Archive for the ‘Girls’ Lacrosse’ Category

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/sports

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day reacts during the District 3 girls’ lacrosse third-place match against Susquehannock at Lower Dauphin Middle School

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day reacts during the District 3 girls’ lacrosse third-place match against Susquehannock at Lower Dauphin Middle School on Thursday. Day scored six goals and set a national scoring record in the Rams’ 15-1 victory. (Dawn J. Sagert – dsagert@yorkdispatch.com )

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HUMMELSTOWN — The moment could not have been more perfect for Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day.

The senior scored her 460th career goal, breaking the national girls’ lacrosse high school record, against York-Adams League rival Susquehannock on Thursday, in a win-or-go-home game. To top it off, it was her younger sister, Maddie, who made the pass.

“It wasn’t anything we planned out like that,” Morgan said. “But, knowing that it was my sibling, it was pretty cool to have it be a sister-to-sister type of deal.”

Day entered the evening tied for the national record at 459 goals with North Carolina’s Megan Shortt, who set the mark last season. Even though it was all but inevitable that she would break the mark, there was added pressure to her setting the record because each game from here on out could potentially be her last.

Thanks to her six-goal game on Thursday and another strong team effort by the Rams, they defeated the Warriors, 15-11, to earn a berth into the PIAA state tournament, while ending the season for their league rival.

“I just think it’s the simple fact that it’s fun to watch her play,” K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said about Day’s record. “She’s a great teammate. She’s just as happy giving assists as she is receiving them to get the opportunity to score. It’s been fun.”

Day’s record-breaking goal came with 14 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the first half and provided the Rams with a 5-1 lead. It was a lead that K-D never relinquished. The Rams (21-1) cruised back into the state tournament after a one-year absence in 2014. For Day, who’s always spoken about how the record takes a backseat to the ultimate team goal of advancing as far as possible, the win made it even sweeter.

“Today was a huge win for us,” she said. “Not only because it’s the game that gets us back to states, but because it was against Susky, who’s absolutely a huge rival for us. Third time we played them this season and it was, like always, an intense game. It’s a great feeling knowing we’re back in states again.”

Even after setting the record, Day didn’t waste any time distancing herself from second place. She would score five of her team’s next 10 goals to help the Rams open up a six-goal advantage with just more than five minutes remaining. It would be the third time in three meetings that the Rams defeated Susquehannock (18-4) this season — not an easy task, especially against a good team.

“It’s very, very tough,” Wetzel said. “There’s no secrets. We knew what they were going to do and do our best to stop it and move on from there.”

Along with Day’s big day, in which she also added an assist, K-D got a five-goal game from sophomore Emmie Dressel, a three-goal performance from freshman Maddie Day and one goal from junior Hannah Bracey. In goal, freshman Clare Boone finished with eight saves.

Valway shines for Warriors: For the Warriors, senior Ashley Valway capped off her strong career with a five-goal night, including a run of four straight goals for Susquehannock. Sophomore Gena Speights had two goals, while junior Maddie Ellis and sophomores Kate LeBlanc, Rachel Marshner and Kayla Held each had one goal. Senior Amber Orner finished her career with an eight-save effort in goal.

Coming on the heels of their first loss of the season to Manheim Township on Tuesday, the Rams had no trouble bouncing back to earn their state berth. K-D jumped out to an 8-3 halftime lead and led by as many as seven goals on a couple occasions.

“I think they knew where they wanted to go,” Wetzel said. “No matter how far we can get to, this is a road. They knew they were better (than Susquehannock). They felt they were better.”

The Rams will now face the District 1 champion (Great Valley or Harriton) in a first-round state contest on Wednesday.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com.

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

Susquehannock’s Morgan LeBlanc is hit by Hempfield’s Sophie Spangler as she attempts a shot on goal in the first half of the District 3

Susquehannock’s Morgan LeBlanc is hit by Hempfield’s Sophie Spangler as she attempts a shot on goal in the first half of the District 3 girls’ lacrosse semifinals at Hershey High School on Tuesday. Hempfield won the match, 16-12. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)
HERSHEY — For Susquehannock girls’ lacrosse coach Steve Marshner, the answer was simple when asked why his team lost to Hempfield in Tuesday’s District 3 semifinal — one team came to play right from the start and one didn’t.

The second-seeded Warriors trailed for 49 minutes, 48 seconds of Tuesday’s 16-12 loss to the Black Knights.

The defeat sends Susquehannock into Thursday’s consolation game, with a berth to the state tournament still on the line. The Warriors will face a familiar foe — Kennard-Dale. The top-seeded Rams lost their semifinal contest on Tuesday to Manheim Township, 16-9. The third-place match will take place at 5 p.m. at Lower Dauphin Middle School. Susquehannock has already lost to K-D twice this season.

Hempfield took little time to establish its fast-paced, high-scoring style of play. Actually, 12 seconds, to be exact.

Right from the opening faceoff, sophomore Sammy Helgeson took the draw and raced down the field, beating Warriors’ goalie Amber Orner to open the scoring 12 seconds into the game. That set the tone. The Black Knights scored five of the game’s first six goals in the opening 5:08, forcing Marshner to take a timeout and assess the damage.

