PHILADELPHIA—In the thrilling regular season finale, the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) boy’s soccer squad (12-4-1 overall, 6-1-1 Inter-Ac) won the Inter-Ac league championship with a wild 3-3 draw against the visiting William Penn Charter Quakers (9-9-2 overall, 3-5-1 Inter-Ac) on Tuesday.
Before the game started, Springside Chestnut Hill honored its eight seniors in recognition of senior day.
Early in the game, the Blue Devils had multiple chances to score an opening goal.
However, both defenses stepped up big to keep the game scoreless at halftime.
Penn Charter, however, struck the scoreboard first early in the second half with back-to-back goals, by Julian Fernandez and Ryan Bradby, in less than two minutes to take a surprising 2-0 lead.
The Blue Devils eventually decreased the deficit to one goal thanks to junior Connor Koschineg in the 50th minute to make the score 2-1.
“I was very happy about scoring the first goal for us,” said Koschineg. “I was kinda annoyed by our performance earlier, but I was really excited to get back in it.”
“I told the team that we need to wake up at halftime so we could win this game,” added Koschineg. “We just had to wake up mentally and keep control of the ball.”
With less than a few minutes to go in regulation, the Blue Devils managed to tie the game at 2-2 with a goal from Scott Bandura, thus forcing overtime.
In the first five-minute half of overtime, the Quakers scored a go-ahead goal from Jackson Tullo to go up 3-2 with one overtime period left to go.
With two minutes left in overtime, SCH senior Dane Harmaty scored the tying goal to send the Blue Devil fans home happy.
Despite the game being called after overtime due to darkness, the Blue Devils clinched their third straight Inter-Ac League championship.
Even though Harmaty scored the title-clinching goal, he was not thrilled with his team’s performance in the regular season finale.
“Right now, I’m not too happy because we didn’t play well at all,” said Harmaty. “It is an accomplishment to win the league title again. The first title we won was the most special but this one was close behind because it’s my senior year and this is my team this year along with the other seniors and that’s pretty special.”
SCHA head coach Brian Zalasky knew his team did not play up to par but was pleased with the outcome.
“I think we didn’t play at our best,” said Zalasky. “We got frustrated with our style of play and I think with that frustration we didn’t really play our style that knocks the ball on the ground and finding space.”
“But with that being said, we ground out the tie and there’s a certain resilience that this team has had over the years,” added Zalasky. “I think they were able to dig deep and figure it out in the end."
The Blue Devils have secured the number two seed in the PAISAA boy’s soccer tournament while the Quakers grab the number 11 seed.
SCH will host 15th-seeded Barrack Hebrew Academy on Thursday, October 31 in the first round with kickoff scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
The Quakers will travel to six-seed Germantown Friends School on Friday, November 1 with kickoff scheduled for 3:00 p.m.