LANDISVILLE -- Moral victories are nice, but what the York Catholic girls' soccer team really wanted was a real one Thursday afternoon in a District 3-A quarterfinal contest against Harrisburg Christian.
The Fighting Irish played York-Adams Division I champ Dallastown (16-5) tight in a York-Adams League first-round playoff loss two weeks ago. They also kept it close against Division III winner Fairfield (14-3) in a pair of setbacks during the regular season.
What they hadn't done all year was beat a team with a winning record ... until now.
The Irish thoroughly dominated their opponents from the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference throughout the 80-minute contest. Both Kayla Ilyes and Natasha Vadas scored a pair of goals as York Catholic rolled to a 5-0 shutout of the Knights (10-4-1).
The fifth-seeded Irish (13-6) will face top-seeded Tulpehocken in the semifinals at a time and place yet to be determined on Monday. The Trojans (19-1-1) defeated Camp Hill by a 5-0 margin Thursday.
Not surprisingly, York Catholic coach Ryan Luckman was pleased.
"We had competed against teams with winning records during the season," he said. "Sure we gave Dallastown a great match, but we still hadn't gotten over that hump of beating a team with a winning record. So it was nice."
Luckman's squad so thoroughly controlled the contest that it held Harrisburg Christan without a single shot on goal all night. The Irish head coach, however, pointed out that the Knights were playing without one of their top players.
"They lost one of their girls (Creslyn Van Dyck) with an ACL injury the other night," Luckman said. "But still it was nice for us to come out and show that we can beat a team with a winning record because we're going to play very good teams with winning records the rest of the way."
Kathleen Johnson got the Irish on the board with a goal in the fifth minute. Johnson, who also registered an assist for the night, made an aggressive play on a bouncing ball in the box and headed it past the Knights' keeper.
Vadas scored her two goals around Ilyes' pair, the final one capping off the scoring with 24:39 left on the clock, as York Catholic was able to take advantage of some open space in the offensive zone.
"They tried to play tight (defense) in the middle," Luckman said. "And we were able to use the space outside and once we got past that last defender, the middle was wide open."
The Irish registered 13 shots on goal and held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks for the night. Goalies Hannah Laslo and Maddie Dormer teamed up to record the shutout.
-- Ryan Vandersloot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.