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Unionville dethroned by CB West in District 1-AAA semis

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> Top-seeded Unionville had its chances. Plenty even. But after 82-plus minutes of game action, there will officially be a new Class AAA District 1 champion.

The two-time reigning district champs surrendered a game-tying goal late in the second half and got dropped to 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 of the semifinal.

The Bucks (17-3) will play No. 2 Conestoga Saturday in the district final, while the Indians (19-2)  will face No. 4 Downingtown West Friday.

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

Unionville's Claire Donovan reacts after a first-half shot went awry. (NATE HECKENBERGER - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA)

Unionville’s Claire Donovan reacts after a first-half shot went awry. (NATE HECKENBERGER – FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA)

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.”

CB West 4, Unionville 3

CB West 2 1 0 1 — 4

Unionville 3 0 0 0 — 3

Goals: CBW — Dundas, Mason, Murray, Smith. UV — Newbrough, Miles, Donovan

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