CHELTENHAM >> It’s been a bit of tough road for Springfield-Montco thus far this season entering Wednesday’s Suburban One League American Conference game with Cheltenham with a 3-7-1 record.
The Spartans put together a complete game performance and got the result to show for it as they knocked off the Panthers with a 4-1 win.
“We’ve been on the other side of it plenty of times so it was nice to be on this side, the winning side,” Springfield coach Dan Meder said. “The boys stuck to the game plan, we’ve made adjustments, and the boys have settled in and looked really good.”
The game came down to cashing in on opportunities. Springfield’s two first-half goals came as a result of nice individual efforts by Trevor McCaffery and Jake Welsh who made nice runs and finished their shots.
“The first (goal) that was just a misplay by our center back, that happens every once in awhile,” Cheltenham coach Chuck Gesing said. “The second (goal) I was a little disappointed we didn’t contain him or at least get him to the side but the kid made a great play, I cant fault their team for making great plays.”
Cheltenham had its fair share of opportunities as well, however Springfield keeper Ben Zimmerman stood on his head making several A-1 saves. A couple balls that hit posts, crossbar and near misses also helped Zimmerman.
“We definitely capitalized on our opportunities, which we haven’t done,” Meder said. “Ben, our goalie, really kept us in it. Especially early, we could have been losing early in this game. It makes a big difference and gets the team fired up.”
Even the Cheltenham goal didn’t come easy. After an original shot in the box was saved by Zimmerman, the Panthers’ Max Brown ripped a shot off the cross bar, the ball came out to Harry Stackhouse, who finally put one home for the Panthers early in the second half.
Unfortunately for the Panthers it just wasn’t their day. However, with their offensive output, 16 shots, they continue to trend in the right direction but have to find a way to consistently put together complete game performances.
“The bad is that we got to score when we get 16 shots,” Gesing said. “The good is that we’re getting those shots… I take away (it was a) great effort we got to execute better.”
For Springfield, it might not be too late to make a run at the District 1 playoffs and if it can string some performances like Wednesday’s together the Spartans can make a stronger case.
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