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O’Loughlin, Ferrer lead Downingtown West to district final

WARMINSTER >> Morgan O’Loughlin lets the sound of her teammates determine if Downingtown West converted a penalty kick or not.
As goalkeeper for the Whippets, she prefers that way the majority of the time. But when Haley Ferrer led off the penalty kick session Wednesday night, O’Loughlin needed a little more help than sound.
“I had the ball girl tell me what was going on,” O’Loughlin said with a laugh. “I heard Haley’s kick ding off (the crossbar) so I didn’t think it went in. Once the ball girl told me Haley made it, I stepped up to the line, looked at the shooter in the eye and the rest took care of itself.”
Ferrer’s bounce gave No. 10 Downingtown West the lead in the penalty kick session for good and O’Loughlin preserved stopping 3-of-4 chances as the Whippets settled a 110-minute scoreless draw with a 3-1 decision in penalty kicks over No. 14 Council Rock North in a District 1 Class AAA girls soccer semifinal at William Tennent High School.
The Whippets advance to the district final to face top-seeded Central Bucks East, a 1-0 winner over No. 4 Spring-Ford, on Saturday, at 3 p.m. at Souderton High School.
Ferrer was the first player to go in penalties. She fired a shot to her left that initially went off the hand of C.R. North keeper Jeri Belardo. The ball bounced off the crossbar and dropped into the back of the net to give West a 1-0 advantage.
“It was a little shaky,” Ferrer said. “The kick was pretty strong so it went in, thank God. I was lucky enough to get that goal and get us off to a good start.”
O’Loughlin followed by denying Tori Hill’s blast to the right to keep the Whippets ahead. After West’s Gina Peraino and C.R. North’s Kayla Robinson missed their attempts, Tessa Veurink converted hers to put West up 2-0.
The Indians finally got on the board on Brielle Reich’s attempt to make it 2-1, but Joanna Gray followed with a conversion to put the Whippets back up 3-1.
That put all the pressure on Caitlyn Duffy to extend the match. Her attempt sailed over the bar to send West sprinting off the bench in celebration.
A victory in penalty kicks validated the Whippets’ domination for the first 110 minutes of play, but couldn’t find the back of the net in regulation nor both overtime periods. West outshot C.R. North 22-6 in the game and had three corners to the Indians’ none.
“We came in with a strategy and everything worked other than finishing,” said Downingtown West head coach Wes Davis. “Defensively, from Morgan (O’Loughlin) down, we were solid all night. We just have to get that first goal and hopefully a waterfall of goals happens after that.”

Downingtown West 0, Council Rock North 0
(Downingtown West wins 3-1 on penalty kicks).
Council Rock South    0    0    0    0 – 0
Downingtown West    0    0    0    0 – 0
Goalie saves: O’Loughlin (DW) 1, Belardo (CRN) 7.

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