Soccer teams prepare for LVSSL playoffs
When the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League (LVSSL) playoffs resume on Wednesday, the Salisbury boys and girls will look to take another step forward in their chase for a league championship.
For the Salisbury girls, who have two teams that have already advanced through one round of postseason play, it's a guarantee one of them will advance to the semifinals.
That's because the two will square off in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
As regular season champions in Group A, CSG Falcons White earned the top seed in the division. In Group B, CSG Falcons Blue finished fourth in the regular season. Wins for both teams last Wednesday propelled them to this point.
For head coach Rick Babyak, it's a good position to be in with a maximum of three summer league games remaining.
"It would be nicer if we were playing further along in the playoffs, but it's a good thing," Babyak said. "I think it's going to be exciting to see them play against each other. They are good friends, but also good competitors."
The CSG Falcon White team defeated Group B's No. 8 seed Phillipsburg, 4-1, while CSG Falcons Blue grinded out a 3-2 victory over Group A's Lady Crusaders Blue.
"One of these teams is going to obviously have to win this next game," Babyak said. "It's going to be sad because the players from the other team are, at best, going to get to sit and watch their friends play in the semifinals.
"We split the talent fairly evenly. Typically teams put one strong team in and one weaker team. A lot of teams that you'll see in the next round of the playoffs only have one team."
While CSG Falcons White possesses many of the Lady Falcons' younger players, their success has certainly been impressive over the course of the season.
What impresses Babyak the most thus far has been the consistency across all age levels during the summer. Not only does the current crop of varsity players look solid, the future products look just as promising.
"The fact that girls of all ages are stepping up and doing well is impressive," Babyak said. "You have your older players that are stepping up as team leaders, the seniors and juniors.
"It's nice to see the talent at all of the different ages. It really bodes well for our future that you see the talent spread out over all of these years."
On the boys' front, CSG Falcons (No. 4 seed in the Group B) face Group A's top squad Southern Lehigh on Wednesday. The Falcons take their 7-3 mark and five-game win streak against the undefeated Spartans (10-0).