I had the misfortune of being out of the office Tuesday for what turned out to be a busy day’s worth of soccer, both for the boys and the girls. As I assume will be the norm for a few weeks to come, there were a few results that drastically alter the landscape of Delco soccer and where certain teams stand out there. (i.e. everyone read my Super 7 and said, hey let’s get this guy.)
In looking at the results the day after, let’s see what lessons we can take out from the box scores. Here’s a few things I learned:
The Penncrest boys defense is pretty good. The ability to hold Harriton at their place to a 0-0 draw is impressive, not to mention it being a grass team playing the Rams on a turf surface. Dan Bullitt and Jude Morgan form a daunting pair in the center of defense.
Ridley may be for real. It’s probably a down year at Upper Darby, but it’s a big deal for Ridley to go in there and get a win, 2-0. Pat O’Neill pitched another shutout, and Romario Elbasani took his season goal tally to seven. The Green Raiders are 5-0 with Strath Haven coming to town Thursday.
Strath Haven boys make an early play for the Central. Arguably the two best Delco teams in the Central League had to be separated by an extra-time penalty when the Panthers topped Springfield, 1-0, Tuesday. In addition to continually being impressed with Sean Myers play, this is a big early-season salvo for the Panthers.
Worries about Strath Haven girls’ goal scoring were premature. It took until game No. 4 of the season for the likes of All-Delcos Kristen Miller and Sophie Murphy to hit the score sheet in a 3-0 win over Springfield. Three second-half goals mean that the Cougars hung tough, but it looks like the Panthers are starting to kick it into gear.
Rumors of Evan Needs’ demise were greatly exaggerated. No one really worried much about the junior forward, but when you score 37 goals in an All-Delco sophomore season, the bar is set pretty high. He had just three in TCA’s first four games before a hat trick Tuesday led them to a 3-2 win over defending Tri-State Christian Conference champ Atlantic Christian. He hasn’t been doing all the finishing, but Needs has been a big part of a 4-0 start to league play, the best in coach Brian Dennsteadt’s tenure.
Connor Gregory didn’t like my preview. OK, I don’t know that for sure. But I apparently erred significantly in leaving Gregory out of the discussion of who would replace Brett Campbell’s goal production for Haverford School. Gregory has responded by scoring in four straight games, seven tallies in total, including a hat trick over Hun School in a 3-0 win Tuesday. Message received.
The Haverford girls have some high-scoring potential this season. Four goals against a one-win Marple Newtown team isn’t the world’s biggest statement. But the Fords have rattled off five straight wins, shutting out opponents 20-0 in that time. That’s more goals than they scored a season ago.
The Del Val race may be good again this year. Penn Wood entered Tuesday’s game with Interboro at 0-3. They left with a wild 4-3 home win thanks to a pair of goals by Anthony Saye. Having had a front-row seat to a crazy game between the two last year, I could’ve guessed it would be intense. We’ll see what this means for the title race and the precious districts berth.
The Haverford boys can score. I figured this was the case, but Joe Cunningham’s first-half breakaway score officially opened the Fords account on the season in a 1-0 win over Marple Newtown.