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GIRLS' SOCCER: York Catholic clinches outright York-Adams Division III title

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
YorkDispatch

Sharing is a key part of the game of soccer.

Most goal scorers will freely admit that they couldn't find the net nearly as often without a great pass from a teammate.

The York Catholic girls' soccer team likes to share as much as any other team in the York-Adams League.

Still, the Irish weren't feeling especially great after completing their regular season with a 3-1 triumph over rival Delone Catholic Thursday afternoon. That victory improved the club's mark to 11-1 on the campaign in Division III.

But the Irish left the field thinking they'd have to share the division championship with Fairfield. The Irish fell to the Green Knights 3-2 on Tuesday, a loss that seemed to ensure that Coach Joe Nattans' side wouldn't be claiming the title outright.

"We wanted to win it outright," Nattans said. "And we let that opportunity slip by Tuesday night at Fairfield. So we both have 11-1 records and we'll tie for the division championship."

As it turns out, the opportunity didn't slip away, and the Irish won't have to share the title, thanks to the Biglerville Canners, who earned a stunning 2-2 overtime tie with Fairfield later Thursday night. That dropped Fairfield's final division record to 10-1-1, and gives York Catholic the outright championship. Biglerville entered that game just 5-6 in the division.

After watching the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays celebrate wildly after series-clinching victories this week, the Irish did everything but celebrate after walking off the field victorious on Thursday.

"It's still a great accomplishment," said Nattans, who is in his first season at the helm for York Catholic. "That's three years in a row for us, which is good. But it's subdued for two reasons. (One), we felt like we let something slip away Tuesday night. And two, we're focused on the county and district playoffs now, so that's our focus."

Liz Johnson, who eclipsed the 100-career goal mark earlier this season, didn't score Thursday. The Catholic University recruit did earn a pair of assists on her team's first and third goals.

Melanie Matthews, Courtney Nattans and Macayla Walsh each scored for the Irish, who took a 2-0 lead against the Squirettes into the break.

Delone managed to create a bit of intrigue when Teresa Pecher cut that deficit in half with 15 minutes, 15 seconds left in the contest.

Well intriguing to everyone except Nattans.

"I wasn't nervous at all," Nattans said of Pecher's goal. "I was pretty confident that they weren't going to let up another goal. Obviously when it gets to 2-1 we change our style of play a little bit, but we still try to attack."

Just more than five minutes later the Irish regained their two-goal cushion when Johnson centered a pass in the box for Matthews with 8:00 left on the clock.

"I did feel more confident that we'd end up with a third before they'd end up with a second," Nattans said.

Now the Irish will look to the league playoffs. They will face York-Adams Division II runner-up Dover at 9 a.m. Saturday at Gettysburg.

"Counties are tough," Nattans said. "We're a Single-A school, where we're playing AA and AAA schools. And as far as I know we haven't ever won a county game. So it's a challenge for us, but it's something that we're really looking forward to."

OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER

Northeastern 3, Spring Grove 1: At Manchester, Brittany Arentz led the Bobcats by scoring one goal and adding one assist. Also for Northeastern, Amanda Bentz picked up two assists, while Haley Updegraff and Camryn Burnham each scored one goal. Bobcats goalie Brenna Schroter stopped all nine shots to record a shutout. For the Rockets, Moriah Morton scored the lone goal.

Gettysburg 4, Kennard-Dale 1: At Fawn Grove, Abbie Winkelman led the Warriors by scoring two goals and picking up one assist. For the Rams, Madison Warfield scored the lone goal.

Dallastown 2, Red Lion 1: At Dallastown, the Wildcats won an overtime thriller. No other details were available.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.