War­riors run into tough D’East de­fense

Cougars deny War­riors chance to clinch share of division ti­tle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bruce Adams badams@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mline­s­ports on Twit­ter

LIONVILLE >> Com­ing into Wed­nes­day’s game at Down­ing­town East, the West Ch­ester Henderson girls’ soc­cer team could have clinched at least a share of the Ches-Mont ti­tle with a win against the Cougars.

But the War­riors ran into a tough D-town East de­fense and lost to the host Cougars, 2-1. It was the first Ches-Mont League de­feat of the sea­son for Henderson (13-2-3, 11-1-1), while Down­ing­town East im­proved to 13-4-1 (11-2 in Ches Mont play).

Down­ing­town East head coach Craig Reed said, “Henderson is a well-coached, real solid team that has 2-3 solid game-chang­ers, and we knew we needed to con­tain them. Defenders [ju­nior] Tay­lor Platt, [se­nior] Brenna War­ren and [sopho­more] Emily Wurzel were well-or­ga­nized, com­mu­ni­cated well.”

Platt said, “We came out to­day re­ally want­ing to beat them af­ter suf­fer­ing a loss to [Henderson] in dou­ble over­time last year. We stayed tight on de­fense and man-marked [some of] them, and made sure we didn’t lose them.”

War­ren, a sec­ond team All-Ches-Mont se­lec­tion last fall, said, “[Henderson] has some great goal-scor­ers, and [Coach Reed] did a good job de­ter--

min­ing who were to stay marked, even when they’d move around. We have good de­fen­sive play­ers, who did a great job of com­mu­ni­cat­ing switches on [de­fen­sive] as­sign­ments.”

Af­ter a score­less first half, Henderson took the lead on a goal by se­nior mid­fielder Kailee Coo­nan with 36:59 left.

Just four min­utes later, East came up with the equal­izer. Platt took a fast re­bound at the right of the goal, and curled in a shot from the right corner to knot the con­test at 1-1.

“That was a huge mo­men­tum shift,” said Reed.

“All of our 11 play­ers kept our shape well [through­out the game], and we were able to win the ball and coun­ter­at­tack.”

Henderson head coach Craig Scan­garella said, “I think we got a lit­tle fraz­zled in the sec­ond half, and I think we tried to sit on our 1-0 lead, in­stead of keep at­tack­ing. Some­times you learn more from a loss than a win, and we learned to­day that we can con­trol [our type of play].”

With 22:22 to play, Down­ing­town East se­nior for­ward Jess Keeler scored from the front of the net to give the Cougars their win­ning mar­gin.

“Jess timed it just right, with a nice side-footed fin­ish,” said Reed.

In the fi­nal few min­utes, Henderson took sev­eral runs at the goal, but came up short.

Scan­garella said, “I thought Kailee Coo­nan had a strong per­for­mance to­day for us ..... Hats off to East. We gave up goals on two restarts, and we had chances to tie it at the end, but didn’t fin­ish. To­day’s game is good prepa­ra­tion for the district play­offs.”

Reed agreed: “This was a good game for us in pre­par­ing for Dis­tricts. I could see us go­ing against Hendy [in the tour­na­ment].”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town East’s Jess Keeler (6) cel­e­brates her game-win­ning goal with Emma Steiger­wald in Wed­nes­day’s Ches-Mont League Na­tional Division girls soc­cer match against West Ch­ester Henderson.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town East goalie Court­ney Dun­lop stops Henderson’s Kate Gor­don on Wed­nes­day.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town East defenders Olivia Law­ton clears the ball from Henderson’s Made­lyn Weaver­ling on Wed­nes­day.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Kailee Coo­nan of Henderson (26) bat­tles for con­trol with An­gela Car­cella of Down­ing­town East dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s game.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Henderson’s El­lie Cor­nuet (28) col­lides with An­gela Car­cella of Down­ing­town East while try­ing to head a ball Wed­nes­day.

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