D-West

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

An­neMarie An­der­son’s nearly decade-long ten­ure as head coach.

But if the Whip­pets had any cob­webs to clean out, it didn’t show, as the num­ber three seed notched five goals in the first half, and rode the lead to the fin­ish line to ad­vance to the quar­ter­fi­nals with a 5-1 vic­tory on a chilly Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at Kottmeyer Sta­dium.

“We all re­mem­ber what it felt like last year,” said West se­nior Jenna Gar­ber, who was cred­ited with a pair of goals. “And we knew from play­ing them early that Ox­ford has some very good play­ers that could score. So it was big for us to get

that first goal and a big lead early.”

The Whip­pets will go on for a re-match in the quar­ter­fi­nals against No. 6 Cen­tral Bucks East, a 2-1 win­ner over Owen J. Roberts.

West will be look­ing for re­venge come Fri­day. The Pa­tri­ots were 3-2 over­time win­ners in the first game of the sea­son. The vic­tor will clinch a berth in the PIAA Tour­na­ment.

“We’ll be ready,” said West coach Jeff Ric­cardo. “We just have to play the way we’re ca­pa­ble.”

Just over six min­utes in, West was awarded a penalty cor­ner. Clau­dia Jasczak got the ball at the top of the cir­cle, and put a pass on the stick of Gar­ber, who banged off the back of the cage for a 1-0 ad­van­tage.

Ox­ford bat­tled right back, and forced a pair of Ciana Ric­cardo of Down­ing­town West brings the ball up­field as Ox­ford’s Emily Queens­bury de­fends dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s Dis­trict 1 Class AAA sec­ond-round field hockey con­test. cor­ners of their own just min­utes later. But, goalie Cait­lyn Coker and her de­fen­sive team­mates kept the Hor­nets out of the cage, like they have for much of the sea­son.

“Cait­lyn made some nice saves for us in the first half, and if any of those gets in, it might have been a dif­fer­ent game,” said Ric­cardo. “We’ve been re­ally solid de­fen­sively all year. Our backs have been very solid.”

Be­fore the end of the first

half, the Whip­pets added four more goals, one each from Laine Gar­ber, Tay­lor Orsi and Ta­tum John­son, and a sec­ond one from Jenna Gar­ber.

“We played a good game, but not our best game,” said Ric­cardo. “This is a good team, and we’re the three seed for a rea­son. I thought we made our passes and played well. We do the things we’re ca­pa­ble, we’re go­ing to beat a lot of teams. If we do those things all the time and not 50-60 per­cent of the time like to­day, we’ll go far.”

Ox­ford fi­nally got on the board with about 20 min­utes to play, when Stan­ford­bound Sarah John­son broke through with a goal.

“It’s all been a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” said John­son. “It’s hard to have it end like this, but I wouldn’t have wanted

to be with any other team or with any other girls. We got bet­ter and im­proved ev­ery year, and I’ll be look­ing for the girls com­ing back to do even bet­ter than we did.”

John­son, and all of her fel­low se­niors, are leav­ing big shoes to fill.

“We went from not qual­i­fy­ing, to get­ting one dis­trict game, this year we got a win, and next year we push for three or more games,” added An­der­son. “I can’t say enough about Sarah and all the se­niors. There are go­ing to be some big shoes to fill, but we’ll be back and we’ll try our best to keep im­prov­ing.”

BILL RUDICK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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