Unionville locks up state berth

Miles scores only goal as top-seeded In­di­ans reach semi­fi­nals with 1-0 win over C.R. South

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

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> Fri­day’s District 1 3A field hockey quar­ter­fi­nal be­tween topseeded Unionville and No. 8 Coun­cil Rock South turned out to be a lot like the reg­u­lar sea­son con­test be­tween the two teams. It was a low-scor­ing af­fair be­tween squads that pride them­selves on de­fense.

And for the sec­ond time, it was Unionville that came out on top, with a sec­ond­half goal from Madi­son Miles hold­ing up as the game win­ner, as the In­di­ans edged the Hawks, 1-0, on a chilly and windy af­ter­noon at Unionville High School.

With the win, Unionville se­cured a re­turn trip to the PIAA tour­na­ment, and re­mains in con­tention for an­other District 1 crown.

“It feels amaz­ing to know we’re go­ing back to states,” said the In­di­ans An­nie McDonough. “For a lot of us, this is the third straight year we’re go­ing back. We all work re­ally hard and we keep im­prov­ing ev­ery year.”

Sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing, Unionville dom­i­nated, hold­ing a 13-4 edge in penalty cor­ners, and a 21-7 ad­van­tage in shots on goal.

“I think we need to work on cor­ners,” said McDonough. “They were com­ing out a lot far­ther than we ex­pected, and I think

that threw us off a lit­tle bit. We knew they were a tough team from play­ing them ear­lier in the year.”

Unionville broke the score­less tie about eight min­utes into the sec­ond half, when Katie An­der­son shot, and Miles grabbed the re­bound in a crowd and then pounded it in for the 1-0 lead that would hold up as the fi­nal.

“We had a lot of re­bounds that we weren’t tak­ing ad­van­tage of,” said Miles. “I just knew I had to get it in.”

From there on out, the In­di­ans did what they’ve done well all year: keep the other team off the board.

“De­fense is prob­a­bly the part of our game that has seen the most im­prove­ment over last sea­son,” said Unionville coach Erin Cur­tis. “We had a young team that is grow­ing into a more sea­soned and ex­pe­ri­enced team, and one thing we’ve done re­ally well all sea­son is play de­fense.”

While the In­di­ans guar­an­teed them­selves a lot in the state tour­na­ment, the Hawks aren’t done. They will just now have to keep the sea­son go­ing with a trip through the al­ways-gru­el­ing play-back bracket.

“I thought we played well de­fen­sively,” said Hawks coach Lisa Belz. “We played them ear­lier in the year, so we knew they have a few very nice play­ers who could score. We just have to do a bet­ter job of get­ting to the ball as we move on.”

The In­di­ans will square off against No. 5 Cen­tral Bucks West, which beat No. 4 Methac­ton in dou­ble over­time, at a site and time to be de­ter­mined.

“It’s ex­cit­ing to know we go­ing back to states,” said Cur­tis. But first we have to work on win­ning an­other district ti­tle.”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Ch­ester East’s Ni­cole Fredricks fires home the win­ning goal against West Ch­ester Hen­der­son in the sec­ond half of a district play­off show­down Fri­day at Hen­der­son. The Vik­ings won, 2-1, to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals and lock up a state berth. More on C2.

BILL RU­DICK — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Unionville play­ers con­grat­u­late Madi­son Miles (7) af­ter the game’s only goal Fri­day.

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