“They came out to play and we were a little nervous, or whatever,” he said. “We just didn’t come out at the same level that they came out. We just didn’t match intensity at all at the beginning.”

The timeout helped settle down Susquehannock, allowing it a chance to work its way back into the game. But, no matter what it did the rest of the game, nothing could completely erase the rough beginning. That slow start was the major difference in an otherwise close contest.

The two sides each scored 11 goals following the timeout, but the Warriors could never get any closer than within two goals. Any form of momentum Susquehannock garnered was quickly erased by Hempfield.

A perfect example of that came right before halftime, when Ashley Valway scored twice for the Warriors to pull them to within 11-8 going into the break. But, rather than taking that momentum and using it to continue chipping away at the deficit, it was the Black Knights who came out fast to begin the final half, scoring three of the first four goals.

“It just didn’t work out the way we drew it up at halftime,” Marshner said. “But, good teams do that to you.”

It was really three girls that beat Susquehannock. Helgeson finished with six goals and one assist, while Taylor Nolan and Lindsay Vannucci added four apiece. In goal, Sarah Wood made a game-high 10 saves for Hempfield.

For the Warriors, Valway matched Helgeson’s performance with a six-goal, one-assist effort. Gena Speights added three goals and an assist for Susquehannock, while Kate LeBlanc, Morgan LeBlanc and Maddie Ellis each scored once. In goal, Orner made seven stops.

The Warriors will take on either No. 1 Kennard-Dale or No. 5 Manheim Township in Thursday’s consolation game. The Black Knights, meanwhile, made it to the District 3 championship game for the first time ever.

“We’ve been here and danced here before and never made it,” Black Knights coach Liz Erb said. “We’ve been on this field and not made it to the next one, so it’s so exciting for these girls to see all the hard work that they’ve been putting into their season come to fruition in that final game.”

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com
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By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

Hannah Wertz of Manheim Township, left, and Morgan Day of Kennard-Dale battle for the ball during a District 3 semifinal lacrosse game at Hershey High

Hannah Wertz of Manheim Township, left, and Morgan Day of Kennard-Dale battle for the ball during a District 3 semifinal lacrosse game at Hershey High School on Tuesday. Manheim Township won the match, 16-9. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

HERSHEY — Poised to be the first team to knock off Manheim Township in the seven years of the District 3 Tournament, Kennard-Dale couldn’t have scripted a better start.

The top-seeded Rams jumped out to a 4-1 lead through the first 10 minutes, 27 seconds, forcing Blue Streaks coach Mark Pinkerton to call a timeout.

Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the lead, the momentum and any shot of winning was gone.

Manheim Township scored six unanswered goals, five on a man-up situation, and cruised to a 16-9 win to advance to Thursday’s championship game against Hempfield. The Rams (19-1) will face No. 2 seed Susquehannock (18-3) in the third-place game with a state berth on the line.

“We knew (Emily) McBride coming in was lights-out quick,” K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said. “There’s a reason she’s a Division I commit. She’s a fabulous player and she got the ball and went and we just didn’t play great defense on her.”

McBride, who will play at the University of Virginia next season, pulled her team out of the hole it dug for itself and led it to the win. She led all players with six goals, while chipping in two assists. Two of her goals and one of her assists came during the 6-0 Blue Streaks’ run, while she also continuously won draw controls for her team to keep possession and the pressure on the Rams’ defense.

Manheim Township scored 10 of the final 12 goals of the first half and took an 11-6 lead into the break. And when the two sides came out for the second half, there was no comeback magic for K-D. Instead, the Blue Streaks pushed their lead to 15-7, thanks to scoring four of the first five goals of the second half.

Any glimmers of hope that the Rams had, they squandered, including a man-up advantage with McBride in the penalty area and two free positions that were stopped by goalie Mimi Curtis.

“They know what to do,” Wetzel said about his team’s failure to execute. “They just didn’t do it. They didn’t execute what we do on our man-up plays. They didn’t even come close to doing it. I think they got rattled and that took them out of their own game.”

Aside from McBride’s eight-point night, a number of other Manheim Township players had strong games on the offensive end. Elizabeth Petrosky scored three goals, while Maryn Bernhardt, Sarah Svetec and Hannah Wertz each had two-goal games. Curtis finished the game with eight saves.

For K-D, Morgan Day led the way with three goals, while Morgan Bowings and Emmie Dressel each had two. Lyndsey Duty had one goal and three assists and Hannah Bracey scored once to go along with two assists. Freshman goalie Clare Boone finished with 17 saves.

Day ties record: If there was any silver lining in the Rams’ first defeat of the season, it came with 15 seconds left in the game, when Day scored her third goal of the game. While it didn’t have much importance in the outcome of the game, it was her 459th career high school goal, tying her with the national record.

With K-D guaranteed at least one more game Thursday, she’ll have a chance to break the national record against the Warriors, a team that’s already seen Day twice this season. K-D won both previous meetings.

