RED LION -- Christopher Andrews has been there from the start of the Dallastown boys' lacrosse program four years ago.
For the past two seasons, he had watched his Wildcats take first-round exits from the District 3 playoffs.
Even though his squad didn't fare well in districts in Year 3, with a 23-7 loss to Manheim Township last season, Andrews knew the talent he had coming back. This year, nearly his entire defensive unit is in its third season together. Senior Pat Conroy, a Towson recruit, made the move from defense to midfielder, joining fellow midfielders Kyle Kunkowski and Joe Didusch. And junior Jake Mitchell and sophomore Tanner Ierley would do some offensive damage as attacks.
Those players proved to be pivotal down the stretch on Tuesday night at Horn Field in Red Lion in the first round of the District 3 Boys' Lacrosse Tournament against No. 15 seed Elizabethtown.
The No. 2 seed Wildcats stumbled out of the gate in the first period, falling behind by a goal.
"We just couldn't get the ball moving on offense," Kunkowski said. "We were pretty flat-footed in the beginning, letting guys run by us. Once we started moving the ball on offense, we started getting their defense mixed up and scoring goals."
Kunkowski scored one of his team-high four goals in the second period to help Dallastown (20-1) finally turn a corner. The Wildcats wouldn't look back from there, going on to win, 14-6, to capture the program's first District 3 playoff victory.
Dallastown's efforts were similar to those put forth in Saturday's 10-5 win over West York in the York-Adams League championship game, when the Wildcats also started slow.
"Our offense wasn't moving. We were standing still and being like statues," Andrews said. "We have to move and go up for passes. Once we started doing that, our offense opened up a lot more and the passing lanes were there."
E-Town (12-7) entered averaging nearly 10 goals a game while holding opponents to under seven goals a game. Two of their top scorers are junior attack Brady Dolan and senior midfielder Bryce Mrakovich. While Mrakovich, a Liberty University recruit, racked up four goals and an assist to pace the Bears, the Wildcats held Dolan scoreless.
Dallastown outscored E-Town 4-0 in the second period to lead 6-3 at intermission. Mitchell scored his third-and-final goal at the buzzer at the end of the third period to give Dallastown a 12-4 edge.
Ierley and junior David Dygert added two goals apiece and Didusch, senior Drew Zedosky and freshman Bailey Haines each had a goal. Senior keeper Trevor Zero made 11 saves.
Moving on: The Wildcats move on to face No. 7 seed Hempfield (15-5) on Thursday at Penn Manor at 7 p.m. The Black Knights were last year's District 3 runner-up.
"We can't start slow against them," Andrews said. "That'll be a big one for us."
OTHER BOYS' LACROSSE
CARLISLE 11, CEN TRAL YORK 6: At Dickinson College, the 12th-seeded Panthers saw their season come to a close with a District 3 setback to No. 5 seed Carlisle. Central finished with an 11-8 record. Carlisle improved to 13-4. Max Haldeman and Ian Desenberg each scored twice for the Panthers. The Thundering Herd will face No. 4 seed Wilson (19-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal match at Lower Dauphin Middle School. Wilson beat No. 13 seed Trinity (11-8) on Tuesday, 14-5.
EPHRATA 10, WEST YORK 1 (SUSPENDED): At Ephrata, the 14th-seeded Bulldogs (13-6) were trailing third-seeded Ephrata (18-2) at halftime, 10-1, when the District 3 contest was suspended because of poor weather conditions. The match will be completed at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Ephrata. The winner will face No. 6 seed Cumberland Valley (15-3) in a quarterfinal game at 5 p.m. Thursday at Penn Manor. CV beat No. 11 seed Northern York (11-6) on Tuesday, 6-4.
OTHER GIRLS' LACROSSE
YORK CATHOLIC 13, SUSQUEHANNOCK 6: At York Suburban, the Lady Irish rolled over their rival from the York-Adams League in a District 3 battle. Fourth-seeded York Catholic improved to 17-3, while 13th-seeded Susquehannock finished at 11-8. York Catholic moves on to face 12th-seeded Penn Manor at 7 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal match at Susquehannock High School. Penn Manor (12-7) upset No. 5 seed Hershey (15-4) on Tuesday, 12-9. Alexis China (four goals, two assists), Shannon Moore (two goals, three assists), Megan Bittner (four assists), Lindsay Ingram (two goals), Lindsay Givens (two goals) and Meaghan Bilyeu (two goals) paced the Irish. Susquehannock was led by Bri Boyer (two goals, two assists).
KENNARD-DALE 20, WYOMISSING 6: At Glen Rock, Nicole Black led the No. 2 seed Rams to the first-round District 3 victory over No. 15 seed Wyomissing (10-8) by scoring four goals and picking up six assists. Carlie Schmitt (five goals, one assist), Morgan Day (two goals, one assist), Haley Romoser (two goals), Katie Fonte (one goal, three assists), Lyndsey Duty (one goal, two assists) and Taylor Davis (one goal, two assists) also excelled for K-D, which improved to 20-1 overall. The Rams advanced to the quarterfinals against No. 10 seed Lancaster Country Day (15-5). That match is set for 5 p.m. Thursday at Susquehannock. LCD beat South Western on Tuesday, 18-16.
LANCASTER COUNTRY DAY 18, SOUTH WEST ERN 16: At Spring Grove, the Cougars led 10-8 at the half and hung on to defeat the Mustangs in the first round of the District 3 Tournament. For the Mustangs, Katie Wherley scored a team-high five goals, while Sydney Szparaga scored four goals and Callie Kavanaugh knocked in three goals. The loss ended the season for No. 7 seed South Western at 15-4.
MANHEIM TWP. 16, WEST YORK 1: At Manheim Twp., the 16th-seeded Bulldogs (8-8) were no match for the unbeaten No. 1 seeds, who improved to 21-0. Manheim Twp. advances to a District 3 quarterfinal match at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Hershey. The Blue Streaks will face the winner of the match between No. 9 seed Wilson (15-3) and No. 8 seed Exeter Twp. (14-5). Exeter was leading that match 7-6 at halftime when it was suspended because of weather on Tuesday. It will be resumed at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Exeter.
-- Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or jwalk@yorkdis patch.com or follow on Twitter @YorkSportsGuy.