HERSHEY — A missed pass deflected off the stick of Manheim Township's Sarah Svetec, bounced off the ground in front of the Kennard-Dale goal and seemed to be on its way to being easily swatted out of the air by K-D goalie Emily Deaver.
Instead, the ball deflected off the stick of Deaver and flew past her into the back of the net. The crazy goal put Manheim Township up by four scores in the first half of a District 3 girls' lacrosse semifinal at Hershey High School.
Deaver responded by whacking her stick against the goal post, releasing a bit of frustration on the net, after watching a score that shouldn't have been. The play would be just one of many frustrations for the Rams on Tuesday, when they went on to lose to Manheim Township, 16-11.
"We didn't show up to play today," K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said afterwards. "It was that simple. Manheim Township worked hard for everything they got but we didn't show up."
The five-time defending Lancaster-Lebanon League champion, Manheim Township (20-2) continued its dominant run in district play with Tuesday's win. The Blue Streaks have yet to lose a district tournament game since the event began in 2009. A year ago they beat K-D in the district title game, 14-10.
Manheim Township now moves on to Thursday's championship game at Hersheypark Stadium, while K-D (20-3) will aim to keep its season alive in Thursday's District 3 third-place game at Lower Dauphin Middle School at 5 p.m. The Rams will face No. 4 seed Cumberland Valley (17-3), with a berth in the PIAA tournament on the line. The Rams are looking for the program's third berth in the state tournament. Cumberland Valley lost in the other semifinal to No. 8 seed Lancaster Country Day, 11-9.
Missing: K-D's chances of winning Tuesday were aided a bit when the Rams learned Manheim Township was without nearly half its starters, including a pair NCAA Division I recruits and a NCAA D-II recruit. Manheim Township coach Mark Pinkerton declined to say why some of his players were not in action but did give a 30-second statement on the matter to reporters after the game before walking away.
"All I can tell you is considering the players we didn't have on the field I'm proud of the effort of a relatively young team," Pinkerton said. "Eight sophomores and one freshman were starting out there. Credit to Kennard-Dale for a really well-played game and we're happy to be moving on to Thursday. That's all I got."
K-D, the York-Adams League Division I champion and league tournament runner-up, had the upper hand early, going up 1-0 and 2-1 on a pair of scores from freshman Emmie Dressel, who finished with a game-high seven goals. Dressel has been called upon recently to replace the loss of junior Lyndsey Duty, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament near the end of the regular season. Duty, one of the team's top scorers, actually underwent surgery to repair the ligament early Tuesday and was seen sitting in a wheelchair on the sidelines at the game.
Manheim Township's stifling defensive pressure kept the Rams' other top player, junior Morgan Day, under control. After tallying nine goals and four assists in last week's district quarterfinal win, Day was held to three goals and an assist in Tuesday's loss.
K-D tied the game, 3-3, in the opening minutes before Manheim Township scored four-straight goals and later led 10-6 at halftime. K-D pulled to within 10-7 and 12-9 in the second half but wouldn't get any closer.
Manheim Township outshot K-D, 20-17. Deaver totaled four saves.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.