WEST GOSHEN—Downingtown West head coach Liz Bradley and her staff couldn’t ask for much more from their Whippet field hockey team. Not only are the Whippets still unbeaten at 6-0 (4-0 Ches-Mont), they are playing like a true team, with contributions coming from all over the field.
Case in point: Tuesday afternoon on the road at West Chester East, where seemingly every West player that stepped on the field scored a goal. After storming out to an 8-0 lead by the break, the Whippets tacked on three more in the second half, with eight different players credited with a score in the 11-0 victory.
“It’s just great how many people are scoring for us,” said Whippet co-captain Romea Riccardo, who had one goal and assisted on another. “And not just scoring the goal either. It’s great how many people are involved in every goal. It just shows how good our passing game is right now.”
The Whippets kept the ball on their offensive half for most of the game, and held a whopping 14-2 advantage in penalty corners. The Vikings weren’t awarded their first corner try until just 4:10 remained in the first half, and didn’t get off their first shot on goal until the 3:05 mark.
“The girls came out with a great deal of energy and created scoring opportunities within all of our lines,” said Bradley. “They are consistently applying pressing and moving the ball together up the field together as a unit.”
West was not only forcing corners, they were converting them. Four of the first half goals came on corners, with Anna Miller, Ciana Riccardo (twice), Claudia Jasczak taking advantage of the penalty tries. JJ Smyth, Jesse Schlosser, Celina Riccardo, and Jasczak rounded out the remaining scores of the half.
“It’s so awesome to see every player contributing and the diversity of scoring is phenomenal,” said Bradley. “We have an array of versatile players who possess great knowledge of the game. This year, we are focusing on our weekly schedule as we move farther into our season, staying humble, and not becoming complacent or over confident.”
On the other end of the field, goalie Caitlyn Coker was probably a little lonely, but probably pretty happy to see her team playing the way it was.
“Even on defense, it was a total team effort and we could count on everyone to pitch it,” said back and co-captain Laine Garber. “It isn’t just the back. It starts with the forwards and it’s something we’ve been doing all year. The forwards pressure back, and with the midfielders, it’s barely even getting to the backs. We’re marking well in the back, but again it’s a total team effort.”
Notching goals in the second half were Romea Riccardo, Tatum Johnson, and the second goal of the day from Miller.
The Whippets seem to be firing on all cylinders as they come up on a tough stretch of their schedule starting this Saturday.
This Saturday, West goes up against perennial District 1 power Central Bucks East.
“We were beating CB East all game then they came back on us and we lost in overtime,” said Riccardo. “That was tough. We played them again in the District playback, so we know they are a good team that will be a tough game.”
Then next week comes a crucial Ches-Mont national game against Henderson, like the Whippets, unbeaten in league play. The winner would immediately become a favorite for the division crown.
“Henderson is always a big game in the Ches-Mont,” said Riccardo.
They wrap up the week with another tough non-league tilt against Notre Dame Academy.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of our non-league schedule,” said Bradley. “It allows us to get challenged, potentially show areas areas of weakness, and what we need to perfect in order to get better as a unit.”
Downingtown West 8 3 -11
West Chester East 0 0 -0
Goals: West Ci Riccardo (2) Jaszczak (2) Miller (2) Ce Ricardo, R Riccardo, Schlosser, Smyth, Johnson
West: Coker 1
WC East: Fulton 20