Roberts’ header lifts W.C. Henderson past Kennett in overtime

WEST CHESTER — Zach Roberts couldn’t describe the feeling once he was getting trampled by his West Chester Henderson teammates.

All he knew was the Warriors won a huge district playoff game against a Ches-Mont foe.

“It’s awesome right now,’ Roberts said. “Once I turned my back after the goal, I knew I was getting dogpiled.’

Roberts headed a corner kick from Aiden McFadden in the 88th minute to send No. 6 West Chester Henderson back to the district quarterfinals as the Warriors defeated No. 11 Kennett 2-1 in overtime of a District 1 Class AAA second round game at J. Oscar Dicks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Henderson (16-4) heads to No. 3 Wissahickon for their quarterfinal match Tuesday. Kennett (15-5) had its season end with the loss.

Roberts was speechless after he scored the game-winner, but had no problem breaking down the winning play that sent the Warriors to the next round.

“I knew Kennett had no one back post,’ Roberts said. “So I gave Aiden (McFadden) the head nod. I thought the goalie was going to go up to get it, but just put my head up and sent it to the back post.’

The goal was Roberts’ 5th of the season. Head coach Sean Ryan admitted the winner wasn’t on a planned set piece.

“It was nothing really specific,’ Ryan said. “We have a couple options on corners. Zach is one of the main targets there. I’m happy for the boys. We continued to play in overtime and didn’t sit back. To get the result after that was huge.’

Heading into overtime, the Blue Demons had all the momentum.

Kennett forced constant pressure in the final 20 minutes of regulation and finally converted in the 79th minute as Griffin Dight blasted a shot past Henderson goalie James Wood to tie the game 1-1. The goal was Dight’s 13th of the season.

Suddenly, the Blue Demons looked as if they could steal a victory on the road.

“We’ve been in this position before,’ Ryan said. “Sometimes the tendency in a golden goal situation is to tense up. We have experience in the tight games. We were prepared for this moment and we were ready.’

Henderson played with that poised attitude throughout the overtime period with a 3-1 shot advantage over the Blue Demons. The Warriors controlled the flow of the game after Travis Wilson scored in the 25th minute to give Henderson a 1-0 lead.

Once Kennett picked the tempo up, Henderson had a chance to seal it late.

But Kennett goalie Bryan Cook made the save of the afternoon, denying Richie Schlentz on a 1-on-1 attempt in the 78th minute to keep the Henderson lead at a goal.

A minute later, Dight had his equalizer.

Cook finished with seven saves on the afternoon in a standout performance.

With the victory, Henderson is a win away from clinching a PIAA berth in back-to-back seasons. Wissahickon stands in their way.

The Warriors are aware it will be a tough atmosphere, but believe experience will get them through.

“We have to win,’ McFadden said. “We have to do what we can do. I really want to get back to states.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply