Will this be the year that the Dallastown boys’ soccer team gets the better of York-Adams League Division I rival Central York?
That question will get answered Thursday evening when the two clubs finish up the regular season.
The perennial contenders battled to a scoreless tie in their first match-up of the season at Central York a few weeks ago. As a result, the Panthers and Wildcats are currently deadlocked atop the Division I standings with 9-0-1 records.
Thursday, they'll meet again, this time at Dallastown.
Getting one point for a tie may seem disappointing to most teams, but that certainly wasn’t the case for the Wildcats. For Dallastown’s current class of seniors, that tie marked the best result they've achieved against a Central team that has claimed the past three Division I titles.
“My seniors … this is the first time they’ve ever earned a point against Central,” Dallastown coach Matt Zimmerman said back on Sept. 22. “Here (at Central), there (at home) or anywhere. We’ve always lost to Central and this tie … it’s a nice step for us.”
Zimmerman’s crew, however, probably won’t be as satisfied Thursday with a similar result. To achieve one of their preseason goals of winning the division title, the Wildcats (10-4-2, currently seeded 13th in the District 3-AAAA ratings) will have to find a way to pull out a win against Central (13-2-1, seeded seventh in District 3-AAAA ratings).
One big difference between Thursday’s clash and ones the past three years will be venue. Dallastown plays most of its home games in the early afternoon on the grass soccer field behind the middle school. But Thursday’s clash is slated to be played under the lights and on the turf at Wildcat Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.
While playing under the lights at a stadium may seem like an advantage for the Wildcats, don’t expect the Central players or coaches to frown about it. In a strange sense, the Panthers seem pleased by it.
“Those 4 o’clock games … we tend to struggle in them,” Central coach Frank Lenno said. “We like to play under the lights.”
Before they get to Thursday's showdown, Central and Dallastown both have some business to take care of on Tuesday. Central plays host to New Oxford, while Dallastown plays at arch-rival Red Lion. The Wildcats would appear to have the tougher task. New Oxford is 2-8 in D-I contests, while Red Lion is 6-4.
Girls’ soccer: Dallastown (7-2-0) can clinch the Division I girls' soccer title with victories over Red Lion (7-4-0), New Oxford (0-9-0) and Central York (5-5-0) this week.
The Wildcats are tied in the win column with Northeastern (7-3-0) and Red Lion atop the standings.
Red Lion (11-5-0) is seeded ninth in the District 3-AAAA rankings, one slot above Dallastown (9-6-0). Northeastern (11-5-0) is seeded seventh in the District 3-AAA rankings.
Boys’ cross country: The Division I and Division II titles in the boys’ cross country races will be resolved Tuesday.
Division I leaders Dallastown (5-0) and Northeastern (5-0) will participate in a five-team meet at Fairfield.
Similarly, the top two teams in Division II, York Suburban (5-0) and Gettysburg (5-0), will take part in another five-team meet at Spring Grove.
The winner of the head-to-head showdowns will clinch their respective division titles.
Field hockey: Dallastown (11-0-0) can lock down the Division I title this week with at least one victory.
The Wildcats (12-3-0, currently seeded eighth in the District 3-AAA ratings) take on South Western (5-5-1) Tuesday.
Susquehannock (Division II, 9-2-0; 10th District 3-AA at 10-5-0 overall) and Littlestown (Division IV, 10-1-0; seventh in District 3-A at 11-3-1) have already secured their respective divisions.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.