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Boys soccer

Solebury advances in Penn-Jersey playoffs


Before the regular season, Solebury head boys soccer coach Eric Soroka sought to keep a reserved outlook about his team’s expectations.
The Spartans began the season with three seniors and four juniors along with a bevy of sophomores after their season last year was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic, and Sokora had the team practicing for six weeks.
Monday evening, Solebury put an accent mark on an expected season dotted with inconsistency when they blanked Woodlynde, 10-0, in the opening round of the Penn-Jersey League playoffs. Mateo Roldan-Varela had three goals and Sawyer Wesp had a pair in the victory.
The sixth-seeded Spartans were scheduled to meet third-seeded Kohelet in the second round Thursday.
“That was a nice win for us,” said Sokora, whose club finished with 4-6 mark during the regular season. “Coming into the season, we knew we had a young team. They had a 2-3 league mark in the Blue Division of the league.
“But they played hard, and they grew into where they are today. Our preseason was short, and we had to get acclimated playing as a team. We started to come together at the right time of the season.
“We jelled at the right time for the playoffs. We were very up and down in our league, and we had a losing streak for a bit. Still, I believe these guys gained a lot of confidence as the season went on.”
Sokora noted the play of Wesp, a sophomore who is playing for the first time, and senior captain Dan Cosner, who tallied a season-high four goals during the regular season. Freshman Trayvone Rhodes, who plans on playing basketball in the winter, has made an impact.
“Wasp has worked really hard, and improved his game,” said Sokora. “Kosner is a player who can take control, and it is nice to see that.

“Rhodes is a really athletic kid who has grown tremendously, and we believe he can be a huge contributor moving forward.”
Junior goalie Greg Rushdie has worked to hone his game.
“He is not a goalie by trade, but you can see his improvement,” added Sokora. “Last year was the first year he put on gloves and played the position. He dislocated a pinky finger and missed a couple of games, but he has played well overall.”
Cosner also has watched his team evolve physically and mentally.
“We had a disappointing start to the season with some tough overtime losses, but our team has been coming together at the perfect time,” he said. “Seeing all the guys progress into the players they’re becoming is gratifying.
“Everyone has bought into Coach Eric’s program, and we are playing with more confidence than some of the previous years.”
Whenever his season ends, Cosner will have memories to cherish. He thanked longtime teammate Hayden Cowperthwaite for his continued support.
“I have so much pride and love for our school, and being able to represent Solebury is special,” he stressed. “Through my middle and high school years, I have grown so much as a player thanks to our coaches and teammates.
“Hayden and I came in together as seventh graders, and he always pushed me to become better. We’ve all experienced a lot on the field, and we want to have a strong finish.”