CB West Working Hard & Winning Games (Submitted by Ben Winderman)

The article below was submitted by Ben Winderman and is first of recurring articles that will be posted on the site as part of his blog. 

THE BUCKS WORKING HARD AND WINNING GAMES

By: Ben Winderman

With names like Redfield, Morris, Sturza, Van Pelt, and Moyer listed on the roster the CB West soccer ancestry is not only satisfied they’re ecstatic. But Coach Stefan Szygiel is quick to point out that this squad of players has little interest in individual attention: “I could mention each individual guy and what they bring to the table,” Szygiel states, “but they don't care about that. They genuinely care more about achieving our team goals than they do about their individual accolades. If they keep that mentality it could be a heck of a season."

Down 1-0 to North Penn in the waning moments of regulation recently, the Bucks boys’ soccer team was on the brink of absorbing its first defeat of the season to last year’s Continental Conference champs, but then with five minutes to play, Bucks’ GK Dylan Smith stoned NP’s Luke McMahon from about 10 yards out. McMahon had given the Knights the 1-0 advantage earlier in the second half on a well-taken PK, created by North Penn’s catalyst Carter Houlihan. However, with the Bucks on the ropes and the chance to supply the knock-out punch, the NP striker saw Smith instead of glory. Dylan Smith! West’s keeper has made it his habit to keep his team in games since his freshman campaign, and now as a junior, Smith is among the finest high school players in the state. Especially with the game on the line.

Moments later Smith stroked a clearance up field which eventually found its way to sophomore Bailey Moyer in the box. Moyer, with the savvy of a senior not a sophomore, drew a critical whistle from the referee, as his used his natural balance and strong center of gravity to gain control of the ball and then deliberately stopped and awaited inevitable contact. Moyer (below), a third generation West soccer stud, may have many more tricks in his bag that fans will see over the coming seasons. For now, however, Szygiel says that “newcomer Bailey Moyer has transitioned seamlessly into CBW Boys soccer. 

Bucks senior captain and catalyst Tarin Morris (shown below) calmly converted the equalizing Penalty Kick and the host Bucks and visiting Knights were again deadlocked, this time for heading into overtime.

The game that had seen the Bucks control the early stages but fail to score, followed by a North Penn surge; energized by the play of Carter Houlihan and organized by coach Paul Duddy’s decision to switch the versatile Jack Johnson to the backline. Scoreless at halftime the two Continental Conference rivals battled for another 40 minutes only to be tied once again at the end of regulation.

Overtime would be brief. The Bucks came out reenergized and in the fourth minute of the first OT period, Bucks junior Luke Fehrman made a heroic run past his mark, took a left footed cross from Steven Knabe out of the air, and from one knee beat North Penn GK Joe Lindsay for the game-winner. Just like that, the Bucks remained undefeated and untied. “I just wanted to go out their and work as hard as I could,” said Fehrman, the rugged West midfielder. “If we keep focusing on working hard,” Fehrman explained, “then we’ll keep getting results.”

The Bucks backed up that statement again the following evening at War Memorial Field by working hard towards an impressive non-league victory over visiting Archbishop Ryan. Dylan Smith recorded another shutout victory in the net and Tarin Morris scored both for the boys in black and gold.

"It's certainly a strong start to the season for us and the boys are hungry for more,” coach Szygiel added.  “They're a really fun group to be around and genuinely get along with one another, which is an intangible we need in order to reach our goals.  The trio of CJ Lang (above), Tarin Morris and Carson Snyder (below) provide us with a really strong spine and collective soccer IQ, and GK Dylan Smith is taking his game to the next level.” The Bucks continue a strong tradition of consistency in the back, and exploitation of gaps in their opponent’s ranks. West transitions well, communicates consistently, and shows resilience even in the face of failure. When those qualities exist, failure, regardless of final score, disappears. The North Penn Knight will for sure regroup under Duddy’s veteran leadership and be hungry for a late-season rematch. Will this Bucks group, dominated by juniors, but sprinkled with the right combination of upper and underclassmen, have what it takes to claim West’s first Continental crown since the league reorganized?

The answers to that question and all others will be discovered in the place that’s reserved for players, the pitch!

North Penn travels to William Tennent tonight at 7 pm to try and bounce back into winning form, and the Bucks, whose record sits at a shining 5-0, travel to Warrington for a 3:30 pm league match with host CB South.

CB West players, from left, Dylan Smith, Luke Fehrman and Michael Redfield.