UHS boys soccer continues roll, beats Conestoga


Players and fans converge after Unionville High School’s boys soccer team won its 18th game of the season, without a loss, beating a tough Conestoga team, 3-0, to earn in a berth in the state playoffs, which starts Thursday.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — On Saturday, the Unionville Boys varsity soccer team began its march through the District 1 playoffs much in the same fashion as its run through the Chest Mont league regular season with a pair of opening round victories in front of raucous home crowds this week.

First up for the Indians, beneficiaries of a first round bye due to their #1 seed status, was Pennsbury, fresh off their first round 1-0 win over Radnor.  The Indians jumped out to a quick lead as Senior Mid-fielder Jeff Stautberg muscled a loose ball — that found its way inside the 6 yard box courtesy of a free kick by Senior Co-captain Andrew Chegia– past the Pennsbury keeper.  That 1-0 score stood up into halftime.  In the second half the Falcons applied pressure throughout.  Pennsbury tied the game 7 minutes into the second half on a nice put back from a scramble in front of Senior UHS keeper Henry Shafer.  Unionville, however, was un-phased by the Falcons’ quick strike and delivered one of their own 2 minutes later as Senior Mid-fielder Sammy Alfonsi drilled a low liner from 15 yards out into the right hand corner for a 2-1 UHS lead.  The game was very physical and that style of play contributed to a Unionville defender receiving a questionable second yellow card which required the Indians to play down a man for the remainder of the game.

Tied 2-2 after regulation, the teams played two 15-minute scoreless halves. Despite playing a man down, the Indians had their chances in both OTs but couldn’t convert.  In regular season the game would have ended in a 2-2 tie, but in the District playoffs ties are settled by penalty kicks.  In last year’s first round District playoff game against Boyerstown, the Indians went to PKs and came out victorious.  Everyone wanted to know if they could do it again.


Senior Unionville goalkeeper Henry Shafer came up big in both games this week — shutting out Conestoga and battling through a tough penality-kick session in overtime with Pennsbury last weekend.

The student section gathered along the fence as both teams lined up to take alternating PKs.  UHS was up first and the Pennsbury keeper made a diving stop of Alfonsi’s offering.  More often than not in high school soccer if a keeper can make a stop in PKs, his team wins.  It wasn’t looking good for the Indians when Pennsbury’s first kicker found the back of the net blasting a shot over a diving Shafer.  But in the end, Henry Shafer came up big by making three PK saves.  The last one on the 8th PK attempt by Pennsbury secured the win for the Indians as the student section erupted.

Last night the Indians had a rematch with Conestoga.  Conestoga and UHS played to a 0-0 2 OT draw just two weeks ago.  Everyone anticipated another tight match with PK potential.

The stands were full with supporters from both teams as the game tipped off.  Conestoga dominated in early play with great ball movement.  They peppered the UHS defense with a number of good shots but each time those shots were turned away by the strong backline defenders of AJ Berstein, Brian Cortese and Jack Seilus.  The game’s first score came via a great “up ball” pass to Junior Striker Peter Ferraro who ended up going one-on-one with the Conestoga keeper.  When Ferraro goes one-on-one with a keeper good things happen for UHS.  Last night was no different.  UHS lead 1-0 at the half.

Conestoga began the second half with the ball and a noisy crowd in support.  But their supporters were quickly silenced when, 1 minute into the second half, Chegia intercepted a pass, made his patented outside twirl move, raced down the right sideline and made a 90-degree cross to a waiting Stauberg who wasted no time in depositing another playoff goal and a 2-0 lead.  If that lead looked daunting to Consetoga (UHS led the Chest Mont in fewest goals allowed), it must have looked impossible 90 seconds later when Alfonsi put a rebound into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.

Conestoga to their credit kept firing shots on goal for the duration of the game.  Shafer kept coming up big and finished with 15 saves.

With the scoreboard reading 3-0 and  the clock showing :00, the UHS student section could not contain their joy as they jumped the fence and raced onto the field in support of their soccer classmates.  The sight of 100 students jumping up and down and celebrating as a community was a sight to behold and is what makes high school sports so special.  For the 11 UHS seniors, last night’s game would be their last in the friendly confines of the UHS stadium.  It will not, however, be their last high school game as they have now qualified for the state tournament and return to action on Thursday night when they take on Central Bucks East.  The game will be played at Great Valley at 5pm.

What a magical season for the Indians.  18-0-2 and counting.

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  1. Mark Shafer says:

    Just when you thought this season couldn’t be any more enjoyable you see what the team’s success means to the student body. To see that many kids in the stands– for a soccer game of all things– then seeing them rush onto the field with PURE JOY to celebrate the SCHOOLS success, well it reminded me of what community is all about. People being there for other people. We saw families come out for the game who had sons and daughters from other UHS teams past and present. This team will remember the community love and support for the rest of their lives. I am proud of the team, the student body and the UHS community. #hailunionville #yourfathersfollowingme

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