DOWNINGTOWN—It was barely a week ago that Downingtown West and Unionville squared off in a regular season match-up that saw the Ches-Mont National champion Whippets get the best of the Ches-Mont American champion Indians. Friday afternoon at Kottmeyer Stadium at Downingtown West, the top-seeded Whippets (20-0) punched their ticket to the PIAA field hockey championship tournament with a 3-0 win over No. 9 Unionville (14-6) in the District 1, Class AAA quarterfinal round.
“It’s very exciting to get back to states,” said West Coach Liz Bradley. “At the start of the season, our first goal is to win the league, then districts and get to states. It’s nice to know we’re still undefeated with a shot at a district title while knowing we are guaranteed a berth at states.”
Despite the loss, the season is not over for Unionville. The Indians will now enter the to the playback rounds, hoping for the top six finish that earns a slot on the state bracket.
“We got knocked out early last year, and still went pretty far,” said Unionville coach Erin Curtis. “We had a tough game two days ago going double overtime. I think we had some tired legs contributing to some of the sloppy play early on.”
West got out front in a hurry when JJ Smyth tipped a ball in for a 1-0 Whippet lead a mere 1:17 into the game.
“I saw Taylor (Orisi) with the ball, so I just got on the pads, put my stick on the ball and tipped it in,” said Smyth. “It was great to get that early lead. It let us relax a little bit and just play.”
The Whippets controlled possession for much of the first half, and scored again with a goal from Claudia Jaszczak, with an assist to Anna Miller.
Coming out of the break, the Indians seemed energized, and began to get a lot more pressure inside the circle, with a passing game beginning to click.
“We knew from a week ago how quickly Unionville can score,” said Bradley. “They have some very skilled players and the put up two goals on us in about two minutes last week. Romea (Riccardo) was on Annie McDonough and did a great job for us.”
Despite forcing eight penalty corners in the second half, the Indians just couldn’t get one in.
“I thought we played a lot better in the second half,” said Curtis. “We executed better and dominated possession in the second half. The scoreboard didn’t show it though. But we’re far from done.”
West added its final goal with a little less than nine minutes remaining, when they converted a corner of their own. Jaszczak picked up her second goal of the night, with Smyth getting the assist.
“We’ve been working on transfers a lot, trying to expand the field,” said Jaszczak. It’s amazing to know that we’re going back to states. This team is amazing.”
Unionville 0 0 –0
D-Town West 2 1 –3
Goals: Jaszczak (2) Smyth
Goalie Saves: Gaebel (UN) 11, Coker (DW) 2
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