DALLASTOWN — Dallastown High School has always tried to make athletic contests about more than just the game.
The school often holds Pink Out games in basketball, softball or other sports, to raise awareness for breast cancer. And, of course, they have Senior Nights.
Thursday afternoon the school took things a bit further — Senior Teacher Appreciation Night. Some fans were confused when they saw gift bags and flowers near a tent on the far side of the field. It couldn't be Senior Night already, they wondered?
No, it was time for the many seniors involved with the Wildcat girls' soccer club to bestow tokens of appreciation on teachers who had made a difference in their lives.
While Coach Scott Austin's girls were very generous during the post-game ceremony, those girls weren't nearly as giving beforehand. The hosts squared off with Spring Grove in an early season clash between York-Adams Division I unbeatens. Both teams came in at 3-0 in the division, but the contest was lopsided nearly from the opening whistle.
The Wildcats scored a pair of goals less than 15 minutes into the festivities. They never gave the Rockets much of a chance after that. Hannah Larson, Ali Shick and Carsyn Gold each scored a goal and added an assist to lead Dallastown to an impressive 5-0 blanking of Spring Grove.
"The teachers work very hard for our student-athletes," Austin said. "And I think this is just a great way to pay respect back to those teachers and say: 'Thanks.'"
With their favorite teachers on hand to take in the game live, the Dallastown girls played like a team wanting to show off. Gold quickly opened the scoring just more than five minutes into things before Skyler Wilt doubled that advantage with 27:28 still remaining on the clock.
"I have to admit that the girls worked pretty hard and possessed very well," Austin said. "We finished with 10 corners and I'm very happy with the way we came out and attacked."
The Rockets put up a fight in both battles with the Wildcats a season ago, but were no match on a warm and sunny afternoon on Dallastown's home turf. The visitors managed just four shots on goal and one corner. The Wildcat defense was quick in stomping out any Rocket chances.
Austin said that was no easy task.
"Spring Grove is a very good team," he said. "We know that they have speed up top and we felt that last year. They actually scored first on us last year but we came back to win the game. They're a well-coached team, but we were prepared for them."
Austin is hoping his girls continue to play well as they continue to face some tough competition in the near future. A non-league contest against Northern York on Saturday precedes what is expected to be the first of two big showdowns with rival Central York next Tuesday. A couple more non-league tilts against Hempfield and Lower Dauphin also loom on the schedule.
"While I love the York and Adams County League and tournament, our eye is on the prize," he said. "We want to make a run in districts. That's our ultimate goal. That's the pinnacle of what we want to achieve and, sure, we'll want to go after states, but let's make a difference in districts and prove to the other leagues out there that the YAIAA is here to represent."
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
York Catholic 9, Biglerville 5: At York Catholic, Melanie Matthews recorded a hat trick for the Irish, while Liz Johnson added two goals and two assists. For Biglerville, Carly Stoner had two goals and an assist, while Coral Wagner, Ali Serro and Sam Schulteis each found the back of the net once.
Eastern York 1, Kennard-Dale 0: At Wrightsville, Rylie Toomey found the back of the net at the 38-minute mark of the first half to give the Rams all the offense they would need. Britney Heistand and Hannah Myers picked up an assist on the goal, while Sydney Kelly made seven stops in goal to record the shutout. For the Rams, Colleen Nersten made six saves.
Northeastern 4, South Western 2: At Manchester, Amanda Bentz led the Bobcats with one goal and one assist. Also for Northeastern, Gabby Versace, Brittany Arentz and Cristal Flores each scored one goal, while Amanda Leisses picked up one assist and Brenna Schroter made nine stops in goal. For the Mustangs, Abby Stevenson connected for both goals.
Susquehannock 3, Gettysburg 1: At Glen Rock, Susquehannock received one goal apiece from Maddie Stone, Taylor Tannura and Maddy Mummert. Teammate Emily Landis also picked up one assist.
York Suburban 1, Dover 1: At Dover, the Trojans struck first in the 29th minute on a goal by Kristen Copenheaver. The Eagles equalized shortly after, with Brooke Firestone leveling the score in the 36th minute. After that, the keepers took center stage, with Suburban's Taylor Morgan making 15 saves and Dover's Tori Wantz stopping eight.
Central York 4, New Oxford 1: At Central York, Zaria Emswiler had a three-goal game for the Panthers. Central also got a goal from Faith Hatchard. Emily Myers scored the only goal for New Oxford.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.