“She’s not that flashy kid that wows you with the height or the speed or the physicality,” Pinkerton said about Day. “She’s just a really smart player. … You don’t find a lot of really good shooters in high school girls’ lacrosse, to be quite honest, and I think she’s just a kid that sees net and puts it in a good spot, so she finishes.”

The goal now for the Rams is to regroup. They still have a shot to qualify for the state tournament. Thursday’s consolation game at Lower Dauphin Middle School is set for 5 p.m.

“You got two teams that are disappointed and two teams that know each other very well,” Wetzel said about Thursday’s match-up. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day is just four goals away from breaking the national girls’ lacrosse scoring record.

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day is just four goals away from breaking the national girls’ lacrosse scoring record. (DAWN J. SAGERT — dsagert@yorkdispatch.com)

There are a number of teams within the District 3 girls’ lacrosse landscape that would like to think they are among the area’s top high school programs.

But, until another team proves otherwise, the class of District 3 is still Manheim Township. This is the seventh year of the District 3 girls’ lacrosse tournament, and in the previous six years, the Blue Streaks are a perfect 6-for-6 in titles. Now, they’re back in the semifinals in their quest for No. 7.

But, standing in Manheim Township’s way and poised to make a name for itself within the district is Kennard-Dale, this year’s top overall seed and a squad that is all too familiar with the Blue Streaks. The Rams had their last two District 3 title runs halted by Manheim Township in 2013 and 2014.

Last season, the two sides met in the semifinals and it was the Blue Streaks that came away with a 16-11 victory. In 2013, they met a round later in the championship game and, again, it was Manheim Township pulling out the 14-10 win.

“I think they’ve had more success, not that they’re trying to run-and-gun, but they make the most of their possessions,” K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said. “And I think that’s what any team that plays them has to do. You only get so many touches on the ball and you can’t afford to throw the thing away.”

On paper, it looks like the advantage should go to K-D. It enters as the No. 1 seed and a perfect 20-0 on the season. In contrast, the Blue Streaks go into Tuesday’s semifinal sitting at 15-5 and seeded fifth. But, rankings can be deceiving.

Manheim Township won the championship seeded anywhere from the No. 1 seed (2010-12) to as low as the No. 7 seed in 2013, when it defeated the Rams, who were that year’s top team. At some point, something has to give for the Rams.

This is now the third consecutive year the two teams will meet, but that’s hardly a valid reason to expect that this year’s result will mirror those of the previous two seasons.

While, the teams are hardly replicas of last year’s squads, let alone two years ago, there are still a few things that K-D is taking from those previous encounters to prepare for Tuesday’s meeting.

“They’re fast and they’re athletic,” Wetzel said. “They understand the game of lacrosse. They’re not just athletes, but they’re athletes that play lacrosse, which is different than regular lacrosse players. They have a lot of the skills that most teams are looking for.”

Day nears record: While history between the two programs may not be on the Rams’ side, one advantage they do possess is having, perhaps, the best player on the field in Morgan Day.

The senior is the catalyst to a K-D attack that has a handful of girls who have scored more than 20 goals this season. Opponents have tried different methods of defending Day, including face-guarding her to try to take her out of the game. That has held Day to some scoreless first-half performances, but the Rams’ attack picked up the slack on those occasions and made it difficult for the opposition to stick to that tactic for an entire game.

“I think the one thing that sets Morgan apart is she understands the game of lacrosse,” Wetzel said. “She understands that if the ball is on the left, then ‘where do I have to be to get the most out of it?’ She understands the space of awareness — on-ball and off-ball — she gets those type of concepts.”

For the past month, each game that K-D has played came with a subplot to the game’s actual outcome.

Day has been on a quest to become the nation’s all-time leading scorer in high school girls’ lacrosse, sitting just three goals behind tying the record of 459, set by Megan Shortt of North Carolina in 2014.

“I have no idea, when I’m on the field, what is happening with (the record),” Day said following last Thursday’s win over York Catholic in the quarterfinal. “I have no idea how many goals I have because, when I’m on the field, I’m not focused about that. I’d rather have my team win and progress in districts than ever achieve that goal. I want the most for our team and want us to succeed over scoring that goal.”

There will be a lot of implications come Tuesday evening, both on a local and national level. But, if the national-level goal can come true, then so too might the local-level one for the Rams.

“Winning in York County is one thing,” Wetzel said. “Winning in the mid-state is another and then winning at the state level, going up against the Philly and Pittsburgh teams, is an entirely different thing. … We’re sitting here with the perfect record, but we haven’t played some of the caliber of talent that (Manheim Township) has. So everyone has to go out and play their game. We know that if we do the best we can, that’s all we can walk away with. Maybe we walk away with a win, maybe we don’t, but at the end of the day, if we play our game, we have as good a shot as anybody.”

Tuesday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Hershey High School. Susquehannock takes on. Hempfield in the other semifinal at 5 p.m. at the same location.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

By GEORGE HAMMOND
505-5446/@ydsports

When the final horn sounded, the smiles on Susquehannock High School’s sideline told the story — but not before the Lady Warriors took time for a huge sigh of relief.

