RED LION – For the District 3 Class 3-A field hockey teams in the York-Adams League, there was little to no margin for error entering this week.
That was especially the case for Division I contender Red Lion.
Winners of six straight since a disheartening 5-1 defeat at the hands of rival Central York, the Lions just needed to extend that string to eight in a row to have a solid chance at cracking the top 12 in the district 3-A power ratings. That's imperative, since only the top 12 teams in those final ratings will make the 3-A district field.
That meant earning a key victory Monday afternoon against a New Oxford side that was looking to solidify its own district ambitions.
Playing just one solid half is no recipe for success. That’s something that coach Carol Gillmen’s side found out the hard way on the rain-soaked turf at Horn Field.
The Lions fell behind 3-0 early in the second half before mounting a furious rally to even the score with just more than eight minutes left. The Colonials, however, got the eventual game-winning tally with 5:18 left in regulation when Hannah Zimmer found the cage to propel New Oxford to a thrilling 4-3 victory.
Costly loss: The loss was devastating for Red Lion’s chances to make the district draw. The Lions fell to 11-6 overall and 9-3 in Division I after the defeat, leaving Gillmen’s squad in 14th place in the power ratings, one spot behind Central.
The loss also dropped the Lions a half game behind Central (9-2) in the D-I standings.
“We were slow and couldn’t connect or do anything in the first half,” Gillmen said. “But I give my team a lot of credit for coming back to tie it, but we seem to have these lulls where we’re not pressuring the ball and defensively we’re giving opponents too many chances.”
All the Colonials (10-7, 8-4 D-II) needed was one shot after the Lions came all the way back. The visitors got it when Zimmer, who opened the scoring in the first half, capped off a terrific effort with a big goal in the clutch.
Red Lion tried to even it up late, earning a corner opportunity with 80 seconds left. The Lions, however, were unable to drive the ball past New Oxford goalie Morgan Scott before a shot from about 10 yards out was deflected wide of the cage.
“Our forward line kept going and they generated all three goals to tie the game, but our play at the midfield needs to be better,” Gillmen said. “If we can’t possess the ball and make passes in the midfield, we just get shut down.”
Bittersweet setback for seniors: The setback was especially bittersweet for the Red Lion seniors, who had helped lead the club on the impressive six-game winning-streak. The Lions outscored the opposition by a 20-2 margin during the run to help forge a tie atop the division with the Panthers.
Now they'll need a victory over Susquehannock (10-5) in their regular-season finale Thursday in addition to some help with upsets of No. 12 Warwick (7-7) and No. 13 Central (9-7) to earn the final district berth.
“The way we came out today was definitely not the Red Lion team that we’ve created this year,” senior Kaiya Edwards said. “And at halftime coach gave us her very pumped halftime talk and we just realized that this wasn’t us.”
Coda Fisher scored to open the floodgates both on the scoreboard and in the stadium with just under 20 minutes left. Playing in a more driving rain, the hosts drew within a goal when Kennedy Bratton found the net just three minutes later.
Bratton also scored the game-tying goal with 8:37 left on the clock. The Red Lion sideline was understandably excited, but the momentum was short-lived. Zimmer was able to find the ball in the crease on a scramble to make it 4-3 in favor of New Oxford with 5:18 remaining.
“That is always disappointing,” Edwards said. “We came back like that (snapping her fingers), but we played hard.”
Regardless of how the district ratings turn out, the Lions assured themselves of a berth in next week’s Y-A draw as at least the No. 2 seed from D-I.
The win helped New Oxford solidify its position in the 2-A district field. The Colonials are No. 11 and 16 teams will make the 2-A district field.
OTHER FIELD HOCKEY
Eastern York 6, Gettysburg 0: At Gettysburg, the Golden Knights improved to 12-3-0 overall and 9-2-0 in York-Adams Division III.
Littlestown 3, Dover 0: At Dover, the Lady Bolts improved to 12-4-0 with the nonleague triumph.
Spring Grove 3, Mechanicsburg 0: At Mechanicsburg, the Rockets won the nonleague match, 25-10, 25-23, 25-13. Hailey Wolfe led the Rockets with eight kills and four digs. Also for the Rockets, Kaylyn Zeigler had four kills and 10 digs, Falyn McGlynn had six digs and six aces and Maddie Ruhland had 24 assists and three aces. Spring Grove improved to 10-3 overall.
