Unionville ousted; ’Stoga wins in OT

Top-seeded In­di­ans fall short in dou­ble-over­time loss to CB West

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Nate Heck­en­berger nate­heck­en­berger@gmail.com @nheck­en­berger on Twit­ter

EAST MARL­BOR­OUGH » Top-seeded Unionville had its chances. Plenty, even.

But af­ter 82-plus min­utes of ac­tion, there will of­fi­cially be a new District 1 3A field hockey cham­pion.

The two-time reign­ing district champs sur­ren­dered a game-ty­ing goal late in the sec­ond half of Tues­day’s district semi­fi­nal and fell into the third-place game when No. 5 Cen­tral Bucks West’s Cadera Smith blasted a shot into the top right corner of the goal to end it, 4-3, in dou­ble over­time.

The Bucks (17-3) will play No. 2 Con­estoga Satur­day in the district fi­nal (5:30 at Methac­ton), while the In­di­ans (19-2) will face No. 4 Down­ing­town West Fri­day for state play­off seed­ing.

“It’s al­ways hard to have a loss, es­pe­cially in over­time,” said Unionville coach Erin Cur­tis. “Our goal was to win a state cham­pi­onship, so we’ll re­group and we just have to take a dif­fer­ent path than last year.”

CB West built a 2-1 lead mid­way through the first half, but Madi­son Miles tied it off a pass from An­nie McDonough, and Claire Dono­van sent the In­di­ans to the half with a 3-2 ad­van­tage.

Unionville dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion in the sec­ond half, hold­ing a 9-3 ad­van­tage in penalty cor­ners, but could find no pro­duc­tion de­spite the ex­cess chances.

“It’s been some­what of a con­stant this year, and we haven’t cap­i­tal­ized on op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Cur­tis said. “Hope­fully it’s a les­son learned and we can move for­ward and when we have op­por­tu­ni­ties get­ting to the net, we make them count.”

Unionville out­shot the Bucks 26-9 in reg­u­la­tion, but CB West’s last one was a big one. With 3:04 on the clock, Ryan Mur­ray con­verted a corner play to send the game into over­time.

“Our de­fense just stepped up,” CB West coach Court­ney Lep­ping said. “Our goalie (Laura Ku­bit) was lights out and (Unionville) had six or seven cor­ners in a five minute stretch, I couldn’t even call a time­out, they were so re­lent­less. … Some­times when you have six or seven cor­ners and the of­fense doesn’t score you can get frus­trated, and it can get the de­fense back on its heels.”

In the first over­time, both teams had chances, with the Bucks nearly end­ing it late. Ear­lier in the ses­sion Unionville goalie, Lizzie Gaebel, had a nice kick save, and West had an un­ful­filled corner op­por­tu­nity with no time on the clock.

In the sec­ond OT ses­sion, the In­di­ans fired first, but McDonough’s shot went wide and the chances ran out from there.

“There was a lit­tle pres­sure,” Unionville’s Katie An­der­son said. “We tried to come out strong, and we did, but (West) just got a quick op­por­tu­nity at the end.”

West’s coun­ter­at­tack led to Smith get­ting open on the left arc and she teed up a cross-net drive to the top shelf.

“It’s su­per sweet,” Lep­ping said. “It was a goal the girls set at the be­gin­ning of the post­sea­son, to play for a district cham­pi­onship, and knew it would take beat­ing Unionville to do that.”

The In­di­ans will at­tempt to fin­ish third and play ei­ther the District 2 or District 6 champ in the first round of states, next Tues­day. The fourth-place fin­isher faces the District 12 champ, also next Tues­day.

“It does stink, but at least we know the feel­ing now,” An­der­son said. “Hope­fully we can over­come it for the state tour­na­ment.”

NATE HECK­EN­BERGER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Unionville’s Claire Dono­van re­acts af­ter a first-half shot goes awry Tues­day against C.B. West.

NATE HECK­EN­BERGER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Four In­di­ans strug­gle to cre­ate of­fense as the ball rolls wide of the net past the Cen­tral Bucks West de­fense.

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