Although it never trailed, No. 2 seed Susquehannock couldn’t shake No. 7 Cumberland Valley and had to hold on for a thrilling 11-10 victory Thursday in District 3 girls’ lacrosse quarterfinal action at Central York High School. The victory sends the Lady Warriors (18-2) into Tuesday’s semifinal against No. 3 Hempfield, a 14-12 winner over No. 6 Exeter on Thursday. The semifinal is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Hershey High School. Hempfield is 17-3.

“I am so pleased,” Warriors’ coach Steve Marshner said. “We’ve been fighting adversity with all the injuries (two starters were out against CV) and we could have folded at any time because they put a lot of pressure on us. I like any win, but this one is really special because this is the first time the girls’ program has ever gone to the final four.”

Quarterbacking the Warriors was senior Ashley Valway, who had three goals and four assists, including a beautiful assist on the game-winning goal by Rachel Marshner with 3:25 remaining.

“We’ve never made it this far,” Valway said. “Last year, we got destroyed by Manheim Township in the second round, so this was really a big accomplishment. We were just trying to hold on to the ball at the end because we figured if they don’t have it they can’t score.”

The contest looked like a rout early on, when the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 5-1 advantage just 8:55 into the first half.

Later in the opening 25 minutes, that lead would be 7-3 after sophomore Gena Speights scored her third goal in a span of six minutes.

From there, however, play tightened considerably. CV, the Mid-Penn Conference champion, scored the last two goals of the first half to make it 7-5 at intermission. Then, in the second half, the scoring sequence was as follows: 7-6, 8-6, 8-7, 9-7, 9-8, 10-8, 10-9, 11-9 and 11-10.

Katie Bialas’ free-position shot with 1:15 remaining made it 11-10, but Susquehannock was able to play keepaway in the final 75 seconds. Marshner’s goal at 3:25 was key, because CV was swarming at that point. The Eagles (16-5) actually outshot Susquehannock 23-19.

“We will sometimes use Rachel as a midfielder (she’s normally a defender), but she’s been sick, so we decided to keep her on defense the entire time,” Steve Marshner said, “but when the clear happened, we called a play where she goes forward, and the one time she was up there, she took advantage of it and made it work. Plus, Ashley made a fantastic feed on that one.”

For CV coach Lilli Kane, the slow start was pivotal.

“I think if we would have started out with the intensity we had in the second half, we would have been OK,” Kane said. “But I’m pleased with our effort, our girls didn’t give up and we almost pulled it out.”

In addition to Valway, Speights and Marshner, other goal scorers for Susquehannock were Morgan LeBlanc, Katie LeBlanc, Maddie Ellis and Kayla Held. Goalie Amber Orner had nine saves for the Lady Warriors.

“To CV’s credit, they were really forcing us to do things outside of our offense, especially in the second half, but we scored enough to get it done,” Coach Marshner said.

— Reach George Hammond at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

Kennard-Dale’s Lyndsey Duty shoots and scores the Rams’ fourth goal on Thursday against York Catholic. Duty had three goals and three assists

Kennard-Dale’s Lyndsey Duty shoots and scores the Rams’ fourth goal on Thursday against York Catholic. Duty had three goals and three assists in K-D’s 16-12 win. (BIL BOWDEN — For The York Dispatch)
York Catholic’s Maura Polandro, left, and Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Bowings tangle during a fight for the ball on Thursday. Kennard-Dale won the

York Catholic’s Maura Polandro, left, and Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Bowings tangle during a fight for the ball on Thursday. Kennard-Dale won the District 3 quarterfinal contest, 16-12. (BIL BOWDEN — For The York Dispatch)

GLEN ROCK — Kennard-Dale girls’ lacrosse coach Kelly Wetzel knew York Catholic would make a run at some point.

He just had to make sure his team was ready for it.

The moment finally came after the Rams jumped out to a 7-1 lead and forced Irish head coach Rob Linthicum to call a timeout. Out of the break, York Catholic scored the game’s next four goals to suddenly make it a game. But, it wold never get closer than two goals the rest of the way. K-D weathered the Irish’s best shots and kept pushing forward, dispatching its York-Adams League rivals in the quarterfinals of the District 3 tournament, 16-12, ending the Irish season at 11-5.

“They know lacrosse is a game of runs,” Wetzel said. “You just have to sustain it. (York Catholic) called a timeout, we knew they were going to come out fired up, but you just have to sustain and keep doing what you’re doing.”

The Rams, who entered the District 3 tournament as the No. 1 seed, will take on No. 5 Manheim Township at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals at Hershey High School. Manheim Township beat No. 4 seed Lancaster Country Day on Thursday, 12-7. Manheim Township has won every District 3 girls’ lacrosse title since the tournament started in 2009.

Fast start: Kennard-Dale (19-0) never trailed, opening the scoring 3 1/2 minutes into the contest. The Rams didn’t give the Irish much chance early on. Historically, the two foes play each other tough, so when the Rams opened up the 7-1 lead in the first half, it came as a bit of a surprise.

