Downingtown East-West ends in scoreless draw

DOWNINGTOWN — Kaelyn Johns knew the pressure was on her and the entire back of Downingtown East throughout the night.

With constant shots and counteratacks coming from the combination of Amanda Tredway, Kerri Caruso and Alexis Steffen, Johns had to stand tall in order to keep East at a standstill with West.

After 100 minutes of intense action between the archrival schools, the Downingtown East keeper praised her back line for stepping up when it seemed West was about to snatch a victory.

“Every girl on the back line has contributed to the game,’ Johns said. “The pressure was on us throughout the first and second half, but we handled it well enough to keep us in the game.’

In a defensive battle throughout the night, Johns and West keeper Jessica Yanez each finished with three saves as both goalies earned the shutout as Downingtown East and Downingtown West fought to a 0-0 Ches-Mont League National Division tie after two overtimes at DiSerafino Stadium on Wednesday.

“Any time it’s 0-0, it always starts in the back,’ said West head coach Wes Davis. “We’re really proud of ‘ Shae (Yanez) and our entire back. They are really coming together and keeping people off the board.’

For Yanez and the Whippets’ back four, that was their third consecutive shutout. But it was their offense that kept the Cougars playing on the defensive for most of regulation.

“Once we settled down, we thought we knocked (the ball) around OK,’ Davis said. “We had some good ideas, but we just couldn’t get on the end of a few. Overall, we’re pretty pleased with the result.’

One of Davis’ ideas to generate offense was using Tredway, Caruso and Steffen on the field together to create a height advantage.

While East (2-0-1 Ches-Mont National) was preoccupied countering the West (1-1-1) trio, that freed up opportunities for other Whippets’ forwards in the second half.

Casey Sheehan might have had the best opportunity for West to score with a shot just outside the box that hit the top of the crossbar in the 44th minute that kept the game scoreless.

The Whippets’ other opportunity at a goal came in the 77th minute as Emma Kuciapinski won a ball in the box and blasted a shot toward Johns. Nicole Litvan then made the save of the night, using her body to block Kuciapinski’s blast and deflect the ball past the endline to keep it 0-0.

After that opportunity, East controlled both overtime periods, but couldn’t find the back of the net and get the two points they desired.

They too, had opportunities to score early in the second half.

Downingtown East head coach Craig Reed designed a formation to get Kara Reifsnyder open in the middle of the field. Reifsnyder won a ball and set herself up for a one-on-one opportunity with Yanez in the 47th minute.

But it never materialized.

Reifsnyder kicked the ball too far to set up a shot, which ended in the hands of Yanez.

“We were trying to find Kara and Emma’s (Steigerwald) feet as much as possible,’ Reed said. “Downingtown West did a really great job of getting a player on Kara and double-teaming her. They didn’t make it easy on us, but we tried to find a striker and go from there.’

Despite an anti-climatic result to an action-packed game, Reed was not shocked by the end result. Especially in a rivalry game involving the two Downingtown schools.

“Downingtown East vs. Downingtown West is always a battle,’ Reed said. “We knew it was going to be a game like that and it was a game we expected. To tie them this early in the season is not a bad result. The kids battled hard and we learned a lot about their character tonight.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply