WEST GOSHEN — It was a night to recognize the senior class for West Chester Henderson and what better way than a win?
Actually, Henderson found a way with all its seniors stepping up in a 4-1 win over Downingtown West in a Ches-Mont matchup Friday night at Ice Line.
“As far as defensively, every one of them stepped up and they all played really hard,” said Henderson head coach Scott DiRico. “Three out of four were senior goals, but they all play for each other, even the goalies.”
In a close game through two periods, all three goalies — DiRico switched Tyler Bonjo our for Connor Carroll halfway through — were standout stars as they made save after save.
It wasn’t until the third period when someone was finally able to break through.
The goal came courtesy of senior forward Eric Beren on a short-handed two-on-one with junior Jarrett Slear.
“It was a lot of fun,” Beren said. “We just tried to get a big win for it and we ended up doing that. It was a good game.”
Downingtown West (7-5, 7-8) attempted to rally back late in the game after freshman Zach Hanaway scored with three minutes left in the game to pull within one.
But once again, the seniors stepped up — with a little help from Slear on the third goal — and secured the win.
“It was good for everyone,” Beren said. “We all had fun and everyone just wanted to get the win for us.”
Leading the charge for Henderson (8-3-2, 9-5-2) were its senior goaltending tandem of Bonjo and Carroll, who have both shared the workload this season, something which not every team in the conference is privy to.
“It’s a luxury to have and they’re both very good and very different,” DiRico said. “They match-up differently against certain teams, but they’re both good kids and they just want to win, so whatever it takes, they’re willing to go out there. If the other guys is playing better, they’re fine letting that happen.”
Friday night was no different as they shared the net so they both would get the chance to shine on senior night, which they did.
Bonjo, who started the game, stopped all 10 shots he faced while Carroll stopped six of seven during his half.
“The goalies played well,” DiRico said. “Whatever chances we gave up, the goalies stood up for us. It’s good to see. The team rallies around them.”
Beren echoed his coach’s sentiments about the tandem.
“It’s great (to have them),” he said. “They both make a lot of saves in every game and they always play really well and hard.”
As the regular season comes to a close, Henderson coaches will fine tune what they’ve been teaching all season long and hope for the best outcome for their team — and a perfect send-off for the seniors.
“My senior group are probably the close group of seniors I’ve ever had,” DiRico said. “They’re all friends, which doesn’t usually happen. Usually there are cliques, but they are all friends and they’re all big goofballs. They’re good kids, though — not a bad kid in the bunch. They’re all respectable kids and just a joy to be around.”