Even with the late-half surge, the Irish trailed 9-6 at halftime and then found all their hard work at the end of the first half basically erased early in the second half when K-D scored three of the half’s first four goals. At that point, with the game well in hand, the Rams were more focused on chewing up clock than running up the score. York Catholic’s frustration started to mount and it found itself down two girls at once for unsportsmanlike penalties.

Boone shines for K-D: If the steady flow of goals coming from the sticks of the K-D attack was causing headaches on defense for the Irish, then goalie Clare Boone was just as troublesome as the other end.

Despite giving up 12 goals, it was the freshman’s play in the cage that helped the Rams jump out to the early lead and then sustain it throughout.

“She’s done an enormous job all year,” Wetzel said about Boone. “There are times the defense has done a lot for her, pushing the shooters into weak shots, but there have been a lot of times when she’s had some point-blank ones and one-on-ones and she’s done a tremendous job.”

Boone made 18 saves, including stopping the first five shots she faced. While Wetzel wasn’t afraid to talk up his goalie’s performance, she was quick to point out that her job is made much easier thanks to a strong supporting cast.

“I know that, if I mess up, then they’ll have my back and vice-versa,” Boone said. “(My team) always counts on me to make saves when they put them on the eight-yard circle and I count on them to keep (the opposition) out. We just work great together.”

Strong attack: At the other end of the field, the high-scoring K-D attack was at it again. Led by seniors Morgan Day and Lyndsey Duty, the Rams picked apart the York Catholic defense.

“When people get rattled, they look for some of our senior leadership,” Wetzel said about Day and Duty. “And they’re there. You throw them a bad pass, chances are, you know they’re going to get it. They’re going to be in the right place when you need it.”

Together, the tandem combined to score 10 goals. They were two of five K-D players to record at least two goals, accompanied by junior Hannah Bracey, sophomore Emmie Dressel and freshman Maddie Day, who each scored twice. The Rams have always been a program that possesses a lot of depth and balance, but what’s helped this year’s club maintain its undefeated mark is the closeness the girls have off the field.

“We work together well on and off the field,” Morgan Day said. “So, when you have a close team, I think it definitely benefits on the field.”

For the Irish, they got four goals from Lisa Casagrande, while Lindsey China, Shannon Moore and Amanada Tufano added two each. Anna Linthicum and Sarah Mazzur each scored once. In goal, Domenica Shellenberger finished with nine saves.

Day closing in on record: For the last few weeks, with every goal the senior Day scores, she’s been moving her way closer and closer to the national high school scoring record of 459.

With her seven-goal effort against York Catholic, she now sits only three goals from tying the mark and four from holding the top spot all to herself. However, even with the individual accomplishment of being the all-time leading scorer in the nation hanging in the balance in K-D’s next game, she’s still managing to put the team’s goals first and trying not to focus on that 460th tally.

“I have no idea, when I’m on the field, what is happening with (the record),” Day said. “I have no idea how many goals I have because, when I’m on the field, I’m not focused about that. I’d rather have my team win and progress in districts than ever achieve that goal. I want the most for our team and want us to succeed over scoring that goal.”

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

GLEN ROCK – The only certainty entering the Susquehannock-West York girls’ lacrosse match on Tuesday was that at least one York-Adams League team would be through to the District 3 quarterfinals.

After that, everything else was up for grabs.

But only briefly.

The Warriors raced out to a quick start against their league foes and eventually doubled up the Bulldogs, 14-7, to book their spot in the quarterfinals.

Susquehannock, playing in front of its home fans, showed why it entered the tournament as the second seed, scoring six of the game’s first seven goals in the opening 13 minutes, 35 seconds.

“We’re playing with a lot of adversity and a lot of injured people,” Warriors head coach Steven Marshner said. “So, coming out, taking possession and scoring early was the key to our game.”

The injuries Marshner was referring to were to Rachel Marshner, Rachel Miller and Katelyn Welch. All three are starters and played major roles in earning Susquehannock such a high seed.

But, like any good team, the Warriors adapted and used their depth to their advantage. Without missing a beat, Susquehannock filled the holes left behind by the three injured players and continued to carry the play to West York.

“We have our bench and we trust our bench,” Marshner said. “Some of our players are young and still figuring out how we play in our system and they did a good job today.”

One positive that helped the Warriors maintain control of the game was the favorable match-up of playing against a league opponent that it had beaten 18-1 during the regular season. Already with a scouting report on the Bulldogs, Susquehannock played strong defensively in the first half, carrying an 8-2 advantage into the break.

After that, it was just a matter of keeping the foot down, which the Warriors did, scoring three of the first five goals to open the second half and extending their lead to 11-4.

After that, the two sides alternated scoring over the final seven minutes to finish out the game.

Defensively, Susquehannock stymied the West York attack, surrendering only the seven goals, while senior goalie Amber Orner made nine saves.

“We thought we knew how they played,” Marshner said. “And they played pretty much how we thought they would. …They like to dodge and we play a help-style defense and against a dodging team, we matched up pretty well.”

