by Tom Utescher
The boys’ soccer squad at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy appears well-equipped to fill the gaps left by the four players who graduated from the 2012 team. Departing in June with their diplomas were forward Andrew Marcantonio, midfielder Tom Higgins, and defender Kevin Voye, along with throw-in specialist Tim Ogle.
The Blue Devils currently have a number of juniors and seniors with several years of varsity playing experience behind them, such as 12th-grade tri-captains Alec Greenhalgh, Phil Kelly, and Anthony Liddy. Other seniors in the mix include Evan Wilson, a mid who is also a scoring threat, and backs Will McCool and James McGivern.
Three of last year’s juniors chose not to play as seniors, but their class has gained a seasoned defender in Cole Brown, a transfer from Penn Charter.
Likewise, the roster is missing two current juniors who have dropped out of the program, but the 11th-grade group has picked up a new midfielder in Christian Williams, who transferred into SCH between semesters last year, and thus did not play in 2012. Fellow junior Jose Contreras is back for his third varsity season, and the class also includes Peter Davis and Jack Prochniak.
Although still only a sophomore, Sam McDowell is a returning starter in goal, and here the Devils have junior Jay Regam in reserve. The rest of the large and promising sophomore contingent consists of Hunter Ferry, Padgett Gustavson, Harrison Kapp, Billy Harris, Tim Booth, and the younger brothers of two of the team captains, Blake Greenhalgh and Henry Kelly.
In the team’s first home scrimmage, a tune-up against Abington High School last Tuesday, there was a freshman in the starting line-up. This was new arrival Andy Stackhouse; longtime LOCAL readers may remember his father, also named Andy, who starred for the old Spring Garden College back in the 1980’s.
Two other ninth-graders have family ties to pre-merger SCH athletics; Luke Stauffer’s father, Win, was a standout for the Chestnut Hill Academy soccer team, and Jack Lamb’s mother, Nina (McDowell) was a leader of the last undefeated lacrosse team at Springside School.
Two other CHA graduates are back to pilot the SCH franchise in 2013, as Joe DiSalvo enters his fifth season as head coach, and assistant coach Bobby Buoncristiano comes back for his third go-round. The staff also includes Brian Zalasky, an English teacher at the school who played for Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and another son of Spring Garden’s Andy Stackhouse. Tom, young Andy’s older brother, played college ball for Holy Family and for Temple University.
In the aforementioned Abington scrimmage, the Blue Devils battled to a 3-3 draw against the visiting Ghosts. SCH came back three times to tie the score; Wilson netted the first two goals, and finally Alec Greenhalgh erased a 3-2 Abington advantage with two minutes left to play.