By JOHN WALK
A back-and-forth scoreless regulation, followed by two scoreless overtime periods mostly controlled by Dallastown, led to a shootout Tuesday night in a first-round District 3-AAA field hockey matchup between the Wildcats and Central York.
Under the lights in rainy conditions at York Suburban’s Dick May Stadium, Dallastown and Central each put the ball in the back of the cage on their first two strokes in the best-of-five strokes shootout. On stroke No. 3 and No. 4, each team made a shot and had one blocked, bringing it down to the final stroke to decide the winner.
That is where Central junior goalie Abbie Timperio made the stop of her career, blocking a shot off the stick of Dallastown junior Olivia Talley to keep the shootout tied up. Central junior Amanda Miller followed up by making the fifth stroke, sealing the shootout, 4-3, and giving No. 12 seed Central York the victory. The final score officially read 1-0 over No. 5 seed Dallastown.
“The best thing for me to do is to not look at their eyes and their body because then they just try to fake you out,” Timperio said when asked how she went about blocking Dallastown’s final pair of shootout strokes. “You really have to watch the ball. You just try to last as long as you can. And believe in yourself that you can do it.”
It’s the first time Central York (14-5-1) has advanced to the district quarterfinal round since 2006. It’s also the first time the Panthers beat Dallastown (16-4) in many years — not even longtime coach Lori Livingston could recall the last time that happened.
“It feels great right now because we’ve never beat Dallastown before,” Timperio said. “To beat them in stroke-outs, that’s a huge thing for me. It’s a great feeling.”
Timperio tallied seven saves in regulation and the two 15-minute overtime periods. While Central battled throughout the night, the Panthers managed to put one shot on goal, something longtime Dallastown coach Jeri Myers pointed out after the game.
“Oh, definitely we dominated. All we had to do was put the ball in the cage. That’s all we had to do,” Myers said. “Their goalie had one unbelievably lucky shot because that ball was going in several times. And on the corners, same thing. Sometimes goalies are lucky.”
The York-Adams Division I champion Wildcats beat Central, the league tournament runner-up, in both regular-season matchups, each time by a two-goal margin. But Livingston noted her team has slowly been building to full strength and is now clicking on all cylinders.
“Our first game against them (Dallastown) this year we had a lot of players out of position. We were still trying to figure out our lineup the first game,” Livingston said. “The second time we played them we had a couple players out with injuries and we didn’t play well. But by the end of the season we got everybody back. And we kind of got everybody in the positions we felt were best. And we were playing very well. I had a couple coaches in the league tell me we might be able to beat them if we stuck to our game plan.”
Next round: The Panthers will next face No. 4 seed Penn Manor on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Penn Manor (19-3) beat No. 13 seed Governor Mifflin (12-9), 3-0 on Tuesday. Penn Manor last year reached the district semifinals and two years ago won the district title. Central might be outmatched on paper, but it’s worth noting the last time a Panthers team came this far eight years ago, Central was a No. 13 seed and pushed No. 5 seed Central Dauphin to overtime.
OTHER district 3 FIELD HOCKEY
Conrad Weiser 3, Bermudian Springs 0: At Lower Dauphin, the Eagles’ season came to an end with a first-round Class AA loss. Bermudian won the York-Adams Division III regular-season crown. The 10th-seeded Eagles finished with a 16-4 record. Seventh-seeded Conrad Weiser improved to 15-4. Sarah Crane had 14 saves for Bermudian.
Greenwood 2, Gettysburg 0: At York Suburban, the York-Adams League champion Warriors were ousted in the first-round of the AA playoffs. The sixth-seeded Warriors finished at 18-2. No. 11 seed Greenwood improved to 15-5. Emma Bahm made 10 saves for Gettysburg.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.