MANCHESTER -- Aside from a loud cheer in the post-game huddle, there wasn't much of a celebration from the Dover girls' soccer team Tuesday night at Northeastern.
There were a few high-fives between teammates. But no players were jumping up and down as the final seconds ticked off the clock. No arms were thrown up in the air as players exited the field. It didn't matter that the Eagles had just defeated the Bobcats, 4-2, to clinch the program's first-ever York-Adams League Division II title.
"I don't think it's going to hit us until tomorrow to be like 'wow, we really did get the first (division title in program history)," Dover senior Maxine Herman said.
Perhaps the lack of celebration is because the team has bigger goals in mind.
"Yeah, we do," Herman said. "We have a lot bigger goals. Our next step is counties, districts and I want to make it to states. I have a lot of goals for us, actually. High hopes."
That's not to say Dover took Northeastern lightly under the lights Tuesday, although it appeared that way in the opening moments. The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead a little more than 11 minutes into the contest when junior midfielder Coryn Moyer dropped a pass behind the Dover defense to sophomore Sawyer Patrick, who drilled it past Dover senior goalie Marcie Gerrick (three saves) to give Northeastern its first lead of the game.
A lot was on the line for the Bobcats (12-2 overall, 10-2 division), who have already set a program record for most league wins in a season. A victory over Dover (15-0, 11-0) would've guaranteed the Bobcats at least a share of the division title, something the program has never attained. Northeastern also aimed to avenge a 6-0 loss at Dover two weeks earlier.
"We came in thinking we were gonna win possibly, and we just took it easy on them. We shouldn't have," Herman said. "And then when they got the first goal we were like 'they really are here to play, we got to step it up a bit.'"
It proved to be Northeastern's only lead of the night. Dover evened things up four minutes later when sophomore Maddy Miller booted in a goal from 30 yards out to the top left corner of the net. Tied at intermission, Dover took its first lead 15 minutes into the second half on a header by Herman off a pass from the end line by sophomore Brooke Firestone.
The teams traded goals from there until Firestone nailed the final goal with 13:29 remaining on Herman's second assist of the night. Northeastern sophomore keeper Brenna Schroter made 14 stops. Dover outshot Northeastern, 18-5.
Following their final regular-season league game at home Thursday against York Suburban (7-6-2, 5-4-2), the Eagles will attempt to win the league tournament title for the second year in a row. Dover came out of nowhere last year to win the tournament after finishing third in the division. The Eagles then lost to top-seeded Wilson in the second round of the District 3-AAA tourney. Dover entered Tuesday ranked No. 4 in the latest District 3-AAA power rankings.
"We'll have time to reflect on (accomplishments), this is just not the time," Dover coach Bret Altimore of winning the division. "It's nice and it's great. But it's a million years ago now. It happened 20 seconds ago but now it's a million years ago. It doesn't mean anything. We need to move on. And plus we have a very tough York Suburban team (Thursday) that will effect our (district) power rankings."
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
CENTRAL 0, RED LION 0 (2OT): At Red Lion, after 40 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, neither team was able to find the back of the net. Each team's goalie stopped 10 shots apiece (Jordan Gebhart for the Lions and Hannah Shade for the Panthers). With the tie in the York-Adams Division I contest, Central moves to 7-1-1 in the division and Red Lion goes to 6-2-2. Dallastown is tied with Central for the top spot in the division at 7-1-1. The Wildcats and Panthers each have one division game remaining. Central faces South Western (4-5-0) on Thursday, while Dallastown faces Spring Grove (1-7-0) on Wednesday.
YORK SUBURBAN 3, SUSQUEHANNOCK 2: At Suburban, Hannah Kowalewski had a first-half hat trick for the home team. Rachael Miller and Melissa Lynch scored for the Warriors. Pagie Grossman made eight saves to get the win in goal, while Ashley Store had nine Susquehannock saves.
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.