GIRLS' SOCCER: Susquehannock earns breakthrough District 3 triumph
SPRING GROVE — Getting past the second round of the District 3-AA girls' soccer playoffs has been a bit of a problem for Susquehannock.
Despite a string of successful seasons, those campaigns always seemed to end too early.
Maddy Mummert and her seven senior teammates were intent on putting an end to those demons on Thursday night at Spring Grove High School. The Warriors were taking on a Northeastern side that ended their York-Adams League championship aspirations in the first round. They were also battling recent history at Papermakers Stadium, the site of last year's season-ending setback.
But behind the diminutive Mummert, who scored both of her team's goals, and play in net by goalie Ashley Stone, who made six saves, Susquehannock was finally able to leave a district quarterfinal contest victorious, earning a 2-0 victory.
The No. 5 seeded Warriors (14-3-2) will square off against No. 1 seed Northern York (18-2) in Monday's semifinals. Northern beat No. 9 seed Middletown (14-6) on Thursday, 2-0. Northeastern, the No. 4 seed, saw its season end at 16-5-1.
"We didn't want to have that happen again," Mummert said of her team's disappointing history in the quarterfinals. "So we were really focused on the bus and really tried to stay prepared for the game."
That preparation paid off handsomely during a momentum-shifting six-minute stretch midway through the first half. Just more than 10 minutes into play, freshman Carly Attig found Mummert in the box for a go-ahead goal with 29 minutes, 19 seconds left. They hooked up again 5 1/2 minutes later to make it 2-0.
"That was pretty good," said a smiling Mummert of her two tallies. "But I couldn't have done it without my teammates."
Stone shines: While that may have been a nod to Attig, it also could have easily applied to Stone, who kept the Bobcats from getting back into the contest. Needing a boost to their offense, Northeastern opted to move defender Sawyer Patrick to midfield to generate more chances.
It worked to an extent. The Bobcats were able to actually earn six corners for the match, but whenever they got close, Stone and her defense was there to put an end to it.
"Maddy knocks them in and our defense and Ashley keeps them out," Susquehannock coach Pat Brubaker said. "That seemed to be our winning formula tonight."
Freshman comes up big: One thing that the Warriors focused on was stopping Northeastern's Amanda Bentz. The Bobcat playmaker is often the one who sets up her forwards for goals, but Brubaker gave the tough job of slowing her down to another freshman, Emma Lonas.
The risky decision — considering that Lonas hadn't marked an opponent's playmaker during the season — paid off.
"Emma did a great job," Brubaker said. "She's quick and she's feisty, so I felt she was best suited for that task in terms of the girls on our roster. I had hoped at some point during the season to try it, but we just never had the right opportunity. So tonight was the first time that we tried it and I felt that she did a really good job."
Aiming for states: There's little doubt that the bus ride back to Glen Rock will have a decidedly different mood Thursday for the Warrior girls. While they will cherish their accomplishment, they have an eye toward becoming the first team in school history to make the state tournament. Of the four semifinalists, three will advance, meaning Susquehannock is guaranteed at least two chances to clinch a berth.
"If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that we would have come this far considering all the seniors from last year that we lost, I wouldn't (believe you)," Brubaker said. "But these girls have worked really hard, showed a lot of guts and composure."
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
York Catholic 3, Wyomissing 2: At York, the Irish stormed back from a 2-0 hole to move to the District 3-A girls' soccer semifinals. Elke Cacchione scored two goals to give Wyomissing the early lead. Liz Johnson scored an unassisted goal to make it 2-1 at halftime. Johnson then tied it up off a free kick in the second half. With 8 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game, MaCayla Welsh scored the game winner off an assist from Johnson. Amelia Strayer had eight saves to get the win in goal. The No. 2 seed Irish improved to 13-4-0. No. 7 seed Wyomissing fell to 10-8. York Catholic will now face a familiar foe in Monday's semifinals — Fairfield. The Green Knights outlasted Millersburg on Thursday, 4-3. No. 3 seed Fairfield improved to 15-2-1, while No. 6 seed Millersburg fell to 14-6-0. York Catholic and Fairfield split two York-Adams Division III contests this season.
Fairfield 4, Millersburg 3: At Fairfield, Hannah Logue (two goals, assist), Sarah Heinbaugh (two goals) and Katlyn Krietz (seven saves) paced the Green Knights.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.