Senior Ashley Valway led the Warriors with four goals, while sophomore Kayla Held chipped in with a goal and three assists and freshmen Riley Roeder and Emma Stiffler each scored twice.

The Bulldogs saw senior Kelley Dietz and junior Ally Williams each record hat tricks, while Williams added an assist. Chloe Smith was the only other West York player to score a goal. In the cage, junior Tori Gross came away with eight saves.

Susquehannock (17-2) will face No. 7 seed Cumberland Valley (15-4) at 5 p.m. Thursday in the District 3 quarterfinals at Central York. Cumberland Valley routed No. 10 Hershey (13-6) in its first-round contest on Tuesday, 18-7.

West York finishes at 9-7.

— Reach Patrick Stroehcker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

By ELIJAH ARMOLD
505-5406/@EADispatch

FAWN GROVE — Rarely in a playoff tournament does the top overall seed fall in the opening round.

Tuesday’s District 3 girls’ lacrosse first-round contest between No. 1 seed Kennard-Dale and No. 16 Wilson was no exception.

Looking every bit the part of the top team in the tournament, the undefeated Rams (18-0) smothered the Bulldogs (10-9) early before cruising to a 20-8 home triumph.

With the win, K-D advances to face York-Adams rival York Catholic in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at Susquehannock. The Irish advanced courtesy of Tuesday’s 11-6 victory against Berks Catholic.

“You never know what to expect,” K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said. “We assumed they would be athletic and they were, very athletic. We were just able to win the draws and gave a great effort. I’m very proud of the way (the Rams) played today.”

Also typical for top teams who take care of business early, standout players led the way for the victors.

Morgan Day led the Rams’ offensive onslaught with eight goals and two assists. Teammate Emmie Dressel added five goals and an assist. And Morgan’s younger sister, Maddie, had a three-goal, two-assist performance of her own.

Already the career prep scoring leader in Pennsylvania, Morgan Day’s goal total now sits at 449, just 10 behind the national career record of 459, held by North Carolina prep star Megan Shortt (2011-2014). At this point though, the only person not paying attention to Day’s pursuit of history is Day herself.

“Oh, really?” Morgan Day said of moving into second place. “I don’t really worry about it too much. After the game it’s something that’s in the back of my mind. On the field, it’s something that can’t be on my mind. Just winning the game, working with my teammates and the score is the goal. Not individual achievement.”

The Bulldogs’ defensive strategy was to shadow the elder Day in an attempt to limit her opportunities with the ball.

That only opened up the center of the offensive zone for the Rams to exploit with timely cuts through the middle and crisp passes that found open players. K-D spent much of the game’s early play in their offensive zone, resulting in a 8-0 run by the Rams during the game’s first nine minutes.

“They face guarded Morgan, trying to deny her the ball, and it opened up the lanes with fewer defenders in there,” Wetzel said. “It made things a little easier on our offense and the others stepped up and did really well. It’s not just Lyndsey (Duty) and it’s not just Morgan.”

Wilson’s plan only served to slow Day temporarily.

The St. Francis-bound senior scored the final three goals of that run, the third giving her second place alone nationally at 444.

Dressel scored two of her five markers during the span.

The Bulldogs got on the board for the first time with Carly Pandit’s goal, making it 8-1 Rams with 15:55 left in the first half. Smaller, two- and three-goal runs for the Rams were laced with Wilson tallies, ultimately resulting in a 15-3 halftime lead for the hosts.

Wilson threatened to make it a game early in the second half. The Bulldogs went on a run of their own, scoring four unanswered goals to make the score 16-7 with 14:10 remaining in the second half.

“We just got sloppy at the end,” Wetzel said. “We came out flat in the second half and they didn’t. So a lot of credit to them.”

Having seen enough, Morgan Day put the Bulldogs away for good with a scoring spree of her own, matching Wilson by scoring the game’s next four goals over a five-minute span.

“As a team, we were completely ready to go and that really helped out in the beginning,” Morgan Day said. “I had a slow first half. We knew we had to pick it back up there toward the end and get some goals.”

Maddie Klee led the Bulldogs with three goals. Julie Gehman added a goal and an assist for Wilson.

OTHER GIRLS’ LACROSSE

York Catholic 11, Berks Catholic 6: At York, the Irish trailed at the half, 3-2, only to storm back in the second half with a 9-3 surge to earn the District 3 first-round triumph. Eighth-seeded York Catholic improved to 11-4, while ninth-seeded Berks Catholic finished at 15-4. York Catholic now faces rival Kennard-Dale in the quarterfinals on Thursday. K-D edged York Catholic in the regular season, 16-14. Lisa Casagrande (four goals, assist), Shannon Moore (three goals, assist) and Amanda Tufano (three goals, two assists) led the York Catholic offense. Domenica Shellenberger had six saves to get the win in goal.

Hempfield 18, South Western 6: At Hempfield, Lauren Schmidt had four goals and Erin Brown and Gabriela DiRienzo each had a goal and an assist, but it wasn’t enough for the 14th-seeded Mustangs in their District 3 first-round loss to No. 3 seed Hempfield (16-3). South Western ends the season at 10-6.

