By BRAD SPAHR
WEST GOSHEN - On paper, Tuesday night's high school girls lacrosse clash between West Chester Henderson and West Chester East seemed like it had all the makings of a pretty good one. Coming into the contest, the archrivals were two of only three remaining undefeated squads in the 12-team Ches-Mont League.
As it turned out, however, this one was not very competitive at all.
On the strength of another outstanding performance from standout Katie O'Donnell, West Chester Henderson rolled to an empathic 19-6 league victory over visiting West Chester East inside J. Oscar Dicks Stadium.
O'Donnell, a senior midfielder who will play for Penn State next year, netted a game-high 11 goals. She erupted for eight of those goals in the opening stanza, helping the Warriors (3-0 Ches-Mont, 6-1 overall) storm to a commanding 14-3 halftime advantage.
Henderson, who is now tied for first place with defending league champ Great Valley, also received strong games from Emily Hagen (three goals) and Sara Laudermilch (two goals).
The Warriors also turned in a terrific defensive performance in handing West Chester East (2-1 league) its first league loss of the young season. Julianna Cantor made six saves in the win.
"Our girls were really pumped up for this game,' said first-year Henderson coach Steph Kienle. "There's such a rivalry between the two schools. Plus every game in the league is so important, and with both of us coming in 2-0, we wanted to come out strong and try and take it too them.'
The Warriors sprinted out to a quick 5-1 lead just six minutes into the game. They never looked back. O'Donnell scored four of those goals in the opening five minutes of play.
Later in the half, O'Donnell gave Henderson a 13-3 lead with 3:11 to play in the opening frame. That put the mercy-rule, running-clock into effect. It continued to run for the majority of the final 28 minutes.
O'Donnell, who now has an eye-popping 348 career goals, earlier this season broke both the school and county record held by former teammate and 2012 graduate Katelyn Fay.
O'Donnell also has a legitimate shot at breaking the all-time record for career goals in the state. That record of 406 is currently held by 2009 Strath Haven grad Emily Garrity, who last year helped lead North Carolina to the NCAA Division I national title as a senior.
For O'Donnell, though, those records don't mean nearly as much as trying to help her team to a big season in her final year.
"At this point of the season we are playing really well, and pretty much right where we want to be I think,' said O'Donnell. "Tonight was a great team-win for us, especially considering when you play West Chester East, your cross-town rival, it's always an intense game and you have to be ready to come out fast.'
West Chester East, who has played really well so far this season despite Tuesday's setback, received its only multi-goal game from Holly Hager. Nicole Venuti made eight saves in net for the Vikings.
Henderson, meanwhile, has lost only once so far this spring, a one-goal setback on the road to Strath Haven.
"Some of our younger players have really stepped up for us,' said Kienle. "Tonight we really did a good job of creating turnovers, and supporting each other out there. We really fought hard and we have to keep playing like that.'
W.C. Henderson 19, W.C. East 6
W.C. East 3 3 — 6
W.C. Henderson 14 5 — 19
W.C. East goals: Hager 2, Daley, Moore, Stiebritz, Girard.
W.C. Henderson goals: O'Donnell 11, Hagen 3, Laudermilch 2, Reichert, Bauer, Heisman.
Goalie saves: Venuti (WCE) 8; Cantor (WCH) 6.