HERSHEY -- The best opportunity came with 6 minutes, 40 seconds to play in the first half.
Dover sophomore Payton Miller dribbled down the left sideline with Cumberland Valley senior defender Amy Elgin flanking her all the way. Five yards from the end line, Miller dribbled back to her right and ripped a shot toward the net.
Cumberland Valley freshman goalie Sydney Bruckner dove for the stop, but the ball got past her and rolled into a scrum of players behind her, where Cumberland Valley junior defender Delaney Liu booted the ball away to prevent a Dover score.
"It was phenomenal. If that ball goes in we're talking a different game right now," Cumberland Valley coach Seth Lehman said. "Just an excellent play by Delaney."
A goal there would've broken a scoreless tie and put No. 5 seed Dover in front of top-seeded Cumberland Valley. Instead, Cumberland Valley made the stop at the right time and answered less than five minutes later with a score just before halftime.
Cumberland Valley would go on to add a pair of goals late in the second half to emerge with 3-0 victory over Dover in a District 3-AAA girls' soccer semifinal Tuesday evening at Hersheypark Stadium between two previously unbeaten teams.
Dover (21-1) had a few opportunities to tie it up in the final 13 minutes of action. Senior standout Maxine Herman had her back to the net when she punted a shot backward over her head at the goal with 12:15 left on the clock. Four minutes later, teammate Brooke May put a shot on goal on a direct kick from about 30 yards out. But neither shot had a solid chance at going in.
Running out of time in the closing moments and looking to generate a few more opportunities, Dover coach Bret Altimore moved an extra striker up on offense. Cumberland Valley (21-0) responded with a swarming defense, took possession and dropped mid-field passes behind the Dover defense that led to two scores in the final 7:21 of regulation.
"Well we went to three strikers. We put another girl up top, so that's gonna leave us a bit more vulnerable in the back. And they took advantage of it," Altimore said.
Cumberland Valley outshot Dover, 9-4, and owned the advantage in corners, 7-1.
The most successful girls' soccer program in the 24-year history of the District 3 Tournament, Cumberland Valley is aiming to win its 13th district title.
With Dover's loss, the York-Adams League has yet to put a team in a district title game.
The York-Adams Division II and league tournament champs, the Eagles still move on to the PIAA Class AAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The top four teams from District 3 earn berths to the state tournament, which begins Nov. 5.
"It's bittersweet," Altimore said. "It's great. We're there for a reason. I don't want to go there and say 'Hey, we were a success because we made it to states.' We learned a lot from this game on what we need to improve."
--Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.