DOVER -- For 63 minutes and 57 seconds Thursday night, the Eastern York girls' soccer team held its own at Dover.
Although the visiting Golden Knights didn't do much offensively -- getting just three shots on goal, none of which had a good chance at going in -- they used a stout defensive effort in the hopes of pulling out an upset win under the lights at Dover, last year's York-Adams League Tournament champion.
"Well, we're just so concerned with their offense," second-year Eastern York coach Brian Lyle said of Dover. "They're the top offense in our league this year. We came in tonight trying to shut that offense down. The only way we were gonna be in this game tonight was to do that. And it worked for three-quarters of the game."
Eastern York junior goalie Haley Heistand, one of five new starters for the Knights, made highlight stops throughout the game. So the final score, a 4-0 Dover win, made Lyle all that more upset. While it looks like a blowout on paper, Dover (4-0 in York-Adams Division II) didn't score until its 12th shot on goal with 16:03 left in the game, when sophomore Brook Firestone finally got one into the back of the net.
"We've really been strong this year defensively," Lyle said. "But we knew once Dover got that ball in the net, they (more goals) would come like crazy."
And come they did. Less than two minutes later, sophomore Maddy Miller booted a shot off of her right foot from 30 yards out to the top right corner of the net to make it a two-score game over Eastern (1-2).
"I take most of them (my shots) from out there," Miller said. "When I have a good shot I just need a half-step and if I can rip one I'll get it there."
Miller followed that up at the 9:50 mark by getting closer to the net and firing a shot from about 10 yards out. Heistand (11 saves) dove to her right for the deflection, but the ball went up into the back corner of the net to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Senior Zoey Workman got the final score with 2:41 left by bopping a header over the outstretched arms of Heistand for the final score.
Returning nearly every starter from a successful 2012 team, the Eagles are expected to make a deep postseason run again this year. But Dover coach Bret Altimore feels that challenge will be a bit more difficult than last season, when the Eagles may have caught some teams by surprise following a third-place, regular-season finish in the division. That point was made evident in Thursday night's hard-fought contest.
"This division is just so tight. Anybody can beat anybody. And then you think about the teams in Division I and Division III. ... to say that you're better (than another team), you can't do it," Altimore said. "I was happy with my girls' efforts. They kept plugging away. It took us (12) shots for one to finally go in."
Dover will next face Susquehannock on Saturday before Tuesday's showdown with division rival Northeastern (4-0). The Bobcats and Eagles are currently tied atop Division II. But Miller said her team will take the same approach, no matter the opponent.
"Every team is great, so we just have to come out hard every game wanting to win," she said.
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
NORTHEASTERN 4, WEST YORK 1: At Manchester, Logan Neiman's hat trick highlighted another Bobcats' victory. Neiman connected for all of her goals in an 18-minute span of the first half. Northeastern kept its York-Adams Division II record unblemished at 4-0-0. Sawyer Patrick also scored for Northeastern, and Elizabeth Bentz delivered two assists for the winners. McKenzie Gerrick provided West York's goal in the opening half.
CENTRAL YORK 10, NEW OXFORD 0: At New Oxford, the Panthers led 4-0 at the end of the first half and added another six in the second half to walk away for the easy York-Adams Division I victory. The game was delayed more than an hour because of rain. Central improved to 2-1-0 in the division. No other details were available.
YORK CATHOLIC 3, LITTLESTOWN 0: At Littlestown, the home team was no match for first-place York Catholic, which improved to 4-0 in York-Adams Division III. No other details were available.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.