Soccer team advances in playoffs

Avonworth’s Owen North dribbles past two Springdale defenders as Connor Whalen looks on during the Antelopes’ victory in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

Avonworth boys’ soccer faced off against a tough Springdale opponent in the first round of playoffs at Mars Field last Monday.

Head coach Tom Angell described Springdale as coming out “very aggressive” in the first half of the game. The opponent played strong and “…had us on our heels in the first half,” Angell said.

But Avonworth re-grouped at halftime and had a much better second half.

“The defense of Jonah Brandt, Jonathon Nicolaus and Matthew Carraway, along with goalkeeper Timmy Stewart, had very strong games to secure the shut-out,” he added.

And, of course, there was senior Sam Guzzo’s second period goal on a cross by senior Jason Novosel, giving Avonworth the 1-0 victory.

The team record going into last night’s second round of playoffs stands at19-0-1.

Angell said that Monday’s game was the team’s 15th win in a row and Stewart's 14th shut-out on the season.

Strong play, strong coaching and team spirit are major ingredients in the success of any athletic team, grade school through the pros. But there is one more factor, and Angell has recognized its importance.

“The fan support has been very inspirational,” he said. “The Avonworth community always comes out well in big games. We have had great support from the girls’ soccer team all season. It's really special to see alumni and their parents at games also.”

Looking back and looking ahead, he added, “This is our second WPIAL final in the last four years and we are very excited for the challenge that we will see from an excellent Greensburg Central Catholic team.”

[Editor's Note: Avonworth won the Greensburg game played at Highmark Stadium Thursday night, and became the WPIAL champions.].