephraim Duku joined the group and the Dynamos helped create a new standard for Springdale soccer. They made their run to the WPIAL championship and appeared in the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
“They were one of the best senior classes that we have had in several years,” Sanchez said. “A lot of the players look forward to repeating what they have done. I look to them as an example for the Springdale program and what you can accomplish.”
In their final season, the seniors led the Dynamos to an overall record of 17-5 and captured a share of the Section 3-A title alongside Carlynton.
Mitchell (19 goals, 22 assists) and Taliani were both named to the Class A All-WPIAL team, while leading goal scorer Ephraim Duku (20 goals) and freshman Chris Mitchell (8 goals, 7 assists) earned All-Section honors.
After losing just one starter from last year, the Dynamos had high expectations for themselves. They wanted to get back to the WPIAL championship and they came close to doing so.
Although they came up just short of that goal, Sanchez believes how their season ended was still something to be proud of.
“Our season went how we had planned it, how we had expected it, I think,” Sanchez said. “Our first goal was to win the section, advance to the WPIAL and then the states. I mean, every time you want more, but I think our goals were accomplished.”
Sanchez and the Dynamos will lose a talented senior class, but they’ll still return a lot of players that contributed to their playoff run this season.
Goalie Andrew Haus will be back in net after producing 11 shutouts as a sophomore. Chris Mitchell is another player who will be crucial for the Dynamos next year after making his presence known as a freshman.
In total, the Dynamos will have seven goal scorers returning next year, and Sanchez believes they have the capability to build on the standard that was created the past few years.
“Every year we talk about losing seniors,” Sanchez said. “Last year, we lost one of the best keepers and everyone thought we were going to be weak. But Andrew Haus stepped up and exceeded expectations. I think we have some key players that are going to come back and replace the guys that we are losing and we are looking forward to keep working.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More High School Soccer Boys• Chartiers Valley 7th grader selected for international tour
• Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Rich Garland lands at Mt. Pleasant
• Westmoreland high school notebook: Lofty goals for new Penn-Trafford boys soccer coach
• Coaching changes in Penn-Trafford soccer programs
• Franklin Regional’s Hudson commits to Presbyterian College soccer