MANCHESTER — The bar for success is set pretty high for the Dallastown field hockey program.
With each new York-Adams division and league title, the pressure on the current club to live up to those high expectations can become heavy.
Such has been the case with the 2016 edition of the Wildcats. After capturing the league title a season ago, anything less than that would be a disappointment for Coach Jeri Myers’ outfit.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, that pressure was somewhat relieved Wednesday evening in the York-Adams League playoff semifinals at Northeastern High School. Taking on a surprisingly game squad in Division IV champion Littlestown, Myers’ club was able to execute just enough on a multitude of chances to claim a 2-0 triumph.
The victory sets up a showdown for the league crown Thursday evening at Bermudian Springs High School at 6:30 p.m. against Division II champion Susquehannock, a surprise 2-1 winner over Bermudian in the other semifinal.
“You know with Dallastown … we always kind of get there,” said Dallastown’s Molly Lohss, who scored both of her team’s goals. “So you kind of want to keep up with that.”
Lohss gave her team the lead just under seven minutes into play when she converted on a penalty stroke.
For much of the rest of the first half it looked as if that tally would be just the first of many. Dallastown was able to possess the ball in the offensive zone for a vast majority of the time. The number of shots and penalty corners grew, yet the Wildcats could not muster any more goals.
So it remained a one-goal contest late into the second half before Lohss deflected in a rebound with 8:40 left to make it 2-0.
That goal helped Myers breathe a sigh of relief after her team was agonizingly close on many other previous opportunities.
“Our execution on corners was not good,” Myers said. “One day we’re awesome and the next day we’re stinky. And it all depends on the inserter, and the very first pass is the critical one. And it’s hard to get that shot off when you have someone racing after you. If you have a bad inserter or a bad touch, the whole corner is basically swamped in by it.”
That lack of execution by the Wildcats was in contrast to Thursday’s opponent, Susquehannock, who scored both of its goals off of well-executed corner chances.
Thursday, however, is a different day.
“We’re going to play better as Dallastown field hockey,” she said. “And that’s all that we have to worry about.”
Dallastown earned a 4-0 victory over Susquehannock on Sept. 8 in their only meeting this season.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.