Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/23/23 – From Staff Report
Downingtown East senior Jake Woodworth believes today’s 10-9 come-from-behind victory over visiting Garnet Valley in the District 1 3A quarterfinals typifies the Cougars’ grit and desire.
“This win is everything,” said the attackman/midfielder who had four goals. “I mean we play for the state championship, but none of that comes without each and every battle along the way. I think our ability to take things one game at a time has been really beneficial to us and we have grown immensely as a group.
“I think what matters the most is our ability to make every game matter like it is a championship and the harder we work, the luckier we have gotten. I think we are ready for what is to come and I am so excited for the future of this team.”
The Cougars overcame an 8-3 third-period deficit to advance to the semifinals and claim a PIAA berth. Downingtown East (18-2) will play a semifinal game Thursday at top-seeded Radnor – a 16-6 winner over Kennett – at 4:15 p.m. Garnet Valley (12-9) will play Kennett in a playback game to determine a state berth at a site and time to be determined.
The Jaguars – who fell to Downingtown East, 9-8, on April 22, seized an 8-3 lead early in the third period. But then the momentum shifted.
“We didn’t have many possessions in the first half and when we did have the ball it ended with a shot pretty much right away,” Woodworth said. “We got a little ahead of what we wanted to achieve but our halftime discussion definitely helped to turn this around.
“We changed up faceoffs and moved some positions around. I ended up playing more midfield instead of attack in the second half in order to give some of our midfielders a break. After that, we just really started to take care of the ball and won some faceoffs along with being more successful on clears.'”
Woodworth’s two tallies pulled the Cougars within 8-7 and the Cougars led, 9-7, early in the final period. Woodworth made it 9-8 and then Jake McMahon tied it. late in the game, TJ Shillingford scooped up a rebound and in the final second Downingtown East caused turnover and ran out the clock.
“I think our team does a really great job of adapting to change and we have a ton of fight in us,” said Woodworth. “The spirit on our sidelines and in the stands has been on a whole different level and it has changed the way we play.”
Downingtown East also won its first district game by a goal, 6-5 over Upper Dublin.
“We have fought our way to every win and all credit goes to the coaches for recognizing where we need to adapt and we have seemed to be really successful at learning from mistakes,” Woodworth said. “Whether it be in practice or in the games, we have given everything to this team and I think we are just grateful for the ability to make the next play and to bring everyone with us.
“We have been struck with injuries throughout the entirety of the season and credit to the coaches again for being able to work with that and put people in different spots and in the end, we have continued to come out on top.”
Downingtown East 10, Garnet Valley 9
Garnet Valley 1 6 1 1 = 9
Downingtown East 3 0 4 3 = 10
Bryson Kolinsky 1G 2A 3GB
TJ Shillingford 1G
Jake Woodworth 4G 1A
Luke Fiorillo 2G 1GB
Jake McMahon 1G 1GB
Bo Horvath 1A 3Gb 1ct 5/8 FO
Mike Waite 1G 1A 2GB 1ct
Brayden Quinn 11 saves
Kris Henning 3G 1A
Joshua Graham 1G 2A
Collin Smith 2G
Zach Myers 1G
Jack Burber 1G
Trevor Saccomandi 1G
Kai Lopez 15 of 21 FO
Andrew Keaveney 7 Saves