RED LION — Dallastown field hockey coach Jeri Myers has picked up quite a few tricks over her lengthy career.
Myers used one of them to get her team pumped up before its big York-Adams League Division I showdown with rival Red Lion on Monday, Sept. 25.
It seemed to work. The Wildcats came away with a pivotal 2-1 triumph. The Wildcats improved to 5-1-1 in the division, while the Lions fell to 5-2.
With two starters out and one more questionable, Myers printed out small slips of paper with inspirational sayings on them. Monday’s quote was one from Alabama football coach Nick Saban who, much like Myers, has enjoyed a great deal of success over the years.
It read: “One thing about championship teams is they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.”
After suffering a disappointing setback at the hands of first-place Central York a week ago, the Wildcats and Myers were looking take down their rival. The visitors took the lead in the first half on a nice goal by Sarah Baker, but the home-standing Lions evened things up in the second half on a score by Casey Griffin, off an assist from Jordan Sleeth.
After a penalty stroke was awarded with 16 minutes, 5 seconds left in the contest, Dallastown senior Becca Dodson beat the keeper to put the Wildcats ahead for good. While Red Lion had a chance to tie it up with no time left on the clock, Dallastown defender Shreya Rajachandran killed the home team’s last effort with a block to cap the victory.
“We started two people that never started on varsity before,” Myers said. “They say ‘next man up’ but we say ‘next woman up.’ It’s always a hard-fought game between us and Red Lion.”
The Lions, who fell to Central as well last week, were hoping for their own kind of rebound Monday. Much like its 3-0 loss to the Panthers last Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Lions were unable to generate much offensively.
“Dallastown made their opportunity (on the penalty stroke) and we needed to make more opportunities for ourselves to tie the game up,” Red Lion coach Carol Gillmen said. “We did have our shot there right at the very end of the game, but when you’re behind, the other team has the advantage of trying to kill the clock.”
The Wildcats played without two starters, including keeper Ally Krout, who was sent home because of an illness. That opened things up for junior Piper Glattaker, who came up with five saves in the triumph.
Glattaker, however, did get a lot of help from defenders such as Rajachandran, who earned praise from her coach.
“Shreya is a cool-hand Luke,” Myers said with a smile. “She’s just very steady. She was our sweeper last year, but she moved up to center-back this year. She has a very steady stick and plays good defense.”
Rajachandran was the one who helped seal the victory with her efforts late in the game. The Lions earned a penalty corner with the clock near expiration. In field hockey, however, a penalty corner cannot be concluded by the game clock, so the hosts were able to get off a full play even though the horn sounded. When Rajachandran blocked the last attempt off a Red Lion player’s foot, the whistle sounded giving Dallastown the triumph.
“I just kept thinking, ‘they cannot get this’ and ‘they will not get this’,” Rajachandran said. “They passed our (first girl) and then I went in for the block tackle and it hit her foot. So that was the call.”
The Dallastown girls all came together around Rajachandran to celebrate in unison. The victory was important for many reasons — not the least of which is positioning for the York-Adams League playoffs. The fact that Dallastown grabbed the victory while short-handed made the victory extra sweet.
“We all know what being a champion is like,” Rajachandran said. “And overcoming adversity is really a big theme for us this year.”
Dallastown outshot the Lions, 8-5, but Red Lion held a 5-4 edge in penalty corners.
Fairfield 1, York Suburban 0: At Fairfield, Allison Crevier scored the lone goal of the match in the first half on a penalty corner. Teammate Bailey Selman picked up the assist.
Eastern York 3, Dover 0: At Dover, Addison Malone led the Golden Knights by scoring two goals. For the Eagles, Veronica Talton made 14 stops in goal. Dover won the JV match, 2-0.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.