Former York Catholic girls' lacrosse teammates Doyle, Mentzer reunite in college clash

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

It was but a year ago when Grace Doyle and Sydney Mentzer were leading the York Catholic girls’ lacrosse team to a York-Adams League title, a District 3 Class 2A finals berth and an appearance in the PIAA draw.

When Doyle and Mentzer reunited on the lacrosse pitch Saturday afternoon, the former Fighting Irish standouts were on opposite sides, as Doyle and her Salisbury squad visited Mentzer and her York College mates.

While lacrosse is hardly a sport in which one player wins a game against another, it was Doyle who claimed early bragging rights over Mentzer in the battle of high school teammates. The No. 6 Sea Gulls ended No. 8 York’s six-game winning streak, handing the Spartans their first home loss of the campaign by an 11-5 margin.

York Catholic's Grace Doyle, left, works to get around Twin Valley's Shannon Staples during PIAA District 3, Class 2-A girls' lacrosse championship action on Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at Central Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“Grace had a great game, especially on the draws,” Mentzer said. “I wish her nothing but the best the rest of the season.”

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Doyle won three draw controls as Salisbury held a 12-8 edge in the pivotal category.

While both Doyle and Mentzer took draws at York Catholic, the two teammates didn’t tussle on the draw Saturday and Doyle wasn’t about to get into what would happen if they did.

“She’s a great player, so it think it would have probably gone 50-50 either way,” Doyle said.

A large contingent of Salisbury fans were on hand in the stands at Kinsley Field for the contest, many of whom likely were there to see Doyle.

“It was a really good experience being here,” Doyle said. “Our coach prepared use really well this week.”

Clearly disappointed, Mentzer felt her team didn’t play its ‘A’ game in a matchup of highly-ranked programs.

York Catholic's Sydney Mentzer (10) against Twin Valley's Anna Kaplan (22) in the Class 2-A girls lacrosse title match in Harrisburg, Pa on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

“I feel like the team didn’t connect as a unit,” Mentzer said. “(Salisbury) obviously played a great game and I feel if we would have played at 100 percent that this would have been a better competition.”

Doyle gave credit the Salisbury coaches for getting the team ready for York in practice leading up to Saturday’s clash. To get ready for the Spartans' style of attack, the Sea Gulls ran similar plays and setups to get the squad familiar with what they thought they would see.

“We played defense the way they do,” Doyle said. “And I think that helped our offense be ready and we were able to expect what was coming.”

Salibury broke a 1-1 deadlock in the first period with a four-goal run spanning into the second stanza to take control. Mentzer scored York’s second goal to break that run, but the visitors tacked on four more tallies in a row to all but put the contest away.

In the past, the two sides played in the same league — the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) — but since York moved to the MAC Commonwealth, the two teams would only meet up again this spring if they met in the NCAA Division III tournament.