DALLASTOWN — Over the weekend, the Central York field hockey team got a taste of playing against the best of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
While that taste was a little bitter, the weekend contests prepared the Panthers well for a battle against a York County power on Monday, Sept. 18, when they faced York-Adams Division I rival Dallastown on the turf at Wildcat Field.
Coach Lori Livingston’s club was outscored by a combined 13-0 in two losses at the Hershey Tournament against Penn Manor and Manheim Township on Saturday, Sept. 16.
On Monday, however, Central rebounded with a clutch performance against the Wildcats.
In what was a defensive struggle, the Panthers were the only team to find the net. That happened when Shae Strange’s cross was converted on a rocket of a shot by Bree Craley with 3:20 left in the first half.
While the home team dominated the stat sheet, the hosts were unable to find the net as Central York prevailed 1-0.
The Panthers improved to 4-3-0 overall with the triumph while Dallastown fell to 4-3-1. In the league, however, Livingston’s club moved to 4-0-0, with the Wildcats dropping to 3-1-1.
“Everyone measures themselves up to Dallastown in the (York-Adams) league,” Livingston said of the Wildcats, who have won four of the last five league tournament crowns. “We had two tough games on Saturday at Hershey, and we had to play Penn Manor and Manheim Township and they’re two of the top teams in the Lancaster league. It’s tough to come back after those games and come here and to play against another tough team.”
Getting that big goal from Craley in the first half allowed Livingston to have her team take a more defensive posture in the second half. The result was a sustained surge by the Wildcats, who held an edge in possession time throughout.
“Once you get up 1-0 all you have to do is play defense,” Dallastown coach Jeri Myers said. “That’s all they were doing … just trying to keep it out (of the net).”
The Panthers had that luxury because of the stick of Craley. Coming off their lone penalty corner of the contest, Strange was able to get the ball to Craley, who unloaded a wicked shot. Initially the goal was credited to Strange on a tip, but Craley let her coach know exactly how it happened.
“Shae passed it to me and I hit it between the goalie’s legs,” Craley told her coach. “Shae didn’t even touch it.”
Converting on a corner opportunity is one of the areas of focus that Livingston has been driving home with her squad. They worked on it in the preseason and that work seems to be paying off as the schedule moves closer to the midway point.
“I always feel pretty confident that if we can get a corner that we can get a pretty clean stop (of the pass) and a good shot off,” Livingston said. “And if we do that we have a chance to score.”
Myers feels similarly. The veteran coach, however, has been struggling to get her relatively young squad to take full advantage of those opportunities.
“We’re going to have to keep working harder at practice,” Myers said. “There are definitely things that I am asking them to do that we still are not doing yet.”
While the victory was important for the Panthers in the division standings, the road for the rest of the week isn’t much easier. Central will host Red Lion (which is unbeaten in Division I) on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and New Oxford (which tied Dallastown over the weekend) on Friday, Sept. 22.
Dallastown claimed a 7-2 edge in penalty corners and a 3-2 edge in shots on goal. Central York goalie Emily Smith earned the shutout by recording all three saves.
Susquehannock 3, West York 0: At Glen Rock, Lauryn Wojcik led the Warriors by scoring two goals. Abby Grimm scored one goal, while Kenna Hancock, Ellie Lindauer and Julia McKenzie each picked up one assist. Susquehannock won the JV match, 4-0.
York Suburban 6, York Country Day 1: At Suburban, Serena Andricos scored three goals and assisted on another to lead the Trojans. Alex Loggins added two goals for the winners, while Caitlyne Mackin also scored. Olivia Wise had four assists. Skyy Reisinger scored for YCD. Suburban won the JV match, 2-0.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com