By Bryan Davis
@btdavis25 on Twitter
DOWNINGTOWN >> The Downingtown West girls soccer team has had Homecoming and Senior Day, but Tuesday, in its final regular-season game, ended up becoming Kylie Seckinger.
The junior goalie was outstanding, making 10 saves — including stopping a penalty shot — to make an early second-half goal stand up to help the Whippets post a 1-0 nonleague victory over Villa Maria at DiSerafino Stadium.
“Kylie Seckinger is a terrific goalie and she hasn’t been talked about enough,” said West coach Megan Brophy. “People talk about Madi Greco or Ava Minnier, but Kylie’s been our rock back there.”
Downingtown West completed its season at 10-6-2. They fell to 27th in the District 1 rankings after Monday’s gut-wrenching 3-2 loss to West Chester Rustin, but Tuesday’s triumph has them currently sitting in the 24th and last position for the playoffs.
Seckinger was busy in the first half, making four saves on six shots. Villa was taking the initiative and getting the ball into scoring areas. Junior Delaney Dobra had three of the shots that forced Seckinger into needed, but fairly comfortable saves.
“It definitely keeps me focused,” Seckinger said on being that busy. “It’s fun. Games like this are fun.”
The most dramatic part of the game was folded into the first couple of minutes following the break.
Inside the first minute, a long ball was played in the path of senior Morgan Jones, who shouldered a defender off the ball, and broke in and fired a shot past Cantania for the game’s lone goal.
The Hurricanes 13-3 came back immediately, as Dobra slipped around a D-West defender and was taken down in the box to earn a penalty kick.
Junior Kaelyn Wolfe stepped up and took the kick to the left side of Seckinger. She stuck out a strong left hand and stopped the attempt to keep the tenuous lead.
“It’s really a mental game when you get to penalty kicks. There’s a lot of movement I can read to see where’s she’s going,” said Seckinger. “I did originally managed to go the wrong way. She just put it in a spot I could get it. I was really for it”
“Good play by the goalkeeper,” Villa Maria coach Gary Christopher said. “Our girl who took it is phenomenal. She would make 20 out of 20 normally, so it was a great play by the goalkeeper.”
The Hurricanes were stymied the rest of the half as they continued their stretch against 4A nonleague teams.
“Disappointment and frustration,” said Christopher. “I though we played well. I thought we played well enough to win. We had opportunities that we didn’t execute on and I have to give a ton of credit to the Downingtown West goalkeeper.”
Villa Maria, who will face another stern test from Conestoga on Thursday, is currently sitting in the top spot in the district rankings in 3A.
“I’m hopeful that they come with a sense of effort and pride and show up,” added Christopher. “I don’t expect us to win every game, but I do expect to compete in every game. Should we not compete, that’s where my disappointment lies.”
Downingtown West 1, Villa Maria 0
Villa Maria 0 0 – 0
Downingtown West 0 1 – 1
Downingtown West goal: Jones.
Goalie saves: Catania (VM) 3; Seckinger (DW) 10.
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