EMIGSVILLE — While losing is never a fun endeavor, the Central York field hockey team is putting some of the lessons from a tough weekend to good use.
Those lessons were apparent on Wednesday, Sept. 20, when the Panthers played host Red Lion in clash of York-Adams Division I unbeatens.
Central played a nearly flawless game against the Lions. The Panthers used their speed and skill to their advantage while disrupting the flow of a vaunted Red Lion attack. Sophomore Abby Lamison scored a pretty goal early in the first half to put her team ahead for good. Lamison added another for good measure in the second half, helping Central York claim an impressive 3-0 triumph.
Both teams are now 6-3 overall. Central is 5-0 in the division, while Red Lion fell to 5-1.
“We played real well,” Panthers coach Lori Livingston said. “We were aggressive, we cut back for the ball and we did much of the stuff that we talked about doing in practice (Tuesday).”
Since dropping a pair of games during the Hershey Tournament to Penn Manor and Manheim Township over the weekend, Livingston’s club used some of the experiences from those contests to put together a banner division week. After beating perennial D-I heavyweight Dallastown, 1-0, Monday, Sept. 18, the Panthers knocked off another York-area power Wednesday.
The gauntlet of tough competition, however, won’t end with the victory over the Lions. Central will have to regroup and continue its upward trajectory against another rival in New Oxford on Thursday, Sept. 21. Originally scheduled to be played Friday, Sept. 22, the game had to be moved to Thursday due to a conflict with the Central York football home game against Northeastern that night. The Colonials are 3-1-1 in the division.
“New Oxford is always tough,” Livingston said. “They got us last year when they had Kaelyn Long and I hear that they have plenty of decent players back again this year.”
The Colonials, however, will need to be leery of taking on a Panthers side that seems to be clicking on all cylinders. If Monday’s win against Dallastown was a big boost to the team’s morale, beating Red Lion rather handily will only add fuel to that fire.
“I know that we’ll keep the energy we had in this game and bring that again (Thursday),” Central York senior Shae Strange said. “I think we’re ready for it.”
Strange should know. She’s one of the team’s captains as well as a stalwart in the midfield. She's one of the primary reasons that Red Lion’s attack was unable to gain any type of traction.
“She’s the one out there taking whacks from the defense,” Livingston said. “And we’re kind of short-handed defensively, so we really need that from her.”
Red Lion coach Carol Gillmen gave the Central defense a lot of credit for her team’s issues offensively.
“I think they really disrupted our passing game,” Gillmen said. “And that’s a big part of field hockey — possessing the ball and being able to pass. I felt like we just kept trying to go through a double-team or triple-team instead of passing around it. It’s a lesson that we’ll need to learn from.”
While Strange is somewhat modest about her own skills as a player, the Central standout is well aware that her upbeat attitude is something her team needs to feed off of during big games.
“I just try to keep the motivation up,” she said. “I know that some people can get down if we’re losing 1-0 and they kind of hang their heads. So it’s my job to keep everyone up in spirits. I might not be the most skilled player on the field, but I know I can keep our team morale up.”
Kyra Heap scored the final goal for the Panthers with 8:10 left. Heap also assisted on Lamsion’s goal in the first half.
Central held a 6-1 edge in shots on goal while each team earned four penalty corners.
Dallastown 5, Spring Grove 0: At Spring Grove, Madi Strayer, Rebecca Dodson, Caroline Dallmeyer, Peru Audrey and Hannah Strathmeyer each scored for Dallastown. Spring Grove's Ashton Ball made nine saves. Dallastown won the JV match, 4-0.
Kennard-Dale 5, York Suburban 0: At Fawn Grove, Riley Chandler led the Rams by recording a hat trick. Morgan Bowings scored two goals, while Emma Lucas added two assists. McKenna Channell and Lindsay Dell each added one assist. K-D won the JV match 1-0.
Northeastern 3, Dover 1: At Dover, Alyssa Drake scored twice and Shannon Kelly added the other Northeastern goal to help the Bobcats erase a 1-0 halftime deficit. Elizabeth Stover scored for Dover. Northeastern won the JV match, 1-0.
Susquehannock 3, Eastern York 1: At Wrightsville, Julia McKenzie had a goal and two assists to lead the Warriors. Ellie Lindauer added a goal and an assist, while Lauren Wojcik also scored. Addison Malone scored for Eastern off an assist from Nadeline Steigelman. The JV game ended in a 0-0 tie.
Dallastown 5, Dover 0: At Dover, the Wildcats received singles victories from Meghan Salaga, Morgan Kistler and Taylor Jones. Rene Williams and Victoria Gruen combined to win the No. 1 doubles match, while Grace Heird and Dani Schoeppner combined to win the No. 2 doubles match. Dallastown improved to 6-0 in York-Adams Division I and 9-0 overall.
York Suburban 4, Bermudian Springs 1: At York Springs, Alex Clancy and Lucy Smith picked up singles victories for Suburban, while Skylar Volz and Zoe Prats teamed up for a doubles win. Ini Ekaha and Kelly Sargen earned the other doubles win for the Trojans.
Central York 3, South Western 2: At Hanover, the Panthers received singles victories from Annika Rempp and Lily Richwine. Olivia Quartey and Daniella Feistritzer combined to win the No. 2 doubles match for Central.
Biglerville 2, Kennard-Dale 1: At Biglerville, Carly Stoner broke the 1-1 deadlock when she found the back of the net at the 19:13 mark of the second half to clinch the game for the Canners. For the Rams, Chloe Thoericht scored the lone goal.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.