W.C. Henderson puts in half a dozen to beat Cum­ber­land Val­ley

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

DOWN­ING­TOWN >>

It was, ad­mit­tedly, a slow start. But af­ter get­ting a bit of an early wakeup call, West Ch­ester Henderson re­sponded force­fully and pro­ceeded to clob­ber Cum­ber­land Val­ley, 6-2, in first round ac­tion of the PIAA Class 4A tour­na­ment Tues­day at DeSer­afino Sta­dium.

“Putting six in is not a to­tal shock to us in terms of what we can do,” said War­riors’ head coach Sean Ryan. “It’s a tal­ented group and when they put things to­gether, re­ally great things can hap­pen.”

Now 22-1 over­all, the reign­ing Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­ons ad­vanced to the state quar­ter­fi­nals, where they will meet North Penn on Satur­day. A year ago, Henderson was knocked out of the tour­na­ment in the quar­ters.

“To get be­yond the state quar­ter­fi­nals — for the first time since early in the last decade — is a big mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor,” Ryan ac­knowl­edged.

“This is the last shot, so they want to have as much suc­cess as they pos­si­bly can. They know this is a spe­cial group and they just want to make the most of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity they have.”

The start, how­ever, was not ideal. Just over 10 min­utes into

the ac­tion, Cum­ber­land Val­ley’s Holden Zim­mer­man scored on a header off a cor­ner kick. But in­stead of sewing any seeds of doubt, the War­riors roared back about two min­utes later to tie it, and then three min­utes later, Henderson took the lead for good.

“This is an ex­pe­ri­enced group, they’ve played a lot of play­off games and they’ve been down before and come back,” Ryan pointed out. “So they knew they could do it and kept with the plan.”

Se­nior Richie Sch­lentz scored first off an as­sist from Frank DeRosa, and then fresh­man Kevin Kiefer hit pay­dirt af­ter talk­ing a pass from Ai­den McFad­den.

“We came out flat,” said McFad­den, who wound up lead­ing the way with two goals and an as­sist. “It’s dis­ap­point­ing, but the re­sponse was great.

“We didn’t come out with a lot of pace, to be hon­est. It wasn’t the best start. (Cum­ber­land Val­ley) cap­i­tal­ized on it, and it was def­i­nitely a wakeup call. We needed a re­sponse and Richie (Sch­lentz) gave us that, and then a few min­utes later (Kevin) Kiefer added a goal, and from there we were rolling.”

McFad­den notched his first – on a header off a pass from Char­lie Collins – with about three min­utes re­main­ing in the first half, and the War­riors took a 3-1 lead into the in­ter­mis­sion.

“I think we were able to kick it up to an­other gear af­ter we went down a goal,” Ryan said. Soon af­ter McFad­den way through the sec­ond added his sec­ond goal mid- half thanks to a pass from team­mate K.J. Walkes, Zim­mer­man scored again for Cum­ber­land Val­ley to make it 4-2. But Henderson re­sponded once again, fin­ish­ing the Ea­gles off with a pair of DeRosa goals in the fi­nal 7:17.

“Frank is a kid that plays un­til the fi­nal whis­tle,” McFad­den said.

“We talk about that,” Ryan added. “We don’t want to give a team any room to breathe once we have the mo­men­tum, so we press ag­gres­sively. Even when they cut it to 4-2, we could have gone into a shell and hun­kered down, but we kept push­ing and re­ally killed the game off.”

In all, the War­riors out­shot the third-seeded team from Dis­trict 3,17-7. Henderson is now 18-0-1 in its last 19 matches. Cum­ber­land Val­ley falls to 15-7.

“We are round­ing into a good place,” Ryan said. “To­ward the end of the sea­son, we were for­tu­nate to get healthy. Once that hap­pened, we started to click into place and in a lot of ways we’ve been fly­ing ever since. Now, the chal­lenge is to keep that rolling on Satur­day against North Penn.”

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST MEDIA

West Ch­ester Henderson’s Kevin Kiefer (9) drib­bles around Cum­ber­land Val­ley’s Liam Kenny (12) Tues­day night at DiSer­afino Sta­dium.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST MEDIA

Henderson’s Richie Sch­lentz keeps the the ball ahead of Cum­ber­land Val­ley’s Zach Roberts Tues­day night.

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