GLEN ROCK — With nine of the 11 starters from last year's team having graduated, Susquehannock field hockey coach Tracey Kerr wasn't sure what to expect from the 2016 Warriors.
"We only have four seniors this year, and we were looking at a new division (the York-Adams League expanded from three divisions to four this year)," Kerr said. "I was hoping we could finish at the top of it (Division II)."
Kerr's hope has turned into reality.
Susquehannock clinched at least a tie for the Division II title with a 4-1 victory over West York on Monday. The Warriors, 8-2-0 in division play, have four matches remaining, three of which will count in the division standings. They have a three-game lead in the loss column over second-place South Western.
"They (the players) all stepped up," Kerr said. "Coming into division play this year, they just jelled."
The Warriors put on a dominating performance against West York.
Susquehannock fired 25 shots, but brilliant work in goal by West York's Chloe Smith (21 saves) kept the match from being a rout.
Brooke Morris opened the scoring for the winners at 15:03 of the first period. Madison Tomasic boosted the lead to 2-0 with a goal from in front at the 6:08 mark. Morris and Tomasic are seniors.
"Julia McKenzie, I passed it to her, and she drove it in (to the area around the cage)," Tomasic said. "It was really kind of lucky because I just stuck my stick in there, got a touch (on the ball) and it went in."
Eleanor Lindauer and Lauren Wojcik supplied the third and fourth goals for the winners. Wojcik is a freshman. Alyssa Renfro delivered West York's goal with 5:47 to play in the match.
"We weren't sure, losing so many seniors, how we would do this year," Tomasic said. "But we look pretty strong."
This year's players, for the most part, hadn't started together on varsity before, but they were hardly strangers on the field.
"All of our starters are juniors and seniors, and we've been playing together since sixth grade," Tomasic said. "That helps us a lot, plus we hang out together and have team bonding. We get each other pumped up for the games."
If the Warriors continue to play like they did on Monday, they'll do just fine in the remaining regular-season games.
"I thought we played pretty good," Kerr said. "We got passes through, and we created chances."
Dallastown 3, Central York 0: At Dallastown, Kiele Fullerton led the Wildcats with two goals. Molly Lohss added two assists, while Nicole Crumling scored one goal and Katie Doherty added one assist. The Wildcats held the Panthers to zero shots on goal. Dallastown improved to 9-0-0 in York-Adams Division I. Central is 5-4-0. The JV match ended in a 1-1 tie.
Red Lion 2, Northern York 0: At Red Lion, Hayley Taylor had a goal and an assist to lead the Lions. Emily Gillmen also scored, while Amy Maciejewski provided an assist. Kayleigh Ness made two saves to get the shutout in goal. The JV game ended 0-0.
Gettysburg 8, Kennard-Dale 1: At Gettysburg, Kailey Mixell had three goals and an assist to lead Gettysburg. Mixell is now Gettysburg's all-time leading scorer with a combined total of 163 points on 63 goals and 37 assists. She takes over for Katelyn Gormley (160 points, 55 goals, 50 assists). Mixell has 26 goals this season. With five more goals this year, she'll become Gettysburg's single-season leader in goals. Calie Swegon had K-D's score. Lauren Lisek had eight saves for the Rams.
New Oxford 5, Spring Grove 0: At New Oxford, Breanne Sauter led the Colonials with two goals. New Oxford won the JV match, 1-0.
Littlestown 3, Biglerville 0: At Littlestown, Alexis Morey had a goal and two assists to power Littlestown.
Hanover 3, Northeastern 1: At Hanover, Sarah Ginn led the Hawkettes by scoring two goals. For the Bobcats, Kylee Weire scored the lone goal, while teammate Kendra Meyer added one assist.
Bermudian Springs 7, Eastern York 1: At Wrightsville, Nicki Wolf led the Eagles with three goals and three assists.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.