Bucks County Herald

CB West concludes district run in fourth


The good news? Seventh-seeded Central Bucks West, by virtue of its riveting penalty kick win over No. 2 Lower Merion on Oct. 28, punched the Bucks’ first ticket to the state playoffs since 1982.

The bad news? The process to get there. CB West started districts by having to knock off its archrival, No. 10 Central Bucks East. The 0-0 double-overtime thriller against Lower Merion was followed by another 0-0 double-overtime penalty kick thriller four days later, where the Bucks came up just short against No. 19 Council Rock North in the District One Class AAAA semifinals.

Small wonder the Bucks (16-6) were gassed on Saturday night when they fell to No. 13 Kennett, 2-1, in the district third-place game at War Memorial Field.

“The game matters 100 percent,” CB West head coach Stefan Szygiel emphasized. “We have a lot of injuries and I wished we could have gone full strength. Kennett is a fantastic team. We are really banged up after districts and that is no secret.”

“I think our team is really mentally tough,” defender Dan Nahor added. “We had back-to-back penalty shootouts and lost the second one. That was tough, but we were able to bounce back. We have a great coaching staff.”

“The draw works how the draw works,” Szygiel continued. “To play East and then Lower Merion at their place: we put so much into those two games. I wanted to make sure we could balance that. We have the luxury of having 35 guys on our varsity team.”

The Bucks dominated in the first 10 minutes and got off two good shots. In the 15th minute, Nick Brison’s cross connected with Daniel Kunzij, who scored to give Kennett a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Demons tallied again on a David Carbajal goal in the 60th minute, seconds after an impressive Brendan Gibbons save nearly thwarted Kennett. Gibbons had six saves on the night.

Gibbons played instead of usual starting ’keeper Dylan Smith. Szygiel rested Smith and several other key starters.

“We wanted to give some guys on the bench who worked hard a chance to play in the game,” Nahor said. “Some of us got banged up in the last game, so it was good to give some guys a break.”

“There were a lot of names who saw the field who didn’t get a lot of minutes this year,” Szygiel added. “It was an opportunity for me to take a look at some of my swing players and young players and see what they can do.”

In the 71st minute, the Bucks bench roared when senior Kevin Snavely recorded his first career goal, trimming the lead to 2-1. Snavely punched it in from short distance on the left side.

“I just did whatever I could to get that first varsity goal,” Snavely said. “It was a great feeling to have everyone cheer for me.”

“Kevin has been with us for four years,” Szygiel added. “He only got cleared from his broken wrist a couple of days ago. For him, that is a huge moment. He is a player the boys genuinely like.”

The Bucks scored three or more goals in half of their regular season games. Snavely’s tally snapped a 321-minute team scoring drought.

“This gives our starters a break and it’s good when guys coming off of the bench,” Snavely noted, “can come in and contribute.”

CB West’s historic season continued on Wednesday against District 12 champion La Salle in the opening round of states (result unavailable at presstime).



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