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FIELD HOCKEY: Whitehead comes up big to help Central York earn key win vs. Susquehannock

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@yascores
  • Central York earned a 2-1 field hockey victory over Susquehannock on Tuesday.
  • Victoria Whitehead scored both Central goals, including the game-winner.
  • Central improved to 4-1 on the season. Susquehannock fell to 4-2.
Susquehannock's Natalie Badour defends Central York's Victoria Whitehead during field hockey action at Susquehannock Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Central went on to win 2-1. Bill Kalina photo

GLEN ROCK – A year after claiming the program’s first-ever York-Adams League playoff title, the Central York field hockey program entered the 2020 campaign with high expectations.

Losing only two seniors from last year’s championship squad, the Panthers aimed to defend that crown when this year’s season rolled around.

Unfortunately for coach Lori Livingston’s program, the Central girls won’t get that chance. There won't be any league playoffs because of the limitations in place this fall by the coronavirus.

While defending that crown was removed from their goal sheet, the Panthers' aim instead is to play for as long as they can. That possibility was helped greatly Tuesday when Central visited Susquehannock in a match-up of Y-A contenders. The Panthers emerged with a 2-1 victory.

Holding on to a 1-0 advantage through three quarters, the Panthers faced some adversity when Maggie Grim evened the score for the Warriors midway through the fourth stanza.

Whitehead shines: Grim’s tally, however, didn’t last long. Just 62 seconds later the visitors regained the lead for good when junior standout Victoria Whitehead notched her second goal of the contest for the 2-1 Central victory.

Players from Central York, Eastern York get first-team all-state field hockey honors

Central improved to 4-1 in Division I while Susquehannock dropped to 4-2 in D-II.

“I like our team,” said Whitehead, an all-state honoree as both a freshman and sophomore. “We have a lot of skill. Last year we were kind of the underdog team and I don’t think anyone expected us to do as well as we did. But this year we have most of our returning starters back and I think our team is really strong.”

There is little doubt that Whitehead is a large part of that strength. With a combination of skill and speed, the Panther junior is a handful for opposing defenses.

“She should have had a third goal there at the end if the goalie didn’t take her out,” Livingston said. “And she’s coming off an injury where she didn’t play the first couple of games for us.”

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While that injury, which Livingston said was to her hamstring, has healed, Whitehead still paid a bit of a price for her performance. The Panthers forward suffered some scrapes on her knees and elbows after diving on the turf field at Susquehannock.

“It’s just a game,” Whitehead said with a smile.

Relishing responsibility: As one of the more experienced players on the squad this year, Whitehead relishes the responsibility as one of the team’s leaders on and off the field.

“Grace (Harrold), Emilee (Myers) and I all like being the leaders of the team,” Whitehead said. “I know that it really gives us a stronger motivation to help everyone just be the best players that they can be.”

Livingston is hoping that sense of motivation, as well as improvement, continues throughout the rest of the season as her team takes aim at earning one of the few District 3 Class 3-A playoff berths. Eight teams will make the 3-A field and Central currently sits at fifth in the power ratings.

“They have really stuck together all year,” Livingston said. “And even after we lost to (unbeaten) Dallastown (2-1 in overtime), which is a game we should have won, we came back the next night against Red Lion. It’s a bummer that there’s no league tournament, but I guess they want to get right into districts, which is where we want to be.”

Central will get a chance to avenge that loss to Dallastown on Oct. 29.

OTHER FIELD HOCKEY

Dallastown 4, York Suburban 0: At Suburban, Camryn Eveler scored two goals and Ava Markel and Sarah Bech added one each for the first-place Wildcats, who improved to 6-0 in D-I.

Eastern York 1, Hanover 0: At Wrightsville, Lily Campbell scored at 10:44 of the fourth quarter, assisted by Kendall Felix. Campbell got the rebound from Felix’s shot and drove it past Hanover’s keeper. Eastern leads D-III at 5-1.

South Western 3, Red Lion 2: At Red Lion, Elsie Ahrens led the Mustangs to the win by scoring two goals. Teammate Ella Baker also recorded a goal. For the Lions, Kennedy Bratton and Jenn Derouaux each scored one goal. 

New Oxford 8, Spring Grove 3: At New Oxford, Ally Mathis led the Colonials to the victory by recording a hat trick. Also for the Colonials, Carrie Bair scored one goal and added two assists, while Morgan Sauter scored one goal and added one assist. For the Rockets, Chloe Makibbin, Keirsten Smith and Grace Slenker each scored one goal. New Oxford is now 5-01 in D-II.

West York 6, Delone Catholic 0: At McSherrystown, Madge Myers and Morgan Myers each scored two goals for West York. Aly Sager and Jess Altimore had the other scores. Altimore, Madge Myers and Maggie Spadafora had assists.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.