Radnor – Although Downingtown West suffered its fourth overtime loss of the season Saturday, an 11-10 decision to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy at the 16th annual KSF Lacrosse Festival, Whippets head coach Brittney Long talked about how proud she was of her developing young squad.
“We played a good team today, and our girls will gain maturity being in [close] games like this, they’ll figure out what works best for them,” said Long. “We’re a young team, and our girls have done a nice job of rising to the occasion this season. I’m proud of them.”
Downingtown West (3-7) got the bulk of its scoring Saturday from freshmen Corrine Bednarik (two goals, three assists) and Peyton Mottice (one goal, one assist), sophomores Tabitha Rodriguez (two goals, two assists) and Abby Cooper (three goals) and junior Drew McKinney (two goals).
The contest at Radnor High School was a seesaw battle that featured nearly a dozen lead changes. Cooper started the game’s scoring with an assist from Mottice, then Springside Chestnut Hill (8-4) senior midfielder Mikaela Watson started making her presence felt, scoring four first-half goals as the first half ended in a 6-6 tie.
“Mikaela plays with a huge presence,” Springside Chestnut Hill head coach Allison Thomas said of the 5-foot-11 senior midfielder. “She’s elite on draws, and she’s very selfless – she passes a lot, and sometimes [the coaches] have had to tell her to shoot more – which is a nice [situation] for a coach to have. She causes a lot of turnovers too.
“We played so consistently today, supported each other, passed well and used the entire field. And our senior goalies, Caroline Roncalli in the first half and Elsa Rall in the second half, played well. Elsa really stuck it out in the second half.”
D-town West’s McKinney scored her second goal of the game to put the Whippets ahead 8-7 midway through the second half, then SCH stormed back for three goals in a row, two from senior attack Natalie Schwartz, to go ahead 10-8 with 8:12 left. It was the first (and only) time either team had a lead of more than one goal.
Two minutes later, Cooper narrowed the margin to 10-9, with an assist from Bednarik, then D-town West called its final timeout with 1:49 left.
Cooper then tallied her third goal of the game with just 53 seconds left to tie the score at 10-10, and the game went into sudden-death overtime.
Just 12 seconds into overtime, Watson got the ball at midfield and drove in for the winning score.
Thomas said, “That [winning] play wasn’t designed, it was just all heart by Mikaela – she wanted it.”
Springside Chestnut Hill 11, Downingtown West 10, OT
Springside Chestnut Hill 6 4 1 – 11
Downingtown West 6 4 0 – 10
Springside Chestnut Hill goals: Mikaela Watson 5, Taylor Ferry 2, Natalie Schwartz 3, Mason Rode.
Downingtown West goals: Abby Cooper 3, Corrine Bednarik 2, Tabitha Rodriguez 2, Drew McKinney 2, Peyton Mottice.