GLEN ROCK -- No one was happier than Alana Pietra to be playing on a turf field when a downpour hit in the first half of Thursday's York-Adams Girls' Lacrosse Tournament championship match.
Ten days ago, Pietra, Kennard-Dale's goalie, twisted an ankle when she stepped in a hole during a game played in the rain on a grass field.
Pietra missed two games following the injury, but there was no way she was going to sit out the title game.
The senior returned in time to help the Rams win the championship for the third straight year with an 11-7 victory over York Catholic. Since the York-Adams League began sponsoring lacrosse in 2009 (the title game didn't begin until 2011), Kennard-Dale has a sparkling 76-1 record against league opponents.
Pietra recorded 16 saves, including three from point-blank range with five minutes remaining in the match, and after the Fighting Irish had cut an eight-goal deficit to five.
"That rain was horrible, but at least, I didn't have to worry about a hole," said Pietra, who began her career as goalie while playing on a club team in Churchville (Md.) six years ago. "My coach came up one day, and said, 'Alana, you're going to be a goalie.' I said, 'cool.'"
The stops Pietra made on Thursday were against her former teammates. She transferred from York Catholic to Kennard-Dale this school year. (Pietra's sister, Abi, is on the Rams' team).
"It was very, very intense out there," Pietra said "They're a good team. It feels great to win the title. We played as a team, and we won as a team. I love these girls."
Kennard-Dale, which edged York Catholic by just one goal the last time they played in the regular season, bolted to a 6-1 lead in Thursday's game.
Nicole Black had a hat trick, and Haley Romoser delivered two goals during the opening burst.
The Rams led, 7-3, at halftime, and increased the advantage to 11-3 before York Catholic rallied with four goals in the final eight minutes.
"The difference (between the last regular-season game and (Thursday's) game, was attacking every ground ball and controlling draws," Kennard-Dale head coach Kelly Wetzel said. "Being aggressive was also important. We were very passive the last time we played them."
Romoser scored four goals for the Rams, who never trailed in the game. Black supplied three goals, and Morgan Day and Taylor Davis had two goals apiece. Black, Davis, Day and Danielle Markel each contributed an assist.
Black, a senior, who will play NCAA Division I lacrosse at LaSalle, has more than 500 total points for her career.
"Nicole's an all-around tremendous player," Wetzel said. "She probably caused three turnovers today. I'm very fortunate to have the group of girls that I do. We have so many players who contribute. If you try to shut down three of my girls, I can throw four more at you."
Wetzel and his players have the utmost respect for York Catholic, which has reached the last two tournament finals.
"Rob (York Catholic head coach Rob Linthicum) lives in our school district and is a club coach, too. The girls all know each other," Wetzel said.
Natalie Fiorenza scored three goals for the Fighting Irish, while Alexis China racked up a goal and three assists. Shannon Moore, Megan Bittner and Sarah Gabriele also had goals, and Jess Mazzur provided an assist.
Kennard-Dale improved its overall record to 19-1, and York Catholic slipped to 14-4.
Both teams will compete in the District 3 Tournament beginning on Tuesday. Kennard-Dale will be at home against Central Dauphin East (5 p.m.), and York Catholic will travel to Manheim Township for a 5 p.m. game.
"We haven't made it past the second round (of districts), so that's a goal for us," Wetzel said.
Asked if this year's title was different than any of the others, he said: "Alana's (Pietra) back, and she's going to be graduating from Kennard-Dale."
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at firstname.lastname@example.org.