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D-West boys, D-East girls win in Downingtown lacrosse doubleheader

Downingtown >> After the Downingtown East girls defeated D-West, 19-9, in the opener of a girls/boys lacrosse doubleheader Tuesday evening at DiSerafino Stadium, the fans settled back to watch the heralded D-West/D-East boys matchup, featuring two teams with undefeated Ches-Mont League records.

Downingtown West came out on top in the boys’ matchup, 11-7, erasing a 3-0 first quarter deficit and building a 10-5 lead by the end of the third period.

“I think the key tonight was that we stayed calm when we were down 3-0,” said D-West’s Michael Straub, who won 16 of 21 faceoffs Tuesday. “We stayed with it, controlled possession, got good offense, and finished. We started the season banged-up and hurt, but just a couple of weeks ago, we finally got back all our [injured] offensive players back, so it was just trusting in the system and executing tonight.”

Midway through the second period, D-East (11-2 overall, 8-1 Ches-Mont) still held a 4-2 lead, thanks to goals from Bo Horvath, Luke Wetzel, Mike Waite and Andrew McCook.

But the D-West defense, led by Egan Butala, Jackson Chiappa, Jake Toth (three caused turnovers), Tom Venzie, Ryan Dever, and Carter Grear, shut down the Cougars for the remainder of the second period and for the first 11 minutes of the third period, building a 9-4 lead.

D-West (13-2, 9-0) picked up the scoring pace just before halftime, getting four goals in the final four minutes of the second period, the goals coming from Straub, Tyler Rodriguez and Kurt Rachau (two). Most of the Whippets’ goals came at the end of a series of pinpoint passes.

Just nine seconds into the second half, D-West’s Bret Bergey scored after a quick succession of four crisp passes.

“We pride ourselves in moving well off the ball, and finding that open guy and finishing,” said Straub, a University of Delaware commit.

Straub finished with two goals and scooped up eight ground balls Tuesday evening. Other standouts for D-West included Bergey (two goals, two ground balls), Rodriguez (two goals), Rachau (three goals, one assist), Luke Venzie (one assist, two ground balls), Kevin Lundmark (one goal, one assist), Tom Venzie (one goal, one assist, six ground balls) and goalie Zach Rossman (five saves, one ground ball).

While D-East suffered its first Ches-Mont loss of the season Tuesday, Cougar head coach Joe Horvath reminded his troops that they had no time to hang their heads, as they would be facing powerful Wissahickon Thursday.

“Downingtown West is a tough team that played very well tonight,” said Joe Horvath. “We had some plans in the beginning of tonight’s game that held a little bit, but our offense got a little stale, and in big games like this, that can’t happen. But playing good teams [like D-West] is what we need because we’re going to be facing good teams the rest of the [season], and Wissahickon’s the next one on Thursday.

“We did the best we could tonight against a really good faceoff player [Straub]. We did some damage there, and we held our own at times, but that’s a position you really need to have – someone’s going to have to jump up and grab those reins for us [in the future]. We’ve got some work to do.”

Key contributors for D-East Tuesday evening included Wetzel (two goals), McCook (one goal, two assists), Bo Horvath (one goal, one assist, two clears, one caused turnover), Mike Waite (one goal, two clears, one caused turnover), Sam Barton (one caused turnover, two ground balls) and Liam Quinn (two clears).

In the girls contest, Downingtown East jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the first half (three of the goals were scored by Hazel Gardner) and maintained a lead for the rest of the game.

D-East (11-3) led at halftime, 8-4, and slowly increased that lead throughout the second half.

“Our defense came out very strong, they were on fire,” said D-East head coach Kelli Joran. “They were out to play good 1v1, and they came up with the really big ground balls when we needed them.

“All of our defense played well – Dylan Kropp, Alli Hunter, Lexie Barton, Quinn Morrin. Lexie just stepped into a role for us – we had a couple of girls injured, but she has seamlessly transitioned into it. She’s a sophomore, and has been not only a big part of our defense but our transition game as well. She’s very good with the ball, she sees the openings and takes them. Our goalie, Jordan Higgins, came up big when she needed to tonight.”

Gardner finished with four goals, Caroline Brennan contributed four goals and three assists, and Jillian Kennedy also tallied four goals. Eileen Hewitt and Nickie Prendergast each tallied two goals. Sofia Fanelli dished out two assists and scored a goal.

“Our attack came out on fire today,” said Joran. “Hazel played a smart game tonight, she’s our hustler, she’s all over the field, she’s in on the draw, she’s in on defense. She plays a difficult role but she really stepped up tonight and did a great job for us.”

For Downingtown West, midfielder Maddie Greco led the Whippets’ attack with four goals.

 

Downingtown East 19, Downingtown West 9 (girls)

Downingtown East      9       10     –        19

Downingtown West    4       5       –        9

Downingtown East goals: Brennan 4, Kennedy 4, Gardner 4, Hewitt 2, Prendergast 2, Fanelli, Michaels, Conte.

Downingtown West goals: Greco 4, Tinson, Thir, Morgan, Straub 2.

Goalie saves: DE – Higgins 8. DW – Strauss 6.

Downingtown West 11, Downingtown East 7 (boys)

Downingtown East      3       1       1       2       –        7

Downingtown West    0       6       4       1       –        11

Downingtown East goals: Wetzel 2, Ostertag, Horvath, Kolinsky, Waite, McCook.

Downingtown West goals: Bergey 2, Rodriguez 2, Rachau 3, Lundmark, T. Venzie, Straub 2.

Goalie saves: DE – Milon 6, Kobell 3. DW – Rossman 5.

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