Fast start propels Downingtown West to win over Spring-Ford – PA Prep Live | Rare Techy
DOWNINGTOWN >> Spring-Ford’s magical postseason run ended with runner-up Downingtown West in the District 1 Class 3A semifinals Tuesday night at Kottmeyer Stadium. The Whippets (18-3) had a big first period and cruised to a 4-1 victory over No. 18 Spring-Ford (14-9), knocking off the Rams in the third-place game.
With the win, the Whippets advance to Saturday’s District 1 championship game in Methacton, where they will face top-ranked Conestoga, which beat Great Valley 4-1 on Tuesday. Game time is set at 18:00.
“Spring-Ford is a tough team and we have watched their journey as they consistently beat higher ranked teams,” West coach Courtney MacPherson said. “They’re a very fast team, so it was important that we get off to a fast start of our own and we did a great job of that. It’s going to be a great game on Saturday. We’re all excited to meet Conestoga again.
The Whippets got on the board with a goal by Alyssa Freeman at the 9:16 mark. Barely 30 seconds later, the Whippet passing game clicked, Ciara Margetich passed to Ashley Plzak, who sent it to the post where the waiting Mia Freeman slid in for an easy score.
Alyssa Freeman scored again 3:30 into the period on an assist from Kate Mahmud to make it 3-0 before the first period ended.
“Our pregame ritual happened today,” said Freeman, who will play collegiate field hockey at American University. “We were all excited and ready to come out aggressive. We won districts when we were freshmen, so we’ve all been working hard to do it again as seniors.
Less than 30 seconds into the second period, West took a 4-0 lead, this time Plzak scored on an assist from Alyssa Freeman.
“We wanted to come out strong and aggressive,” Cornell’s Plzak said. “We wanted to get an early lead and just ride that momentum through the rest of the quarters.”
The Whippets kept up the pressure, outshooting the Rams 19-7 and forcing Spring-Ford 10 penalty corners to just three.
There were no more scores, however, and Spring-Ford got on the board just before halftime with a goal by Nina Scott, assisted by Madison Friend.
“We made some adjustments and played a pretty good second half,” Rams coach Jenny Anderson said. “But we just never found our offensive rhythm.”
However, Spring-Ford is far from finished. The Rams play Great Valley in the third-place game on Friday and have already earned a spot in the PIAA tournament starting next week.
“We’ve played tough games and lost close games to tough opponents, but learned a lot of valuable lessons,” Anderson said. “We were fortunate to learn those lessons early and it’s paid off so far in the postseason. We didn’t play the game we wanted to today, but we’ll get back at it tomorrow and see what we can do in the third-place game and at states.”
Downingtown West 4, Spring-Ford 1
Spring Ford 0 1 0 0 – 1
Downingtown West 3 1 0 0 — 4
Spring-Ford Goal – Scott.
D West goals – A. Freeman (2), M. Freeman, Plzak.
Goalie saves: Polinski (SF) 5; Schmidt (DW) 4.