If losing Harmon weren't bad enough, the Whippets almost didn't make it to the game. The team bus driver got lost twice en route to Langhorne, and what should have been a 55-minute drive took them an hour and 35 minutes.
To get directions, "We stopped at a bank," said Joe Sales, a Downingtown West forward. "It was terrible."
Unfortunately for Neshaminy, the Whippets didn't play as if they were lost.
Downingtown West took a 2-0 nonleague victory in a game featuring teams ranked among the top 10 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer.
With their 10th shutout, the third-ranked Whippets improved to 14-1.
For sixth-ranked Neshaminy (9-5-2), the loss was the second straight.
"We just focused," said Travis Cantrell, a Downingtown West midfielder. "We knew we had to warm up real quick and get mentally prepared for the game."
Perhaps the extended time on the bus gave Cantrell more time to focus. The senior scored what turned out to be the game-winner shortly into the game.
After Cantrell crashed the box, his header from 6 yards out gave the Whippets a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.
"That definitely helped us settle in a lot," Sales said.
The game was far from over, though.
The Redskins didn't retreat in what was a physical contest. Going toe-to-toe, both teams finished with eight shots on goal.
Neshaminy had its chances but couldn't find the back of the net.
In some instances, the Whippets denied the Redskins with great defensive plays. Neshaminy appeared to be out of position during other scoring opportunities.
Capitalizing, Sales clinched the game in the 79th minute.
The senior scored from 20 yards out after Redskins goalkeeper Alex Smith came out of the net to challenge him.
"They play a more different brand of style of play down here," Downingtown West coach John Hatt said of the Redskins. "And we were able to have more success in a more physical game. So I am very pleased."
Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or email@example.com.