Unionville up­set by Coun­cil Rock North in PKs

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Neil Geoghe­gan ngeoghe­gan @21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @NeilMGeoghe­gan on Twit­ter

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> The Unionville girls soc­cer squad ended the 2016 sea­son with a Ches-Mont Amer­i­can crown tucked away, and man­aged to hold its last four op­po­nents without a goal. The sev­enth and eighth straight score­less halves — plus an ad­di­tional 30 min­utes of over­time — came on Mon­day in the first round of the Dis­trict 1 4A playoffs, but it still wasn’t enough to ad­vance.

After 110 min­utes of reg­u­la­tion and two over­times, there was still no win­ner Mon­day night, but vis­it­ing Coun­cil Rock North ended the In­di­ans’ sea­son, 4-3, on penalty kicks for a 1-0 win. Seeded 21st, C.R. North pre­vailed on PKs and will move on to play No. 5 Spring-Ford on Thurs­day.

“For ei­ther team, it would be a let­down to lose this way after play­ing that many min­utes,” said Unionville head coach Joe Ratasiewicz.

“I thought it was a well con­tested game. We both had our chances and you hate to see it come down to PKs,” agreed North head coach Wen­dell Beres. “We’ve been there be­fore and we’ve ended sea­sons on PKs. But at the end of the day, we are just happy with the re­sult and we’ll move on and play on Thurs­day.”

The 12th-seeded In­di­ans (12-5-2 over­all) had some mo­men­tum head­ing into the penalty kicks, but lost it quickly when of­fen­sive stand­out Veron­ica Hine­man and de­fen­sive stal­wart Erin Gar­vey came up empty handed on the team’s first two at­tempts. Coun­cil Rock North (12-6 over­all) later won it when se­nior de­fender Carly Blair broke a 3-3 dead­lock on the fi­nal kick of the first round.

“All I can say is that in that sit­u­a­tion, there is a lot of pres­sure on th­ese kids,” Ratasi­we­icz pointed out.

“We should have scored two or three goals in reg­u­la­tion. When you miss good scor­ing chances, it al­ways comes back to bite you. We had at least three that we should have cashed in on. We fi­nally pen­e­trated two or three times but we just didn’t fin­ish.”

De­spite ced­ing a ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage for a big chunk of the con­test, Unionville started to surge in earnest down the stretch of reg­u­la­tion, with Hine­man de­liv­er­ing a pair of prime scor­ing chances in the fi­nal 12 min­utes alone. The first was a blast off the post fol­low­ing a scram­ble in front of the C.R. North goal, and the sec­ond was a break­away that was smoth­ered by keeper Carly Riggs.

The only dan­ger­ous scor­ing chance in ei­ther of the two 15-minute over­time ses­sions came on a driv­ing shot by C.R. North’s Kayla Robin­son that was redi­rected away by a div­ing Katie Bor­lie in goal for Unionville.

“We kept them away from the goal pretty well. Our keeper made a cou­ple key saves, but there weren’t a lot of shots on her,” Ratasiew­cicz said.

The In­di­ans started slow and played ten­ta­tively in the first half as C.R. North seemed to get to the ma­jor­ity of the 50-50 balls. The vis­i­tors had the best scor­ing chance of the first 40 min­utes when Mia Scala­man­dre clanged a free kick off the far post.

In all, Unionville had a 10-4 edge in shots but C.R. North limited the In­di­ans to zero cor­ner kicks and worked for six of its own.

“Right now my head is spin­ning,” Ratasiewicz ad­mit­ted. “But we had a good sea­son and they fin­ished strong.

“This team has been very re­silient given all the ad­ver­sity we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced.”

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