Hen­der­son routs C.R. North in im­pres­sive out­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bryan Davis bdavis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @bt­davis25 on Twit­ter

With skill, speed and pres­sure, West Ch­ester Hen­der­son slowly turned the screws on Coun­cil Rock North un­til the vise was so tight, the In­di­ans’ dreams of reach­ing the Dis­trict 1 4A boys soccer fi­nal were squeezed out by half­time.

The War­riors re­ceived goals from five dif­fer­ent play­ers in an im­pres­sive dis­play of of­fen­sive soccer to post a dom­i­nant 5-0 win in the semi­fi­nals of the dis­trict tour­na­ment.

Fourth-seeded Hen­der­son im­proved to 19-1-1 and will face topseeded Con­estoga in a highly-an­tic­i­pated fi­nal at Great Val­ley High School on Satur­day at 5:30 p.m. The War­riors will make their first ap­pear­ance in a Dis­trict 1 fi­nal since they won it all in 2004. They will be look­ing for re­venge as the Pioneers gave Hen­der­son its only loss of the sea­son.

“It feels amaz­ing,” said se­nior Frank DeRosa of reach­ing the dis­trict fi­nal. “We wanted to come out to play hard, and play phys­i­cal. To get the two early goals was great, then to get three more, I don’t think even we thought we get that many off a good team like Coun­cil Rock.

“Be­ing in a dis­trict fi­nal is a great ac­com­plish­ment in and of it­self, we want to go out and make

another state­ment and beat Con­estoga.”

The first 10-to-15 min­utes were evenly played as both teams probed the de­fenses in search of the first real good scor­ing chance.

The War­riors slowly started to see more of the pos­ses­sion and be­gan spend­ing more time in Rock North’s end.

Hen­der­son’s pres­sure paid off with 18:59 left as Richie Sch­lentz let loose a throw in from the right side­line that trav­eled abourt 40 yards into the box. The ball flicked off De Rosa in the mass of bod­ies, and got past goalie An­thony Caruso for a 1-0 lead.

“This team is ca­pa­ble of great things when they put it all to­gether,” said Hen­der­son coach Sean Ryan. “To win 5-0 against a team like Coun­cil Rock North shows what we’re ca­pa­ble of and how we need to keep push­ing Satur­day and be­yond.”

Sch­lentz’s throw-ins were a con­stant source of worry for the In­di­ans’ de­fense.

“We ob­vi­ously run plays off of it,” said Sch­lentz. “I try to throw it as high as I can to get it into the box and let my team­mates han­dle their buis­ness.”

One of Rock North’s best chances came soon af­ter the restart as Sea­mus Crock­ett brought down a long ball, beat­ing the de­fense, but fired over the top of the net.

The lead stood the War­riors again worked down the right side as Kevin Kiefer raced to the end line, then sent a cross that Thomas Cau­field latched onto the end of, ri­fil­ing a shot in­side the left post from about 25 yards out to take a 2-0 ad­van­tage with 7:20 left.

“That was a great play by Kevin Kiefer,” said Ryan. “He didn’t give up on the play, drove to the end line, found Tom, who had a great fin­ish.”

The goal of the game came three min­utes into the sec­ond half. DeRosa drove in a low ball off a cor­ner. An un­marked Jared Matthias dove and directed a header into the net for a 3-0 lead and any hopes of a come­back was ren­dered just about moot.

Zach Roberts scored off a header with 33 min­utes left, then Sch­lentz capped the scor­ing with a shot that went past DeRosa and squeezed into the net.

The War­riors held a con­vinc­ing 18-4 ad­van­tage in shots as their pres­sure didn’t give the In­di­ans a whole lot of time on the ball.

Now, they can con­cen­trate on Con­estoga, and the chance to bring another dis­trict title to the the Ches-Mont League.

“We have a tough op­po­nent on Satur­day who we know well and I’m sure it’s go­ing to be a bat­tle,” said Ryan. “No­body’s beaten Con­estoga this year, and there’s a rea­son for that, they’re a very good team. We ex­cited to be there, but we’re not just happy to be there. We want to go and win on Satur­day.”

BILL RUDICK — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Ch­ester Hen­der­son play­ers cel­e­brate a goal by Tom Cau­field Wed­nes­day night.

BILL RUDICK — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Hen­der­son’s Richie Sch­lentz looks for space in front of Coun­cil Rock North’s Carter Steck­beck Wed­nes­day night.

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