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Springville-Griffith Institute soccer can’t contain the Riverside game-winning machine

I BELIEVE I CAN FLY — Senior Springville-Griffith Institute player Kevin Zabawa takes a header, during a game against Riverside High School. Photos by Dave DeLuca.

SPRINGVILLE — Riverside High School came into a match against Springville-Griffith Institute undefeated on the year. The Frontiers dominated the league, winning a division title and going 11-0 overall, during the regular season.

Riverside came out firing against the Griffs, taking an early 3-0 lead, 20 minutes into the contest. The Frontiers defeated visiting Springville 5-0 at Charles Dingboom Field in Riverside.

“Riverside was a talented team. Great touch on the ball, very quick and [they] could see the field very well,” said Springville coach Tom Szczerbacki.

“They are a very good defensive team, as well. They only had 4 goals scored on them, all season. They played good position, supported each other very well and transitioned quickly, from the back end.”

Hassan Sabtow led Riverside, scoring 2 goals and assisting on 2 others. The Springville loss ends the team’s season and the high school soccer careers for 12 senior athletes, who have spent years in the S-GI soccer program. After winning just one game, a year ago, Springville went 6-10-1 overall and won a playoff game for the first time since 2011.

“This group of seniors has been a pleasure to coach, for these past few seasons,” said Szczerbacki, about his seniors. “They show up and play hard, they play physical. At the start of the season, we made a point that we want to be a team that is hard to play against, that other teams know they will be in for a hard-fought game.

“We wanted to put ourselves in a position to win every game, to compete at a high level, with a chance in the end to win every game and I feel we did that,” the coach concluded.

GETTING A KICK OUT OF IT — Trey Abley gets in a few quick jabs, against a Riverside player, during the recent game.

Senior Kevin Zabawa led the team in scoring, with 8 goals and two assists, on the season. Senior Brandon Sullivan was second on the team’s scoring list, with 5 goals and four assists, while playing a majority of the season as the team’s stopper. Senior AJ Fisher had 3 goals and four assists.

Underclassman who will return next year include Owen Gow and Dustin Emerson. Gow, the team’s center midfield, led the team in assists, with six, and scored 3 goals. Gow will provide experience to the Griffs, next season, as a three-year player.

Emerson netted 4 goals, during the season, and will also return. Junior keeper Nolan Gills will return next year and is another player who has multiple years of experience, after being called up to varsity as a sophomore.

The boys closed out their season with a banquet on Nov. 7.


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