EAST MARLBOROUGH >> It was a night game on the pitch as Unionville (7-3-0) played host to Downingtown East (7-0-3) Oct. 6. East, behind goals from Madison Baxter and Brittany Weiderhold, were able to hold on and beat Unionville 2-1 in a Ches-Mont game.
Twenty minutes into the contest, Baxter got the Cougars on the board with a nifty move past a Unionville defender and fired a rocket past goalkeeper Adriana Weber.
“I saw the deflection, and thought that’s mine,” Baxter said. “I took it, dribbled and didn’t over-think it. I knew she was a big goalie so I put it in the bottom corner.”
Ten minutes later, Weiderhold was on the offensive attack but got tripped up in the box resulting in a penalty kick for the junior midfielder. Weiderhold decided to go right post with the shot; Weber guessed left and all of a sudden East had a two goal lead on the road.
“It’s always a great feeling to get chances early,” said East’s head coach Craig Reed. “We found a rhythm with our possession early. We scored two nice goals to have a little cushion but sometimes those two goals lead can be tricky; they came right back and the momentum can shift in a hurry.”
The momentum shifted drastically because only two minutes after East was celebrating Weiderhold’s PK goal, the Indians had their moment to celebrate thanks to the right leg of freshman Veronica Hineman.
Quinn Benintende had a nice run down the left side of the field and saw her teammate cut to the middle of the box; she laid a beautiful pass right to the foot of Hineman who kicked it past Kaelyn Johns.
“We had that one nice goal but we keep losing these one goal games because we can’t spring that big play,” said Unionville head coach Joe Ratta. “We have lost about four or five of these kind of games, I thought we had as many opportunities as them but we just could not connect and get that clean shot.”
Unionville actually out-shot Downingtown East by a 9-6 margin but Johns stood tall in net for the Cougars with eight saves in the game.
Baxter led East with four shots on goal, while Lindsey Cicchino led the Indians with three shots.
All the goals were scored in the first half of the game. The possession was relatively even but with the lead in the second half, Downingtown was able to play conservative and more relaxed. Unionville had a few good opportunities with corner kicks in the late stages of the game but could not capitalize.
“This was the only Ches-Mont team we lost to last year so it was really important that we got this win tonight,” Baxter said. “If we want a shot at winning the Ches-Mont we need to win all the rest of the games this season; this was a huge road victory.”
“Playing Unionville is always a tough game, these Ches-Mont teams are really good and we know they have a great coach on that side,” Reed said. “The girls really battled tonight and play 80 minutes of defense, I was really proud of them.”
Downingtown East stayed undefeated in the Ches-Mont National which will go down to the final few games as four teams remain in the title hunt.
They have a quick turnaround as they play at West Chester East on Wednesday in another must-win game. Unionville is in the American division hunt, but are seven points behind West Chester Rustin with three games remaining. The Indians play Wednesday against Coatesville.
Downingtown East 2, Unionville 1
Downingtown East 2 0 — 2 Unionville 1 0 — 1
Downingtown East goals: Baxter, Weiderhold.
Unionville goal: Hineman.Goalie saves: Johns (DE) 8, Weber (U) 4.