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Central York works OT to sew up York-Adams Division I girls' soccer title

PATRICK STROHECKER
YorkDispatch


The Central York girls' soccer team would've liked to end its game against Spring Grove in regulation.

All that mattered, however, was the end result.

Bri Hackos and Bre Sgrignoli combined on a beautiful give-and-go in the fourth minute of extra time, with Hackos taking the return feed down the left wing, cutting inside and burying a low shot into the back of the net. The goal gave the Panthers' a 2-1 victory over the Rockets and assured them that they wouldn't have to share the York-Adams League Division I title this year.

"I missed so many times during the game and I was just done with that and I just wanted to make it for once," Hackos said. "So, I had that in my head as I was dribbling."

The result was a well-deserved one for Central York (10-2-0 Division I), which controlled the play for the majority of the game, outshooting Spring Grove, 21-4.

Slow start: It wasn't necessarily the start the Panthers wanted. But, it was one that, perhaps, they needed.

Of the two teams, the Panthers were the one that had more riding on the game. However, it was the Rockets (6-4-1 in Division I) who came out strongest.

In just the second minute of play, Spring Grove stunned everyone, except itself, by scoring first. Moriah Morton played a ball across the top of the box. After deflecting off a Central defender's head, the ball found its way onto the foot of freshman Maddyson Miller. Miller did the rest, connecting on a beautiful strike that curled in off the far post and in the net, giving the Rockets a surprising 1-0 advantage.

"It put us in a panic mode," Central coach Liz Critchfield said. "It just made us scatter-brained and stuff like that and it's just like we panicked until (Sgrignoli) scored that goal."

Panicked or not, the goal kick-started the Panthers. From that point forward, Spring Grove had a hard time even gaining possession in its attacking half, let alone trying to extend its lead.

No matter how dominant its play was, however, Central still needed to find the equalizer. Finally, it did in the 25th minute when Sgrignoli corralled an Ally McCabe free kick and guided the ball into the yawning net. The goal brought the game back level and was her fourth goal in the last two games and 19th in her sophomore season.

"I always end up in the right spots," she casually laughed off. "I'm able to keep my composure a lot."

The game entered the halftime break tied, 1-1, but as the second half began, it was much of the same dominance from the Panthers. In the 63rd minute, Central's relentless attack looked to finally get rewarded, but two hit posts in a matter of seconds gave off the impression that maybe one goal would be all the Panthers would get.

Once the game got into extra time, however, it didn't take long for Central to finally break through, needing just four minutes for Hackos to give her team the win it desperately sought.

No sharing: The victory assures the Panthers that they won't have to share the Division I title this year, which they have to do for the past couple years with Dallastown. It was the goal the team set out to achieve when the season began in August and now has been fulfilled.

"I think it's pretty big for our team because I know we're pretty big rivals with Dallastown (which is 8-1-2 in the division) and a bunch of other teams are close," Hackos said. "And I think winning the division finally sets us apart from them."

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com.