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Spring-Ford stays alive in 1-AAAA playbacks, rallies by Downingtown West

ROYERSFORD >> The Spring-Ford girls soccer team has found any number of different players step up on a given occasion this season.

So why not a girl who hadn’t scored a goal all season?

Enter Allie Christman.

With the Rams trailing Downingtown West 1-0 at halftime of their District 1-AAAA girls soccer playback for the fifth and final berth to the PIAA Championships, the junior sparked Spring-Ford with a cool finish – her first of the year – in the 45th minute before Kelly Franz hit for the eventual game-winner just two minutes later as Spring-Ford kept its season alive, 2-1 over the Whippets at Coach McNelly Stadium.

“We had the motivation being one down knowing we had to come out, work hard and keep attacking. If we keep attacking and taking shots we’ll eventually get one in,” Christman said. “That’s what happened, we worked as a team and got it in.”

No. 5 seed Spring-Ford, which has made states three years in a row and twice made it through playbacks (2013, 2014), will try to make it four straight on Saturday when it hosts Downingtown East.

No. 9 Downingtown West took an early lead through Gina Peraino’s pretty free kick from long range but couldn’t pull off the comeback in the second half and concluded its season at 14-5-2. The Whippets fell to top seed Neshaminy, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.

Spring-Ford got itself realigned from last Saturday’s 2-0 quarterfinal defeat to No. 4 Conestoga.

“At practice we really had to focus more,” Christman said. “Coach (Tim Leyland) always says you play how you practice and when we practice hard we come out and we play together and play well. It’s as simple as that.”

Gabby Kane assisted on Franz’s goal.

Spring-Ford goalkeeper Amanda Byrd made four saves while Downingtown West counterpart Morgan O’Loughlin stopped three shots.

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