EAST MARLBOROUGH >> Unionville girls soccer coach Joe Ratasiewicz described the first half of Thursday’s District 1 second-round contest against Ches-Mont League American Division rival West Chester Rustin as “sloppy.” But the Indians cleaned things up imprssively in the second half and waltzed to a convincing 3-0 victory, prompting Ratasiewicz to describe it as “better.”
The fourth-seeded Indians advance to host a quarterfinal match against No. 12 Neshaminy on Saturday.
“They’re our rivals,” he said. “We always have tough games with them. They battle us as hard as anybody we play all year. We got up on them and kept the pressure up. That second goal really took the pressure off of us and put a lot of pressure on them.”
Unionville already owned a victory over Rustin en route to a perfect 13-0 mark and the Ches-Mont American championship.
In a first half that was devoid of quality scoring chances, the Indians seized on the one they did get.
Veronica Hineman latched onto a through ball and sped past a Rustin defender to break in on goalie Nicole Cousens. Hineman calmly slotted a shot past Cousens into the right corner of the net for the 1-0 lead with 26:53 left.
“It all comes down to team chemistry,” said Hineman. “I’ve been playing with these girls since second grade and it showed tonight.”
The Golden Knights did find some opportunities after the restart, but not many clear-cut chances to trouble goalie Katie Borlie.
“We had a bunch of chances early in the second half,” said Rustin coach Peter Rohall. “We needed to finish one of those, and we didn’t. We finish one of those and it might be a different game.”
After repelling the initial flurry, the Indians slowly began to impose their will.
The insurance came with 27:20 on the clock. Freshman Alex Wilson served an impeccable corner kick that Hineman flashed onto and nodded it into the net.
“It feels great to move on,” said Hineman. “Hopefully this sets us up for a long playoff run.”
“She’s been playing pretty great,” Ratasiewicz said of Hineman. “A lacrosse player playing soccer, pretty good. That header goal off the corner kick was fabulous.”
With the two-goal advantage, the Golden Knights had to commit players forward which allowed Unionville even more space and time.
The Indians converted on the counterattack to salt the game away as Jackie Hug scored with a little over nine minutes left.
The Golden Knights conclude their season with a 13-5-2.
“Great season. Absolutely wonderful season,” said Rohall. “We had a nice mix of players and I couldn’t been happier with the season. The kids were giving everything they had until the last second, and that’s all you can ask. I’m very, very happy with the season.”
Unionville 3, W.C. Rustin 0
W.C. Rustin 0 0 – 0
Unionville 1 2 – 3
Unionville goals: Hineman 2, Hug.
Goalie saves: Cousens (WCR) 4; Borlie (U) 2.
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