by Tom Utescher
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy won the Pennsylvania Independent Schools boy’s soccer championship in 2017 and 2018, but the Hillers graduated a strong senior class from each of those teams.
Given that situation, you might consider 2019 a rebuilding year for SCH, but that’s not the way the current team looks at it. There are still a good number of returning veterans, and the success of the program has attracted new talent as well.
The captains are seniors Kevin Buck, Dane Harmaty and Vince Sciarrotta, and junior Connor Koschineg. There are plenty of other juniors and seniors to furnish the team with experience and depth of talent.
The other current 12th graders who are back from 2018 are Scott Bandura, Luke Feeney, Jack Rice and Chase Rotelle, and senior Simon Nong has moved up from last year’s JV team.
Along with Koschineg, the juniors who are varsity veterans are Jack Leininger and Christian Vetter. Joseph Falcone, Keith MacMahon, Philip McDowell and Jack Vacca have advanced to the varsity level from within the school, and Ben Hayes has transferred into the 11th-grade class from Abington High School.
Now sophomores, Casey Baker and R.T. Genther saw a good deal of varsity time as freshmen in 2018. Now they’re being joined by SCH classmates Tommy Monaghan and Ben Rodgers, and by a transfer from Cheltenham High School, Moje Badejoko. The sophomore class is missing a talented player from 2018, since Sean Stackhouse has been afforded the opportunity to train in England with the Fleetwood Town Football Club, located about an hour north of Liverpool and Manchester.
Rising up to the freshman class from the SCH middle school are Daniel Heep and Ryan White, while J.T. Hughes, Christopher Metsikas, Rohan Shetty and Colin Woehlcke are new ninth graders entering SCH.
Shetty and Rodgers are goalkeepers, and will contend for the position left vacant by 2018 grad Owen Elliott, who signed with Penn State.
Heading into his fourth season as head coach is SCH faculty member Brian Zalasky, and his sideline sidekick Tom Stackhouse (Sean’s brother) already became an assistant coach under the Hillers’ previous mentor, Joe DiSalvo.