Lionville – Coming into Wednesday’s game at Downingtown East, the West Chester Henderson girls’ soccer team could have clinched at least a share of the Ches-Mont title with a win against the Cougars.
But the Warriors ran into a tough D-town East defense and lost to the host Cougars, 2-1. It was the first Ches-Mont League defeat of the season for Henderson (13-2-3, 11-1-1), while Downingtown East improved to 13-4-1 (11-2 in Ches-Mont play).
To view a gallery of photos from the Downingtown East-West Chester Henderson girls’ soccer game click here.
Downingtown East head coach Craig Reed said, “Henderson is a well-coached, real solid team that has 2-3 solid game-changers, and we knew we needed to contain them. Defenders [junior] Taylor Platt, [senior] Brenna Warren and [sophomore] Emily Wurzel were well-organized, communicated well.”
Platt said, “We came out today really wanting to beat them after suffering a loss to [Henderson] in double overtime last year. We stayed tight on defense and man-marked [some of] them, and made sure we didn’t lose them.”
Warren, a second team All-Ches-Mont selection last fall, said, “[Henderson] has some great goal-scorers, and [Coach Reed] did a good job determining who were to stay marked, even when they’d move around. We have good defensive players, who did a great job of communicating switches on [defensive] assignments.”
After a scoreless first half, Henderson took the lead on a goal by senior midfielder Kailee Coonan with 36:59 left.
Just four minutes later, East came up with the equalizer. Platt took a fast rebound at the right of the goal, and curled in a shot from the right corner to knot the contest at 1-1.
“That was a huge momentum shift,” said Reed.
“All of our 11 players kept our shape well [throughout the game], and we were able to win the ball and counter-attack.”
Henderson head coach Craig Scangarella said, “I think we got a little frazzled in the second half, and I think we tried to sit on our 1-0 lead, instead of keep attacking. Sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win, and we learned today that we can control [our type of play].”
With 22:22 to play, Downingtown East senior forward Jess Keeler scored from the front of the net to give the Cougars their winning margin.
“Jess timed it just right, with a nice side-footed finish,” said Reed.
In the final few minutes, Henderson took several runs at the goal, but came up short.
Scangarella said, “I thought Kailee Coonan had a strong performance for us today….Hats off to East. We gave up goals on two restarts, and we had chances to tie it at the end, but didn’t finish. Today’s game is good preparation for the district playoffs.”
Reed agreed: “This was a good game for us in preparing for Districts. I could see us going against Hendy [in the tournament].”