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Wreckers fall in boys soccer

Published October 24. 2019 12:47PM

After losing in the opening round of the District 11 soccer playoffs the last three years, Weatherly set it sights on gaining a postseason victory this season.

But the Wreckers’ hopes for an extended postseason stay were denied by Tri-Valley.

The Bulldogs used a four-goal second half Wednesday to pull away for a 5-1 victory in the Class 1A boys soccer quarterfinals.

“It was one of our season goals to not only have a better record ... but our thought was this year could be the year that we actually win one in the playoffs,” said Weatherly head coach Kevin Kennedy, whose team entered the playoffs with a 12-6 record after going just 6-12 a year ago.

“The last few seasons we didn’t qualify for the playoffs until almost the last game or two. This year, we knew early we were going to be in districts. By the 14th game of the season, we already had the nine wins needed to qualify. So, that was a big improvement and I’m pretty happy with that.”

For a half, it looked like the Wreckers might advance as they were locked in a 1-1 tie with Tri-Valley.

Connor Schwalm scored the Bulldogs’ first goal on a penalty kick. But Weatherly’s Antonio Colecio answered off a beautiful set-up from Josh Andruzzi to knot things up.

“We marched down the sidelines,” Kennedy said. “We had a really good sequence of events with a throw-in, then our center-mids and our left wing kept the ball moving down the field until it got to Josh. Once he got it, he made a great feed to Antonio.”

After intermission, though, the Bulldogs’ Schwalm took over.

“It was very even,” said Kennedy. “They’re a very skilled team. There were some scary moments in the first half for sure. We thoughts things were within our grasp.

“It was certainly achievable. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep it together for the latter 40 minutes.”

The Wreckers couldn’t find a way to contain Schwalm as he scored three times in the second half. Teammate Alex Kehler added the final score.

“We are all very proud of what we accomplished,” Kennedy said. “We certainly overachieved. We didn’t get that second goal of winning a playoff game. But we now know what it’s going to take, and we’re going to build from there.

“From what I’ve seen the past two off-seasons, these guys have it in them. They have a great work ethic, and it’s been paying off with steady improvement the last three seasons.”

COMMON FOE … This was the team’s third meeting of the season. Tri-Valley posted a 2-1 win on Sept. 14 and gained a 2-0 victory on Oct. 3. The Bulldogs ended up being the Schuylkill League Division II wild card team.

BACK IN IT … Over the last nine years, Tri-Valley’s only D-11 showing was in 2014.

UP NEXT … Tri-Valley will face top seed Moravian Academy in the semis.

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