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Hineman, Rustin beat Unionville to give Knights a leg up in Ches-Mont American race

WESTTOWN >> The new wave group Split Enz had a minor hit with the song “History Never Repeats.” Well, it seems the girls soccer teams at West Chester Rustin and Unionville don’t have many new wave playlists.

The last few times the squads have met, leadership in the Ches-Mont League American Division has been on the line, and the games have been one-goal affairs.

Wednesday’s game followed the script more predictably than an Adam Sandler movie as, once again, one goal was the difference.

This time, the number was on Unionville’s side of the ledger as Veronica Hineman’s first-half goal stood up in a 1-0 victory on an unseasonably warm evening at Rustin.

“It was just that kind of game,” said Unionville coach Joe Ratasiewicz. “Both teams had lot of energy. The game got scattered. I wouldn’t use it as a training model, let’s put it that way. Both teams fought hard. We’ll take it. Coming here to Rustin is always tough. Proud of our girls.”

The win put Unionville alone in first place in the American with a 7-0 mark (9-2 overall). The Golden Knights, coming off a 2-2 tie with Downingtown East, suffered their first league loss to fall to 5-1-1 and 7-4-1.

“It’s been that way for four years with them — one-goal games,” said Rustin coach Peter Rohall. “We won the first three, but it’s not a surprise.”

The first 15 minutes were kind of scrappy, both teams did have an early chance. Hineman had a long-distance effort punched away by a diving Rustin goalie Nicole Cousens. Shortly thereafter, Rustin’s Kendall Ammerman latched onto a pass from Rachel Ingersoll, but just wide to the left post of Unionville’s Katie Borlie.

The lone goal came off a set piece after the Indians earned a corner kick from the left side. Senior Brooke Cicchino served a ball that went over the heads of a pair of players, but Hineman met it, and volleyed the ball into the net for the eventual game-winner.

“Brooke served it, and the timing was just right,” said Hineman. “It feels great to get the win. It’s great not only for the win, but for the shutout also, I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

But, Unionville hardly could afford to go into relax mode. The goal seemed to energize Rustin. They held the better of the play for most of the remaining of the half.

The Knights’ best two chances came later in the half. First, sophomore Gabbi Hoffman’s bending shot from distance didn’t curled enough, and went just wide of the right post. Then, with a little over four minutes left, Lauren Seaman’s free kick forced Katie Borlie into a diving save that she touched over the end line.

“I was very pleased our play,” said Rohall. “We had three or four chances in the first half. They played us hard, but I was proud of what we did.”

The second half was played more penalty area to penalty area. Neither offense could get sustained pressure as two notoriously stingy defenses did their best to frustrate each other’s attacks.

“That end of the first half was ugly,” said Ratasiewicz. “But, we changed our formation in the second half to put more people in the midfield because they were dominating us there. That settled it down a little bit.”

There was just seven combined shots in the half with the Indians recording their eighth shutout of the season.

“Once we get a goal, our main goal for the rest of the game is defense,” said senior defender Lauren Bell. “That means our midfield dropping back and everyone helping out on defense.”

Rustin’s best chance for the equalizer came late as Gaby Sabeckis got behind the defense and tried to latch onto to a long ball. Her first touch was a little heavy, which allowed Borlie, who played her first game after returning from injury, to come off her line and smother the ball in her arms.

With two difficult games behind them, Rohall’s vision is not only the short-term of the the regular season, but beyound that.

“It gives us a chance to get playoff ready,” he said. “You get a match like this one and the one at Downingtown, they were both playoff atmospheres. That’s how your kids learn and come together.”

NOTES >> The game marked a milestone for Rohall, it was his 480th game at the scholastic level over a 23-year career. … The game was also a Pink Game for Unite For Her for cancer awareness.

Unionville 1, W.C. Rustin 0
Unionville 1 0 – 1
W.C. Rustin 0 0 – 0
Unionville goal: Hineman.
Goalie saves: Cousens (WCR) 5, Borlie (U) 3.

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