West York girl's soccer poised to make another run: 2022 fall sports preview

Dante Green
York Dispatch

Teams don’t just wake up contenders. One year gives a team enough playoff experience and confidence to go even further the next season.

The West York girl’s soccer team is hoping this is that season. After finishing 11-5 last fall and returning most of the previous year's roster, the Bulldogs say they’re ready for a deep run. 

After a strong regular season, the team lost in districts to Mechanicsburg, a loss that head coach Jack Denney said gave them good experience and brought them closer as a team. 

“We have a year under our belt with no losses on our roster, and with the postseason experience we are in better shape as a team,” Denney said.

West York girls’ soccer head coach Jack Denney during Media Day at York Newspaper Company in West Manchester Township, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Denney said his team has also elevated their fitness in the off season.

Their 6-0 defeat wasn’t an easy game to finish on, but it was a step in the right direction for a team that has high aspirations. West York boosts a roster of first and second team Division II all-stars and has plenty of talent to compete with any team in their conference. The Bulldogs have more depth this season, with young newcomers expected to play a role off the bench. Freshman midfielder Caydance King is a name people should look out for. 

West York senior girls’ soccer midfielder Rylee Cessna during Media Day at York Newspaper Company in West Manchester Township, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The seniors on the team said they have important goals for the year ahead. 

“We want to bond as a team and play as hard as we can,” said midfielder Rylee Miller. 

They said with their last season coming up they realize they have similar goals. 

“We want to go to counties again and further in distracts,” said Rylee Cessna.

Division II: A key development for every team in the conference is Northeastern moving down from Division I to Division II. Northeastern (12-6-1 last year) ended their season in the District 3 Class 4-A playoff game against No. 5 seed Penn Manor. 

Denney said he believes the division will come down to his team and the newcomers. 

Eastern York also will be tough competition for anyone in the division. Division II coach of the year Chrissy Crumling led the Golden Knights to the division's York-Adams League title game and a 14-5-1 overall record. Eastern finished second in D-II at 8-3-1 and also earned a District 3 Class 2-A playoff berth. The Golden Knights only won one game in 2020, so their turnaround was unexpected. 

West York senior girls’ soccer midfielder Rylee Miller during Media Day at York Newspaper Company in West Manchester Township, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Still, the Bulldogs said they aren’t worried about who they play but just focused on playing as best as they can. 

“Winning as many games as we can. We lost games that we shouldn’t have lost. It came down to the final moments. We want to play better down the stretch,” said senior midfielder Jaelynn Small.

West York senior girls’ soccer midfielder Jaelynn Small during Media Day at York Newspaper Company in West Manchester Township, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Here's the capsule look at the team:

Team: West York Bulldogs

Coach: Jack Denney

2021 record: 11-5

Key losses: The team returns all of their key starters from a year ago. 

Key returns (Division II all-stars in bold)Jaelynn Small,Alyssa Murray, Paula Laracuente, Rylee Cessna, Leah Hersey, Ella Schmoyer, Rylee Miller 

2022 schedule (League games in bold): Aug. 22 vs York Catholic; Aug. 30 vs Red Lion; Sept. 1 at Muhlenberg; Sept. 8 at Northeastern; Sept. 13 vs Susquehannock; Sept. 15 vs Eastern York; Sept. 17 vs Kennard-Dale; Sept. 20 at York Suburban; Sept. 22 vs. Dover; Sept. 26 at Spring Grove; Sept. 29 vs Northeastern; Oct. 1 at Susquehannock; Oct. 4 vs. Eastern York; Oct. 6  at Kennard-Dale; Oct. 7 vs. Manheim Township; Oct. 11 vs. York Suburban; Oct. 13 at Dover.