High school soccer notebook: Riverview, Springdale boys teams gear up for showdown
Tuesday's meeting between the Riverview and Springdale boys soccer teams could be more heated than usual.
The rivals will meet at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Park, with the final postseason spot from Section 2-A on the line. The teams are tied for third place at 5-4. The top three teams from each section make the playoffs.
“Basically, it's being played as a playoff game,” Riverview coach Mickey Namey said. “If we win, we're in the playoffs. If Springdale wins, they're in the playoffs. Both teams have to lay everything on the line. The rivalry just adds to it.”
Namey said it's a surprise to be in the position of needing to win the final game to get into the playoffs. Riverview (9-4, 5-4) began the season as the No. 2 team in Class A and won its first five games, but the Raiders enter Tuesday having split their past eight games.
“We caught the injury bug early on, and we just haven't been healthy the whole year,” Namey said. “Our bench has stepped up big for us, but besides losing to Vincentian, the section leader, our two losses have been in overtime — both games that we've had the lead in. This is a position we didn't expect to be in. ... It's a little test for us.”
Springdale (7-7, 5-4) has had an up-and-down season. The Dynamos lost their first two games, getting outscored 12-0, before winning their next five. They enter Tuesday's game with five losses in their past seven games.
In the first meeting, the Dynamos won 2-1 in double overtime on a goal by Taran Roesch.
“Before the season, they were selected No. 2 in the rankings, and we were not selected,” Springdale coach Cesareo Sanchez said. “We are surprised to be where we are right now, but we beat them in overtime here. It was a very even game, and I hope it's going to be that kind of game at their place.”
Local playoff presence
Several Alle-Kiski Valley teams punched their playoff tickets last week.
In boys soccer, Fox Chapel and Kiski Area clinched Class AAA spots.
Four local teams are alive in Class AA. Burrell is fighting for a spot in Section 1-AA. Knoch, Deer Lakes and Freeport are competing for the third and final spot in Section 2-AA.
On the girls side, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Knoch, Riverview and Springdale clinched berths. Kiski Area and Plum are competing with Gateway for the final spot from Section 3-AAA.
Goalkeeper steps up
Kiski Area goalkeepers Camrynn Morlacci and Kelsey Craig competed for the starting job in the preseason. That experience helped the Cavaliers earn a section win over Plum last week, coach Melissa Sharik said.
Craig entered the game toward the end of the first half after Morlacci was injured in a collision. Craig allowed a goal early in the second half but made several saves in a 2-1 win.
“She did an outstanding job,” Sharik said of Craig. “Those two goalkeepers both are freshmen, they're both great goalkeepers, and they both battled all through camp for who got the position. When Kelsey went in, we were 100 percent confident behind her.”