Ardmore >> With an always challenging Central League schedule in front, Lower Merion boy’s soccer coach Nico Severini along with his staff constantly preach ‘Team Together.’
This philosophy has been long standing within the program that originates from legendary coaches and lifelong friends Temple men’s basketball coach John Chaney and the late Jorge Severini, who coached boy’s soccer at Haverford High School and later as an assistant for Lower Merion.
“We speak constantly of playing together,” Severini said following his team’s 4-0 non-league win over Plymouth Whitemarsh on Tuesday afternoon. “The team is buying in and playing for each other. You need that to have success. We care for each other on and off the field and strive to make the team more than just about soccer.”
Junior Harrison Bloch, who returns after missing last season with an ACL injury added, “Lower Merion soccer is like a brotherhood. We stay together and keep each other up.”
After opening the season with a 2-0 victory over Avon Grove, the Aces were in for another tough test with Plymouth Whitemarsh visiting to open the home portion of the schedule.
Just three minutes into the contest the Colonials had a golden opportunity to take an early lead but it was LM keeper Sebastian Connelly coming up big. Jacobe Sandcroft took the cross and headed it on goal but Connelly got just enough on it to tip it off the crossbar before seeing the ball cleared.
“Having Sebastian on the back line is very important,” said junior Tim O’Hare. “He seems to be taking on more of a leadership role and that is big especially on the back line.”
After that it was all Lower Merion. Throughout the last 30 minutes of the first half the Aces had numerous scoring opportunities but it was PW keeper Patrick Corpus coming up big each time to keep the game level at zero.
With 24:21 remaining in the second half, it was O’Hare who broke through and beat Corpus to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
“We were getting tired and really needed a goal,” said Bloch, who finished with two goals on the day. “Tim got us the goal we needed and it pushed our momentum up and we went from there.”
Just over a minute later, O’Hare had another opportunity but his shot was saved but Bloch followed the play and knocked the rebound past Corpus to give LM the 2-0 lead.
Bloch would add another goal before Attie Tekie would finish off the scoring to provide the final margin. Connelly would go on to post his second shutout of the year finishing with four saves.
“Getting off to a 2-0 start is nice,” said O’Hare. It’s the first time this group is playing together and we seem to be coming together.
Severini added, “It’s very nice to start the season. We played two good opponents and the boys seem to be coming together but there is still work to be done. You have to be pretty
happy to start off with two wins with a tough schedule ahead. The hardest thing to do in soccer is put the ball in the back of the net and create. We have done a good job so far and we need to keep working and keep getting those chances.”
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