Eastern York 3, Red Land 2: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights (8-6 overall) won the nonleague match, 25-12, 22-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-8. Sarah Moore led the Golden Knights with 18 kills, 11 assists and nine digs. Also for Eastern, Abby Smith had four kills, five aces, five blocks and five digs; A.J. Waltemyer had seven kills, 14 digs and three aces; and Alyssa Noll had 24 digs and four assists.
York Catholic 3, Bishop McDevitt 0: At Harrisburg, the Lady Irish got the best of their parochial rival, 25-12, 25-13, 25-11, to improve to 12-1 overall. The Irish are No. 2 in the latest District 3 Class 2-A power ratings. They are No. 4 in the state in 2-A according to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. The Irish were led by Madeline Walker (12 assists) and Hope Leavy-Gaskins (seven kills).
South Western 3, Carlisle 2: At Hanover, the Mustangs improved to 11-1 overall with the nonleague 25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 25-27, 15-7 win. South Western's leaders were Jacy Crouse (48 assists, 16 digs), Victoria Mullins (11 digs), Ali St Rose (35 kills, 18 digs), Makayla Dyson (13 digs) and Emma Filipovits (20 kills, 13 digs).
York Suburban 3, Gettysburg 0: At Gettysburg, the Trojans dominated, 25-15, 25-10, 25-7, to improve to 11-2 overall and 9-1 in York-Adams Division II. Suburban is No. 4 in the District 3 Class 3-A power ratings and is ranked No. 6 in the state in 3-A according to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.
Dallastown 3, Dover 0: At Dallastown, the Wildcats improved to 11-5 overall and 6-3 in York-Adams Division I. Dallastown is No. 12 in the latest District 3 Class 4-A power ratings. The top 16 4-A teams will make the district field.
Delone Catholic 3, Trinity 2: In a meeting of District 3 Class 2-A powers, the Squirettes prevailed, 24-26, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-9, to improve to 13-2 overall. Delone has won 13 straight. It was the first loss for Trinity (13-1). The Squirettes were No. 3 in the latest District 3 2-A power ratings. Trinity was No. 1. Delone is ranked No. 5 in the state 2-A according to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. Delone's leaders were Maddie Clabaugh (19 kills, 31 digs), Katie Kohler (43 assists), Brooke Lawyer (24 kills, nine digs) and Emma Schneider (29 digs).
Northeastern 3, Linville Hill Christian 0: At Manchester, Northeastern rolled, 25-17, 25-15, 25-21. The Bobcats were led by Lauren Kelly (six kills, five digs), Marissa Kipp (10 digs), Ashley Klinger (five kills, five digs), Sadie Schantz (eight kills, five digs), Ronni Wolfgang (seven kills) and Jade Shellenberger (18 assists).
York Suburban 4, Susquehannock 3: At Suburban, the Trojans handed the Warriors their first York-Adams Division II loss. Suburban improved to 11-6 overall and 7-4-0 in D-II. Susquehannock fell to 8-4-2 overall and 8-1-2 in D-II. Nyah Hood had three goals and an assist for Suburban, which also got a goal from Isabel Coy. Ashlyn Wegner, Mia Dills and Emily Rathell had Susquehannock's goals.
Eastern York 4, Big Spring 0: The Golden Knights rolled to the nonleague win behind two goals from Mariah Bair and one each from Brooke Lehman and Hannah Sellers.
Seeded teams fare well in Y-A doubles: It was a good day for the seeded teams at the York-Adams League girls' tennis doubles tournaments on Monday.
The top four seeds made the 2-A semifinals, while the top three seeds earned semifinal spots in 3-A.
The 3-A semifinals will pit the top-seeded team of Meghan Salaga and Grace Heird of Dallastown vs. the fifth-seeded team of Sophie Lanius and Emma Hively of Red Lion; and the third-seeded team of Kasi Conjacks and Molly Socks of New Oxford against the second-seeded team of Rachel Haupt and Audrey Stewart of Central York.
The 2-A semifinals will pair the top-seeded team of Brianna Miller and Megan Hawkins of Kennard-Dale against the fourth-seeded team of Julie Rubelmann and Grace Maccarelli, also of Kennard-Dale; and the second-seeded team of Alisa Steele and Lexi Sanderson of West York vs. the third-seeded team of Madi Rollins and Olivia Roth of Delone Catholic.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.