IMMACULATA, PA –
The second-seeded Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils soccer team made it all the way this year. A 2-0 shutout of the top-seeded Hill School Rams in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) championship game Wednesday, November 15, at Immaculata University’s Draper Walsh Stadium gave Springside Chestnut Hill the PAISAA trophy.
Springside Chestnut Hill secures 2017 PAISAA Title in 2-0 victory over the Hill School - PSD photo by Dan McCarty
“It felt amazing,” said SCH junior midfielder Philip Burckhardt. “We have a different mindset this year.”
When the Blue Devils took on the Rams during the regular season, they held a 2-0 halftime advantage. However, Hill proved that the game had been far from over and came back on a 3-0 sprint to edge SCH, 3-2. This outcome was still fresh in the minds of both schools. Therefore, Springside entered in to this most crucial match seeking some revenge at such an opportune time and proper organization helped the team come through.
“We were under pressure,” said Springside Chestnut Hill head coach Brian Zalasky. “We weathered the storm. We took our chances. That’s been the story all season.”
Burckhardt found the net with 25:14 to play in the opening half. Forward Dane Harmaty provided the feed. Burckhardt kept his run going and scored again, this time unassisted, with 7:05 remaining in the stanza.
“We had to strike early,” said Burckhardt.
Remembering full well that it had fallen to Hill during the regular season despite a 2-0 halftime lead, Springside Chestnut Hill was determined not to let that happen again.
“We knew we had to win it,” said Harmaty. “We had to shut it down in the back.”
That worked perfectly. The second half came and went with no additional goals and the Blue Devils (19-3-2) and their spectators were able to swarm one another on the field and celebrate a victory before being presented with the plaque.
“It was great,” said Harmaty. “We all play as a team on defense.”
SCH goalkeeper Owen Elliott prevailed on defense with assistance from Vincent Sciarrota, Mike Buck, Matt Greenberg and Jack Myers. Solid defense also led the Blue Devils to their 13th shutout of the season on the evening.
“Owen leads the defense with heart and with passion,” said Coach Zalasky. “Everyone follows him. There was full defensive presence tonight.”
This was a disappointing way for the Hill School to end their season after claiming the PAISAA title in three out of the last four years. They finish with a final record of 13-6.
The Blue Devils finished their regular league season as outright Inter-Ac champions after defeating Malvern Prep 2-1 in double overtime in their final game of the season.