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Lawton’s career night leads Downingtown East past W.C. Henderson

DOWNINGTOWN >> All season long, Downingtown East has admitted the inevitable outcome that Tori Barretta would be face-guarded by opponents in Ches-Mont League play.
The face-guarding hasn’t phased Barretta, who scored 40 goals in just seven games this year.
With Barretta contained by a stingy West Chester Henderson defense, the time finally came for one of her young teammates to step up and provide scoring relief in a close game.
Freshman Livi Lawton answered the call.
Lawton scored a career-high five goals, including the go-ahead score in the second half, as she helped Downingtown East to a 13-8 victory over West Chester Henderson in a Ches-Mont matchup at DiSerafino Stadium Tuesday night.
Three of Lawton’s goals came in the second half as the Cougars (3-1, 5-3) held off an early rally by the Warriors (2-2, 4-5) to preserve the win. Lawton’s breakout performance couldn’t have come at a better time for East, which has been searching for that second option to relieve Barretta of the scoring burden.

“It’s nice to have someone who can step up to the plate and come through when it’s needed,” Barretta said. “I’m so happy for Livi. Steeping up like this as a freshman is big and impressive. I’m proud of her.”
In a 7-7 tie with 20:10 left, Lawton ran past Maddie Pritchard, took a pass from Hannah Wurzel and fired a blast past Henderson goalie Ann Lalicker to put the Cougars up for good at 8-7.

The hat trick wasn’t enough for Lawton. As the Cougars controlled possession, Lawton drew contact in front of the net and later scored from the 8-meter mark to give East a 9-7 lead with 14:34 left.
“When I was looking at the goal, I always had to roll to go past the mark,” Lawton said. “There was always one side open for me, so I took it.”
Once Ryann Bauer cut the East lead to 9-8, the Cougars controlled the game by keeping Henderson’s offense on their side of the field. Sarah Enderlein extended the lead to 10-8 before Barretta made the play of the night.
With Henderson pushing the ball upfield, Barretta stole the pass at midfield and took the ball 60-yards uncontested for the goal to put East up 11-8 with 10:16 left.

“That’s just the best feeling when you make a defensive play like that,” Barretta said. “It just doesn’t happen often. Scoring goals happen, but getting an interception is big for anyone.”
Barretta finished with three goals and an assist for the game. The junior has 170 goals in her career and leads the Ches-Mont with 43 for the season.
Henderson rallied to tie the game 7-7 on scores from Katie Heisman and Jordyn Bauer after trailing by two goals at the half. Once the Warriors tied it, they were unable to find the go-ahead goal thanks to just being on the attack for approximately two minutes the rest of the game.
“They did a real nice job keeping possession and not creating turnovers,” said Henderson head coach Lauren Purvis. “Possession is the name of the game and that’s something we can work on moving forward.”
The game plan of face-guarding Barretta worked early, but Lawton and the rest of the East offense capitalized throughout the night. As East attempts to return to the district playoffs and make a run at the Ches-Mont title, the Cougars will continue to seek help from their young roster.
“As a whole, our team has processed the scenario when Tori is face-guarded and our attackers have learned how to work around it,” said Downingtown East head coach Christa Somits. “In a lot of ways, this is helping our younger kids get more confident and taking the challenges of going to goal.”
“We all worked on this a team,” Lawton said. “This night isn’t possible without them. I couldn’t have had the game I had without team and Tori’s motivation along the way. We had a huge win tonight and were able to get the momentum going around here.”

Downingtown East 13, West Chester Henderson 8
W.C. Henderson    5    3 – 8
Downingtown East    7    6 – 13
W.C. Henderson goals: J. Bauer 2, Heisman 2, Reichart, Siskind, DeAgostine, R. Bauer.
Downingtown East goals: Lawton 5, Barretta 3, H. Wurzel 2, Hunter, Person, Enderlein.
Goalie saves: Lalicker (WCH) 8, Robinson (DE) 4.

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