Abing­ton sinks Down­ing­town West

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bill Ru­dick bru­dick55@gmail.com @bru­dick55 on Twit­ter

DOWN­ING­TOWN >> Down­ing­town West had its chances in Tuesday’s Dis­trict 1 4A boys soc­cer opener at DiSer­afino Sta­dium.

But the vis­i­tors from Abing­ton con­verted on their two big­gest chances of the game, and it was enough to lift the Gal­lop­ing Ghosts to a 2-0 win and end the Whip­pets’ sea­son.

“I thought this was a game of two halves,” said West coach John Hatt. “We had our op­por­tu­ni­ties, but we didn’t take ad­van­tage. If we had pushed through and got­ten some­thing on the board in the first half, (Abing­ton) might have pressed and maybe it would be a dif­fer­ent re­sult.”

West pres­sured Abing­ton through much of the first half stale­mate, but shots went off the post, went high, or were sim­ply turned away by Abing­ton keeper Ni­cholas Brown­holz. The ze­roes on the score­board, how­ever, re­mained through­out a first half that fea­tured a bizarre stop­page when West keeper James Meals lit­er­ally kicked the cover off the ball.

“We had some scary mo­ments in the first half where they got be­hind our de­fense and cre­ated some chances,” said Abing­ton coach Randy Gar­ber. “But other than that, I thought we were sound. We made a cou­ple ad­just­ments, know­ing that this was a good team that could score some goals, we dropped an­other per­son back and told our keeper not to come out un­less he was sure he was go­ing to win the ball.”

The Ghosts’ first goal came a lit­tle over seven min­utes into the sec­ond half when they suc­cess­fully drew Meals from goal. Sopho­more mid­fielder Sean Touey had got­ten be­hind the de­fense, took the ball, and lofted a shot over Meals and in to the net for the first score. It was Touey’s 22nd goal on the sea­son.

“That was some­thing we’ve been work­ing on all year where we try to put the ball out on the wing, and then I just slipped be­hind the cen­ter back,” said Touey. “The wind cut us a break, be­cause the ball just floated over the cen­ter back and I got a good touch on it. The goalie was com­ing out, and I think he got a fin­ger on it, but it went in.”

But the Ghosts couldn’t af­ford to be com­pla­cent and just sit on a lead; a sure recipe for dis­as­ter.

“It’s al­ways in the back of your mind that you could have just got­ten the game win­ner,” said Touey. “But you can’t think that way. You can’t just as­sume a one goal lead is enough, be­cause it could be gone just like that in high school soc­cer. You have to keep up the pres­sure and put that fi­nal nail in the cof­fin.”

The cof­fin was ham­mered shut with just 5:56 to play, when Juan Castillo made it a 2-0 game.

“As we were com­ing down field and I saw the ball com­ing to me, I knew I had a good chance,” said Castillo. “I took my shot and it kind of went through I few peo­ple so I was at least a lit­tle lucky, but one of my team­mates made a great run through to pull an­other player off me and helped open things up. Next game is against Con­estoga, the top seed, so it’s go­ing to be a tough game, but I think we’re all ready for it.”

The Ghosts will once again be on the road to face the Pioneers, with the game sched­uled for Thurs­day evening un­der the lights at 7 p.m.

“It’s al­ways great to get that first game un­der your belt,” said Gar­ber. “I al­ways tell the kids that the first one is al­ways the tough­est, whether you’re home or on the road, so it’s great to get the win.”

For the Whip­pets, the sea­son comes to a close.

“As a coach, all you can ask for is a a group of kids that works hard,” said Hatt. “That cer­tainly de­scribes this group of kids. To­day is dis­ap­point­ing, but the kids we bring back next year will just keep work­ing hard to im­prove.”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Abing­ton’s Jack Fail­ing (3) and Down­ing­town West’s (5) To­bias Dias Froga go to the turf bat­tling for con­trol of the ball Tuesday evening.

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