KENNETT SQUARE >> With 20 minutes to go in Wednesday’s Ches-Mont League girls soccer showdown, Kennett was well on its way to an 0-3 league start.
With 10 seconds to go, the Blue Demons had a notch in the win column, and Maddie Sallurday had a goal that will be hard to top in the drama department this season.
Sallurday scored the game-winner with 10 seconds to go — thanks to Claire Dawyot’s third assist of the day — and Kennett (1-2 league, 4-3 overall) stormed back to stun West Chester East, 4-3, in Ches-Mont League action.
“I saw one of the girls take a shot and I thought I’d just run up in case it came out,” Sallurday said of the game-winner. “I put it in, but it wasn’t just, it was the whole team. We played so well.”
Sallurday’s winner came after Hailey Weinert scored twice and Sydney Heimann added another for Kennett, which trailed 2-0 at halftime and 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.
The Blue Demons never lost hope.
“It feels great. It was a game to give them confidence going forward,” said Kennett coach Charlene Richardson. “They wanted it. Their adrenaline all week and after a tough game on Monday against our rival (a 4-0 loss to Unionville), I think in their heads they just wanted this one.”
West Chester East ended the first half well in control with a 2-0 lead, after the Vikings’ Hannah Herman knocked in two first-half goals within one minute.
When Weinert scored her first goal early in the second half, the Blue Demons had some life. But it was quickly snuffed out by East, when Bethany Hutzel increased the lead to 3-1 with just under 21 minutes to play.
Two minutes later, however, Weinart knocked in her second goal of the day to start the Kennett surge, followed by a Sydney Heimann equalizer off an assist from her sister Taylor, tying the game at 3-3.
As both teams looked to break the tie, Kennett was presented with another hurdle when Weinert had to sit for five minutes after crashing into East goalie Tristan Soto.
The Vikings upped the pressure without Weinert pressuring them, nearly finding a winner of their own as they pestered Kennett keeper Madison Canter.
But when Weinert stepped back on the field, Kennett had its swagger back, setting up Sallurday’s dramatic game-winner just before the clock ran out.
“They just kept believing, they didn’t give up,” Richardson said. “There were some times in both halves where they were on their toes, but they regrouped and started to believe in themselves.”
Kennett 4, W.C. East 3
W.C. East 2 1 – 3
Kennett 0 4 – 4
W. C. East Goals: Herman 2, Hutzel
Kennett goals: Weinert 2, S. Heimann, Sallurday
Goalie saves: Canter (K) 5, Soto (WCE) 7.