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Spring-Ford stopped by Seneca Valley in PIAA 4A quarterfinal

MECHANICSBURG >> Spring-Ford knew that its opponent in the PIAA Class 4A boys soccer quarterfinals was an extremely good team that could score a lot of goals. Seneca Valley, a state finalist in 2021, lived up to that expectation with a 3-0 win over the Rams Saturday afternoon at Eagle View Middle School.

Will Bruno scored the first and third goals and Cole Kamarec the middle one for the Raiders (20-1-1), the state runners-up last year and champions in 2020. Goalkeeper P.J. Pozniak kept Spring-Ford (15-5-4) in the match by making eight saves and breaking up numerous other threats in the box.

Seneca Valley moves on to a Tuesday semifinal Tuesday at a time and place to be announced against Conestoga, a 2-0 winner over Warwick. Lower Merion (2-0 winner over Pennridge) and Parkland (2-1 winner versus Father Judge) will meet in the other semifinal. The Rams had advanced further into the playoffs than any other boys soccer team in school history.

Seneca Valley, the runner-up from District 7, kept the pressure on the Rams throughout the match periodically substituting as many as six players at a time.

“It’s probably the best opponent we’ve faced,” said Ram coach Mark Chambers. “They must go 20 deep to keep guys fresh and the level doesn’t drop. They’re good on the ball and off the ball and interchanging of positions. I expect to see them here again next week (in the championship game).”

The Raiders, who defeated State College 7-3 in the opening round, have now scored 100 goals on the season while allowing only 16. And it took them only 3:05 to score on Saturday as Jeremiah Laslavic passed to Bruno on the right wing for a shot into the far corner.

Bruno had a couple more blasts on the goal in the first half and Beaux Lizewski another, all stopped by diving saves by Pozniak.

“They just kept getting it outside and attacking 1-v-1,” said the Ram senior keeper. “We knew they had really good offensive weapons. Our plan was to not let them get the ball up the field, but they went around it.”

“P.J. kept that game respectable for us,” said Chambers. “He had some big saves and won some games for us this year.”

The Rams kept the Raiders – whose only loss was by 1-0 to Pine-Richland in the District 7 final – off the board the rest of the half and 12 minutes into the second when Kamarec controlled a block attempt, pivoted and blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the goal. Bruno scored again from right out in front off a pass from Connor Oros with three minutes remaining to clinch the win.

“Sometimes a lack of communication hurt us,” said Chambers. “And they picked us apart.”

Ryan Krumenacker made two saves in goal for Seneca Valley, which had a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.

The Rams had qualified for the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs and finished sixth in District 1 before knocking off District 3 champion Central Dauphin 2-1 in the opening round of state play on Tuesday.

And the key for Spring-Ford’s success was the closeness of the team, according to Pozniak.

“Honestly, us just being such close friends,” he said. “We had such a good bond. It means a lot … the furthest we’ve ever made it as a school. It’s just a great accomplishment.”

“For our guys, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Chambers. “They’ve never been this far in the history of Spring-Ford soccer. There’s a lot of positive things to look back on.”

The Rams will graduate 11 players: Jonah Wuertz, Joey Ricevuto, Leo Aguilar, Luca Carboy, David Alban, George Neatherly, Logan Bomirski, Matt Henzler, Brendan Sites, Cameron Jones and P.J. Pozniak.

Seneca Valley 3, Spring-Ford 0

Spring-Ford 0 0 -0
Seneca Valley 1 2 – 3
Scoring
Scoring First half
First half
SV-Will Bruno (Jeremiah Laslavic)
Second half
SV-Cole Kamarec
SV-Will Bruno (Connor Oros)
Saves: SF-8 (P.J. Pozniak), CV-2 (Ryan Krumenacker)
Corner kicks: SF-1, SV-2

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