W.C. Henderson clinches National Division title with convicing win over Oxford

WEST CHESTER — Eliis Vague had a smile on his face moments after West Chester Henderson accomplished one of its goals from the start of the season.

Going into the Warriors’ match with Oxford, Vague was aware what his team needed to seal the Ches-Mont National Division title. He wasn’t going to let a win over the Hornets slip away.

“We kind of wanted to take it in our hands,’ Vague said. “All our hard work is about to finally pay off. We just wanted to focus on securing the Ches-Mont. We needed the win.’

Henderson never let the outcome in doubt as the Warriors scored four goals in the first 15 minutes en route to a convincing 9-0 victory over Oxford to seal the Ches-Mont National Division championship at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium Tuesday night.

The Warriors (9-3 league, 13-4 overall) received a hat trick from Thomas Caufield to lead the scoring barrage. Travis Wilson had two goals and two assists while James Conwell also scored twice in a dominant performance from start to finish.

“We didn’t want to come out (of the gate) too easy,’ Conwell said. “It was important to get a lead right away.’

A throw-in by Vague set up Frankie DeRosa for a header past Hornets’ keeper Robert Davis to give Henderson a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.

Richie Schlentz followed with a goal set up by a Wilson cross to make it 2-0. Wilson followed a minute later with a goal to but the Warriors up 3-0 in the 13th minute.

In the 15th minute, Caufield iced the match after penetrating the Oxford defense over the top and putting the ball past Davis as the Warriors led 4-0.

From there, Henderson was counting down the minutes until they could relinquish the fact that their hard work during the offseason truly paid off.

“This is what we planned to do at the beginning of the season,’ said Vince Feola. “When we play the way that we can and all work as a team, that’s when we’re succcessful. That’s what we’ve been doing of late.’

James Wood, who has been strong in net for Henderson throughout the year, was unchallenged throughout the night. Oxford (0-12 league) did not record a shot on goal.

Regardless, Wood’s confidence has never been better at the conclusion of the regular season.

“As long as we keep playing playing our game and passing the ball, we’ll be able to keep up with the other teams,’ Wood said. “Besides that, I’m feeling pretty good.’

Henderson has relied on a balanced scoring attack all season, which was displayed throughout the unseasonably warm, but windy evening.

Schlentz leads the Warriors with seven goals. Aiden McFadden sits at six goals while Wilson has five, good for third on the team.

Caufield’s hat trick puts him among the team leaders as well.

The formula is in place for the Warriors to make another District 1 Class AAA playoff run and a potential PIAA appearance in back-to-back seasons. Henderson currently is seventh in the power rankings and still in contention for a first-round bye (which goes to the top four seeds).

They will get their first test at Great Valley on Thursday night to end the regular season.

“To win the National Division is a great thing,’ Ryan said. “It’s a nice boost heading into that final game with Great Valley, which will be a tough environment. They are always a tough one. We’re looking at that game as a potential springboard to a successful District 1 playoff season.’

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