Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Downingtown West edges rival East in OT


DOWNINGTOWN - Justin Obendorfer has scored some big goals over the years for the Downingtown West High School boys soccer team. Wednesday night’s will no doubt go down as one of the most memorable in the senior forward’s career.
Obendorfer headed in the game-winning goal with 4:46 left in the first overtime to lift the Whippets to a thrilling 2-1 victory over archrival Downingtown East in an on-the-edge-of-your-seat Ches-Mont League National Division battle in front of an electric atmosphere at DiSerafino Stadium.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Obendorfer. “These are our rivals and you never, ever want to lose to them. It was absolutely crazy in the stands tonight, everyone was so hyped up.
“On my goal, Cameron Young was coming in on a breakaway and he put the ball in. It just flicked off their keeper, who didn’t have time to react to it, and I was there to head it in. This was just an all-around great team effort by us tonight.”
Downingtown West (2-2 National, 3-2 overall), the reigning division champions, simply found a way on a chilly night where both teams had countless scoring opportunities throughout.
Brett Coper gave the Whippets a quick 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest when he scored off a great head ball following a cross from Obendorfer.
Downingtown East (2-2, 2-4) got the equalizer late in the opening half, with 3:43 to go before the break, when Mike Auer scored on a sensationally struck ball on a direct kick from just outside the top of the box.
That would be all the scoring until Obendorfer’s heroics, as both teams’ goalies made save-after-save throughout an intense 40-minute second-half prior to the overtime.
Downingtown West senior net minder Zack Steffan, who was playing in his first game for the Whippets this season after returning from a trip from Holland where he was competing with the United States U-18 National Team, made 10 saves in the win. Downingtown East’s Andrew Milowsky (six saves) played the first half for the Cougars, and Greg Maino (eight saves) was in net the rest of the way.
“This game was what high school soccer should be like,” said Downingtown West coach John Hatt. “It was a great atmosphere for the kids. There was a lot of energy and both sides left everything they had on the field.”
For Downingtown East, it was a tremendous effort, but nonetheless a disappointing result considering they have yet to beat rival West since the school district split nearly a decade ago.
“I guess we’ll have to wait till next year to attempt to make history,” said Downingtown East coach Ben Wise. “What an unbelievably hard-fought game this was.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my guys. They played as hard as they possibly could. To lose like that at the end really hurts. Congrats to West, though, they earned it.”
Downingtown West has now won two straight games after somewhat of a slow start, and the Whippets are hoping they can parlay the momentum from Wednesday night into a nice little winning streak. They don’t have long to wait. They’ll host Coatesville tonight.
“You can’t win three in a row until you win two in a row,” said Hatt. “We are showing signs of improvement. As long as we can keep doing that I’ll be happy.”

Downingtown West 2, Downingtown East 1 (OT)
Downingtown West     1 0 1 -- 2
Downingtown East     1 0 0 -- 1
Downingtown West goals: Coper, Obendorfer.
Downingtown East goal: Auer.
Goalie saves: Steffan (DW) 10; Milowsky (DE) 6; Maino (DE) 8.

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