DALLASTOWN — With eight returning starters, the Dallastown girls' soccer players and coaches think this could be a special season.
"This is the year we talked about for a long time," Head Coach Scott Austin said Tuesday afternoon. "We want to make noise in districts (the District 3 Tournament)."
Of course, Dallastown isn't planning to overlook any regular-season opponents.
The Wildcats want to win the York-Adams Tournament title after finishing second to Central York last season. The two teams met for the first time this season on Tuesday, and Dallastown's players walked off their home pitch following a 2-0 victory over the Panthers.
Both teams entered at 4-0-0 in York-Adams Division I action.
"I know it's early, but it (the victory) is important," Austin said. "It sets the tone, and it will make the game at Central even more exciting."
The Wildcats' defense hasn't given up a goal so far in league play, although the scoreless streak was almost broken when a hard drive by Central's Katie Lundy ricocheted off the crossbar at the 12-minute, 55-second mark of the first half.
"I thought that one was going in," Austin said. "Even if it did, it's a long game, and there was still a lot of time to play. We never panic, and I was confident we would score."
Austin's faith in his team was rewarded with 5:43 remaining in the opening half when Samantha Smith chipped the ball over the goalkeeper's head and into the net from around the 18-yard line.
"I'm not really sure where it (the ball) came from, it may have been a deflection," Smith said. "The keeper was out, and I tried to get it over her. That goal really got us pumped up."
Carsyn Gold supplied Dallastown's second goal early in the final half (34:56).
"(Skyler) Wilt dropped the ball off past the 18, and I hoped for the best when I shot," Gold said. "It was really important to get another one"
"One (goal) is great, two is outstanding," the Wildcats' coach said.
Smith and Wilt delivered the goals, and Dallastown's defense did the rest.
"I'm extremely proud of my defense," said Austin, who has been coaching the current Dallastown players since they were competing in a 6-and-under division. "My back four (Ali Shick, Natalie Gettle, Sierra Austin and Lyndee Anders) was the best (in the league) last year in not giving up goals. Last year, we (the defense) sat back a little too far. This year, we're pushing up. We don't want to run and chase, because that won't get you anywhere in districts. Our focus is on possession."
Dallastown's freshman keeper, Allison Hameier, recorded six saves to earn the shutout.
"These kids are hungry," Austin said. "We were out last night from 7:15 to 9 in the pouring rain practicing soccer."
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
York Catholic 6, Fairfield 2: At York Catholic, the Irish dominated in a battle of York-Adams Division III leaders. Both teams entered at 4-0 in division action. Liz Johnson poured in four goals for the winners, and added an assist. Tyler Baim and Melanie Matthews also scored for York Catholic. Matthews also had two assists for the Irish, while Marissa Duchek added one. Hannah Logue scored both of Fairfield's goals, while Moriah Logue had an assist. York Catholic outshot Fairfield, 41-9. Amelia Strayer had seven saves to get the win in goal.
Susquehannock 2, Dover 2: At Dover, Brooke Firestone rescued the Eagles twice, with late goals in each half, to secure a crucial tie with the Warriors. After Lauren Mancada put Susquehannock ahead 1-0 early in the first half, Firestone struck to even the score with three minutes left before halftime. Carly Attig had the Warriors ahead 2-1 in the second half, only to see Firestone even the score with nine minutes left to play. Susquehannock's Division-II leading record moves to 5-0-1, while second-place Dover goes to 3-0-2.
West York 5, Kennard-Dale 1: At Fawn Grove, Allie Becker and Elle Stine each scored a pair of goals to lead the visitors. Emma Tyndall rounded out the Bulldogs' scoring. Morgan Anderson found the back of the net for the Rams.
South Western 2, Red Lion 1: At South Western, goals from Taylor Geiman and Abby Stevenson helped the Mustangs defeat their guests. Page Frey scored Red Lion's goal.
Northeastern 3, New Oxford 0: At Northeastern, the home side took a 2-0 lead into halftime and added to that lead to take down the visiting Colonials. Heather Brinker and Celeste Workman scored for the Bobcats, while also getting an own goal from New Oxford. Colonials' goalkeeper Madisen Kling made 14 saves.
Gettysburg 5, Eastern York 3: At Gettysburg, the home team earned the win. Emily Bertram had a hat trick for Gettysburg. Haley Spyker, Hannah Myers and Emily Brumgard scored for Eastern.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.