WEST CHESTER - The West Chester Henderson High School field hockey players were in their jackets and pants when they weren't in action on Wednesday afternoon.
It finally felt like fall on what was a cold and windy day. The Warriors knew they had to strike fast to avoid the chilly weather kicking in and hampering their play.
Olivia Schwartz made sure that wasn't an issue.
Schwartz scored the first goal less than four minutes into the game, helping to lead No. 1 seeded West Chester Henderson to a 2-0 victory over rival West Chester East in the second round of the District 1 Class AAA playoffs.
With the win, the undefeated Warriors advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament, where they will host No. 8 Central Bucks West.
Katie O'Donnell had a sharp pass in the post to set up Schwartz's early score, which held up to be the game-winner against the No. 16 Vikings. It was O'Donnell's 28th helper of the season.
"Katie passed me the ball after I got to the post and there was a defender behind me,' Schwartz said describing the play. "I just stopped the ball and was able to sweep it in past the goalie.'
Even though O'Donnell didn't score in this game, she made plenty of plays to set Henderson up for victory. Her speed with the ball enabled the Warriors to have a fast-paced offense, with her running it similar to the point guard in basketball.
As Henderson head coach Jen O'Donnell stated, Katie's the playmaker.
"(Katie) knows when she needs to take the ball and feed the ball,' coach O'Donnell said. "Whether she's scoring or dishing the ball out, she's fast. She makes numbers up with her speed. She orchestrates pretty much anything in our offense.'
After the initial five minutes, West Chester East started applying pressure for the majority of the half but couldn't find the back of the net. When Henderson was able to get another scoring opportunity, they pounced.
Claire Applebee came off the bench late in the first half and added an insurance goal for the Warriors at the 25:05 mark to make it 2-0. Susannah Pitt was credited with the assist.
Like her teammates, Applebee was not affected by the cold weather on this day. Especially after she scored the second Henderson goal.
"It was freezing out there, but we got to push through everything,' Applebee said. "We're used to it so it's ok.'
East provided plenty of opportunities to score in the second half, but Henderson goalie Emily Finn slammed the door on a comeback with excellent play in net.
Finn finished with nine saves, but her best stop came off the stick from a Charlotte Dufoe blast early in the second half. Without that save, the outcome may have been different.
"It's all about luck really,' Finn said. "I just needed to get the right angle on the shot. I had enough practice with Katie (O'Donnell) and everybody giving me enough practice on the aerials.'
Despite the tough loss, East wraps up its best season in years. Head coach Courtney Wolff was proud of her team's effort against the top seed in the district and looks to build upon her team's run to the second round of the district playoffs.
"We maintained possession throughout the game and stuck to our game plan while working as a unit,' Wolff said. "We worked as hard as we possibly could and that's all I can ask for from the girls. We bought out every tool that we had to use, but we just weren't as successful. We'll learn from this game and became stronger as a unit next year.'
As for Henderson, they will fight for a state playoff berth over the next week. O'Donnell admitted her girls were a little nervous before the game, but gained plenty of experience from the win.
"We got a good mix of upperclassmen here to handle any nerves with the younger players,' O'Donnell said. "Field hockey is a funny game where a team can dominate and get bumped off by one little goal. We're just going to take this one game at a time.'
W.C. Henderson 2, W.C. East 0
W.C. East 0 0--0
W.C. Henderson 2 0--2
W.C. Henderson goals: Schwartz, Applebee.
Goalie saves: Walker (WCE) 8; Finn (WCH) 9.