— Reach Elijah Armold at earmold@yorkdispatch.com

By PATRICK STROHECKER
505-5402/@P_Strohecker

Kennard-Dale’s Lyndsey Duty reacts after a goal against Susquehannock during the York-Adams League girls’ lacrosse championship match at

Kennard-Dale’s Lyndsey Duty reacts after a goal against Susquehannock during the York-Adams League girls’ lacrosse championship match at Susquehannock High School on Thursday. Duty led K-D with four goals and two assists in a 14-11 Rams victory. (DAWN J. SAGERT — dsagert@yorkdispatch.com)
Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day moves the ball down the field as Susquehannock’s Gena Speights defends during the York-Adams League girls’

Kennard-Dale’s Morgan Day moves the ball down the field as Susquehannock’s Gena Speights defends during the York-Adams League girls’ lacrosse championship game at Susquehannock High School on Thursday. Day had three goals and two assists in the Rams’ 14-11 win. (DAWN J. SAGERT — dsagert@yorkdispatch.com)


GLEN ROCK — It was a classic.

For 50 minutes on Thursday, Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock exchanged scoring runs in the York-Adams League girls’ lacrosse championship match at Susquehannock High School.

The winner would be decided by which team would strike last.

Trailing 11-10 with just more than seven minutes to play, it was the Rams who had the final answer, scoring four unanswered goals to cap off a wild, 14-11 victory over the Warriors, capturing their fourth league crown in the five years of the tournament’s existence.

“I’ll be honest,” K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said, “if we would’ve gotten second place, I’m not sure we would’ve taken our medals with us. We would’ve left them here. That’s how much we wanted this.”

Trailing 11-10, it was time for the Rams’ best players to come up big — and they did.

Over the final seven minutes, seniors Morgan Day and Lyndsey Duty carried their team, scoring the final three goals for K-D to give it the lead and then build some insurance. Combined, at least one of those two had a hand in the final four goals the Rams scored.

“(This game) means everything because I sat on the sideline last year,” Duty said. “I told the girls before the game: ‘This is something that you have to look back on and this is something that, not only me, but the rest of the (senior) players, this is our last chance.'”

A loss would’ve meant a second straight title game loss for K-D after winning the first three tournament titles in league history. Instead, by mounting a late-game comeback, the Rams are back on top and, again, the class of the league.

But the victory didn’t come without its hardships.

After taking a 5-2 lead into the half, K-D came out of the break hot, scoring five of the first seven goals of the second half to open up a 9-4 advantage. The onslaught came so quickly — the Rams scored three straight goals in 47 seconds — that once they established the sizable lead, it looked like it was going to be another runaway. But, there were still a couple twists to occur.

Susquehannock storms back: Warrior seniors Ashley Valway and Katelyn Welch wouldn’t let their team go down easily. Together, the two combined to score five of the game’s next eight goals — seven of which were scored by Susquehannock — to quickly change the momentum and give the Warriors their first and only lead of the game at 11-10 with 8 minutes, 6 seconds remaining.

“They were using their best players,” Wetzel said. “They were using Ashley and Katelyn to attack, and in girls’ lacrosse, especially in the high school level, there’s little to no contact and it’s really hard to stop that.”

The duo constantly worked low to high, getting the ball behind the cage and passing out front to the cutting player for the easy goal. After allowing his players to try to work through the tough stretch, Wetzel was finally forced to call a timeout once K-D fell behind. What he said in that break got through to his players and changed the direction of the game one last time.

“He said: ‘Calm down, take a breath, get some water and go out there and do what you did when you went into the second half,'” Duty said.

The win was not only special for the Rams because it erased the bad memory of last year’s championship loss to York Catholic, but it also came in a game in which they were considered the home team but played in a true road environment. Not only was the game played on Susquehannock’s home field, but the Warrior fans were sitting in the grandstands directly behind the benches, creating a loud and vibrant atmosphere that K-D had to deal with.

“We had to tell our players: ‘Don’t pay them attention. The moment you look back, they win. They’ll take you out of your game. Focus on your game,'” Wetzel said.

Duty led all Rams players with four goals and two assists for six points, while Day, despite being face guarded for the entire first half, still managed to score three goals and added two assists. Emily Livezy, Emmie Dressel and Maddie Day each scored twice for K-D, while Hannah Bracey scored once, but had two assists. In goal, freshman Clare Boone didn’t let the moment get to her, coming away with 11 saves.

For Susquehannock, Valway led the way with five goals, while Welch added three goals and three assists. Gena Speights chipped in with two goals and Rachel Marshner scored one, but made it a big one, tying the game at 10-10. Senior Amber Orner made seven saves in goal.

The next step for both teams is the District 3 playoffs, where the Rams will enter as the top seed and the Warriors will be seeded No. 2.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

May Madness has arrived in York County.

Starting Thursday and ending Tuesday, the York-Adams League will hold championships in nearly every spring sport.

In just six days, scholastic athletes from around the region will produce memories that could last for six decades.

If you enjoy prep sports, it’s a perfect storm.

