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Springdale boys soccer team boasts legitimate goal threats

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Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
Springdale’s Adam Winklman (right) kicks toward Saint Joseph’s Dominick Galli during their game Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at Springdale High School.
Top high school sports
By Stephen Catanese
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:21 a.m.

What stands out about the undefeated Springdale boys soccer team isn't so much its pristine record, but the sheer number of players who can score goals. Namely, well, practically everyone.

Tuesday night's 4-0 victory over St. Joseph served as a case in point. The usual suspects — senior forward Jared Cole and his versatile strike partner, junior Will Noble — were found on the score sheet. So was senior Joey Wysocki.

What stands out about Wysocki is that he's the Dynamos' starting goalkeeper, has been for two years now, and, up until that point, had never scored a goal.

Holding a three-goal lead, Springdale (9-0, 6-0) earned a free kick about 30 yards from the Spartans goal. Wysocki was given the opportunity to take the kick in the attacking end, the first time he has done so all season.

He made no mistake — his shot bent over the three-man wall of St. Joseph defenders, looped just beyond the outstretched fingers of the goalkeeper and fell into the net.

“We were already up, 3-0, but I was jumping around like we won WPIAL,” Wysocki said with a laugh. “Everybody was so happy for me, and it was a great thing. It was a great team moment.”

While the goal may have the appearance of an outlier, it is instead indicative of how dangerous the Dynamos are from front to back.

Nine players have contributed to Springdale's 30 team goals. That includes everyone from Cole and his team-leading 13 goals, to a pair coming from senior defender Charlie Guy.

“It just shows how our team can connect and score goals any way possible,” Wysocki said.

At the other end of the field, Cole, who recently transferred back to Springdale after spending two years at Central Catholic, has quickly grown reaccustomed to playing with the Dynamos.

“There's so much chemistry,” he said. “We've all played together since we were eight and nine years old and are all good friends. I think that helps tremendously.”

Impressive athleticism and ball skills from players like Guy and fellow center back Justin Fetes, Cole said, contribute heavily to the offensive balance. Standing over 6-foot, Guy, who usually plays a stopper role, is an asset on set pieces at both ends of the field. The left-footed Fetes acts as an assured, skilled presence at sweeper.

“The sweeper is the player who should know exactly what to do in case of any emergency,” Springdale third-year coach Cesaro Sanchez said. “Fetes is very reliable in that position.”

With the speedy defense often playing a high line near midfield, opposing teams are often effectively squeezed off of the field. This offers Springdale attackers a wealth of support from the defense, and allows aggressive counter attacks to be launched with ease.

This has led to a vibrant offense and a stifling defense that has surrendered only six goals.

Sanchez believes the Dynamos have improved since last year and have a chance to surpass 2011's second round WPIAL playoff exit. Key to that is Wysocki — and not for his goal-scoring prowess.

“Joey is a very solid, skilled goalkeeper,” Sanchez said, effusive in praise. “He's always in the right place at the right time and very secure with his hands. He gives a lot confidence to the defense.”

That relationship with the defense, Wysocki says, has been reciprocal. The sturdiness of the defense has decreased his workload and allowed him to play in the aggressive manner he enjoys.

“Our defense is doing great keeping the ball away from me,” he said. “I don't to step up every game. I mean, I can, but my team makes it easier for me.”

In the end, it may be the back that leads Springdale to the top.

Stephen Catanese is a freelance writer.

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