Springdale girls hoping for another magical run
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Springdale's 2011 season was just short of magical — very short.
After navigating a brutal nonsection schedule and taking third in Section 4-A, the Dynamos entered the postseason with a respectable, but underwhelming, 10-6-2 record and subdued expectations.
But Springdale fought its way to both the WPIAL and PIAA finals, before settling for a pair of silver medals.
“Last year was special in a lot of ways,” Springdale coach Jerry Concannon said. “There's a little of that feeling of coming up short, but speaking with players and (assistant coach) Kelly (Schaults), that season puts a smile on our faces. We exceeded expectations and when you do that, there's nothing to be ashamed of.”
If the Dynamos are to shoot for the top once again this season, they'll need to do it with a radically restructured roster.
Gone are seven senior starters, including three who are playing college soccer: Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year Krista Edwards (Westminster) and VND all-stars Erin Gilmartin (Point Park) and Erica Roney (Point Park).
Chelsey Adams, another VND all-star also graduated, as did Kim Watterson, who is on the Syracuse track team.
Key to the Dynamos' hopes will be the return of senior center back Marissa Sarsfield, who has committed to Division I Cleveland State.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Sarsfield said. “We're relatively young; there's a lot of freshmen coming in. But we're already improving a lot.”
Sarsfield is in the final stages of recovery from offseason knee surgery and hopes to be cleared to play soccer within the next couple of weeks.
“We have pre- and post-Marissa game plans,” Concannon said. “We do need her to be on the field.”
Senior forward Sydney Smajda, one of the team's top scorers from last season, also will be relied upon to provide a steadying presence and reliable goal-scoring threat.
After that, it is anyone's guess. Of the Dynamos' 24-player roster, 10 are freshmen.
“I'm confident that the young players coming up can play the game; it's the subtle things, the nuances, that they'll have to adapt to,” Concannon said. “I look at it as a fun challenge.”
• Valley is another storyline to watch. Is this the year it breaks it's 92-game losing streak? Things may already be pointing in that direction. The Vikings defeated Kittanning, 3-2, in a scrimmage Wednesday. Kittanning is fielding a team for the first time since 1999. Coach John Macura thinks his senior-laden team has what it takes to win when the games count, too.
“They want to end (the streak), the girls want to be a part of that,” he said. “It's a goal that we have. We know going into each year that we're probably not going to be one of the standout teams in our section, not right away. Our biggest accomplishment is going to be ending that streak.”
• On the heels of a strong 2011 campaign, Knoch (16-2-2, 11-1-2) again looks to be a threat to Mars' dominance atop Section 2-AA. After a breakout season in 2011, offensive sparkplug Olivia Sharbaugh will be a key contributor.
• After narrowly missing out on the Section 3-AAA championship last year, Fox Chapel (14-4-1, 9-2-1), returns three all-section players in senior Jessie Thiessen and juniors Lauren Kelly and Theresa Scheiffarth.
Stephen Catanese is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn State names Barbour new AD
- Rossi: Roethlisberger staging big comeback
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell to miss beginning of training camp
- After year off, Steelers’ Pouncey ‘ready to go’
- Steelers won’t negotiate Roethlisberger extension until after season
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes
- Israel agrees to extend Gaza war truce by 4 hours
- Megan’s Law offender in Greensburg arrested when girl, 13, found hiding in shower
- Rockies’ 7-run 7th-inning dooms Pirates in 8-1 loss
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Homicide detectives investigating death of East Hills infant