Lacrosse: It starts Thursday evening with boys’ and girls’ lacrosse championships at Susquehannock High School, with the girls’ match slated for 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ contest at 7 p.m.

The girls’ contest will pit Kennard-Dale (16-0) against Susquehannock (16-1). No surprise there. Those two teams finished first and second during the regular season, and they’re also ranked first and second in the District 3 power ratings.

The Rams will be itching to regain the league playoff title after falling to York Catholic in last year’s championship match. K-D had won the first three Y-A tournament titles.

K-D won the regular-season meeting between the two teams, 11-6, at Susquehannock. Look for a similar outcome this time around.

The boys’ final pits West York vs. Susquehannock. The two teams tied for the regular-season league crown at 10-1. Susquehannock enters at 13-2 overall, while West York is 13-3. Susquehannock, however, dominated the regular-season meeting, 14-6, back on April 9 in Glen Rock. This time, the score will likely be much closer, but the home-field edge should put Susquehannock over the top.

Boys’ volleyball: Also on Thursday night, the most highly anticipated boys’ volleyball match of the regular season will take place when Northeastern visits Central York at 7:30 p.m. in a battle of super powers. Both teams are unbeaten in York-Adams action, and both are defending state champions (Central in AAA and Northeastern in AA). The showdown will decide the league’s regular-season title.

Just five days later (7:30 p.m. Tuesday), there’s an excellent chance that the same two teams will meet again in the York-Adams Tournament title match at Dallastown. Of course, to set up yet another championship battle, both teams will first have to navigate their way through quarterfinal action on Monday and semifinal matches on Tuesday.

Since 2007, every York-Adams regular-season and tournament title has gone to either Central or Northeastern, with the exception of one year. York Suburban swept both crowns in 2012.

The Panthers (11-0) and Bobcats (13-0) have competed in several of the same tournaments this season. Given their finishes in those events, Northeastern would have to be rated a slight favorite over Central.

Baseball and softball: Baseball and softball also will crown their York-Adams champions over the next week. The semifinals in both sports are Friday. The softball championship game is slated for 5 p.m. Monday at New Oxford, while the baseball title game is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Spring Grove.

In baseball, Division I champion Spring Grove (14-6) will try to defend its title. It won’t be an easy task, however. The Rockets must face Division II champion West York (14-4) in Friday’s semifinals at 5 p.m. at New Oxford. The Bulldogs won the Y-A tournament title in both 2012 and 2013. The Bulldogs also won AAA state titles in each of those years. West York won the regular-season meeting vs. Spring Grove, 3-2, on March 31 at West York.

The other Friday semifinal — at 3:30 p.m. at Spring Grove — will pit Division III champion Eastern York (12-5) vs. Division IV champion Delone Catholic (13-7). The Squires are regulars in the league playoffs. They have appeared in every tournament since the event started in 2009, but they’ve never won the title. Eastern, meanwhile, is making its first tournament appearance. The Golden Knights captured a 5-0 victory against Delone at McSherrystown on April 17.

Look for the Spring Grove-West York winner to take home the title. With West York struggling a bit of late, losing four of its last six after a 12-0 start, the edge goes to Spring Grove.

In softball, Dallastown won’t be back to defend its tournament crown. The Wildcats lost a Division I showdown to Central (18-2) on Monday to give the Panthers the Division I crown.

Central, however, is no stranger to the league playoffs. The Panthers took the tournament title in 2012 and 2013. In fact, the Division I champion has ruled this event in recent years, winning every playoff title since 2010. Central will face Division II champion Dover (12-6) at 5 p.m. Friday at Susquehannock. Central won at Dover on April 16, 7-4.

The other softball semifinal will pair Division III champion Littlestown (15-3) vs. Division IV champion Delone Catholic (14-4) at Spring Grove. Littlestown triumphed at Delone on April 11, 7-2.

History says Division I champion Central is the team to beat.

Track and field: Finally, the top track and field athletes in York and Adams counties will take center stage on Friday night, when the league championships take place at Dallastown. Action starts at 4 p.m.

There are no team titles on the line at this event, but individuals will attempt to win medals and prove that they are the best athletes that York and Adams counties have to offer.

There are a few athletes to keep an eye on. South Western standout Lynne Mooradian is the defending champion in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. But she could get a challenge from Red Lion’s Angelica Gonzalez, who has seen limited action this spring. Gonzalez was a freshman phenom in 2012 but has struggled with leg injuries since then. Hopefully, the East Carolina recruit will be healthy and compete in the league meet. Right now, she’s entered in the 200, 400 and 1,600 relay.

In addition, York Suburban’s Olivia Gettle is the defending champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

Weather: Of course, with the exception of boys’ volleyball, the championship events will need some cooperation from Mother Nature to go off as scheduled. Right now, the forecast for Thursday and Friday looks promising. The outlook for Monday and Tuesday, however, is a bit more sketchy.

Let’s hope that the weather cooperates.

The area athletes deserve the opportunity to perform their best in the best conditions. They also deserve to have big crowds there to watch them.

May Madness has arrived in York County.

Local high school sports fans should sit back and enjoy it.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.


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