MANCHESTER — While Dallastown and Bermudian Springs entered the York-Adams League field hockey playoffs as the favorites to meet up in the championship contest, little attention was given to Division II champion Susquehannock.
There was even talk that the Warriors didn't deserve entry into the event.
With that background, it's not surprising that Susquehannock was focused on gaining a measure of respect.
After Wednesday evening's York-Adams semifinal victory vs. Bermudian, it's probably safe to say that the girls from Glen Rock were able to achieve that goal, and then some.
The Warriors rallied from a 1-0 deficit midway through the second half when senior Brooke Morris scored two goals over a 2 1/2-minute span to spur Susquehannock to a 2-1 victory.
The Warriors (11-7-0) will face Division I champ Dallastown (15-4-0), an 2-0 winner over Littlestown, in the championship contest at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bermudian.
If some coaches had their way, Susquehannock probably wouldn't have had a berth in the tournament, despite a 9-4-0 record in Division II. The coaches' main gripe was that the Warriors were 1-4-0 against Division I teams.
“We heard all of it," Susquehannock field hockey coach Tracey Kerr said. "I know that we struggled with the D-I schools, but we should struggle with them because they're bigger than us. But we didn't lose terribly to them.”
So the Warriors had a chip on their shoulders heading into the event, and Kerr had a message for her crew.
“What we said to the girls is that they weren't just playing for Susquehannock, but they were also playing for all of the teams in Division II," she said. "There are five schools that you are representing tonight and that's what you are playing this game for tonight.”
It probably also helped that Kerr's crew was coming off a thumping by this same Bermudian squad just a couple weeks ago. The Eagles routed the Warriors 4-0 back on Oct. 6.
“Our girls really wanted this one," Kerr said. "We played them two weeks ago and we were just flat. We knew that we didn't play a good game.”
It seemed like more of the same after the teams played a scoreless first half. Bermudian took the lead early in the second half when Brooke Zehr scored to put the Eagles ahead 1-0.
The Division II champs, however, stepped up their play to help turn the tide. All it took was a three-minute stretch to flip things around. Morris scored twice after her team earned penalty corners. Both times Morris was able to rocket a shot from inside the arc into the cage.
“I had chills," Morris said. "We've been working on our corners a lot during practice and we've been trying to take advantage of that. And (both goals) were the same.”
As the final seconds ticked off, the Warriors celebrated what many would coin a big upset against a Bermudian team that entered the night with a 17-1 record.
There's no telling what type of celebration there might be if they knock off the Wildcats Thursday.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.