Despite 3-A semifinal loss, Central York will battle on; other District 3 field hockey

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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Central York's Lauren Yarnish, left, works to the ball away from Cumberland Valley's Samantha Blocher during PIAA District III, Class 3-A field hockey semifinal action at Bobby Rahal Toyota Stadium at Eagle View Middle School in Mechanicsburg, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Cumberland Valley would win the game 2-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

MECHANICSBURG -- The Central York field hockey team was in uncharted territory Wednesday evening.

After all, no CY squad in history had ever advanced to a District 3 semifinal before. But that’s where the Panthers found themselves Wednesday, opposite a storied Cumberland Valley program in the 3-A bracket.

Despite their collective inexperience, the Central girls competed with the traditional powerhouse on its home turf.

In the end, however, second-seeded CV scored a 2-0 triumph because the Eagles found a way to take advantage of their handful of chances, while the Panthers could not.

The silver lining for the Central girls is that their season is far from over. The No. 6 seed in the bracket will play No. 4 seed Wilson (15-5) for third place in the district at 5 p.m. Saturday at Lower Dauphin's Kreiser-Hallman Field. Wilson fell 2-0 against top-seeded Lower Dauphin in the other 3-A semifinal.

Win or lose Saturday, the Panthers have already earned a PIAA berth by making the district final four.

“We were right there,” CY senior Emilee Myers said. “We just didn’t play together as a team as much as we needed to tonight.”

The Panthers (18-5-1) held a 6-3 edge in penalty corners and nearly cut into a two-goal deficit early in the fourth period. Central was able to get the ball near the cage on its corner but a shot from the right of the cage just sailed wide.

Myers, who recently committed to play at NCAA Division I La Salle next year, had an opportunity in the first half on a corner that was foiled by timing.

“I thought Emilee could have taken a shot there,” CY coach Lori Livingston said. “Grace (Harold) got her the ball, but (Myers) couldn’t get it off.”

Playing against high-caliber competition, getting those chances are few and far between. In Saturday’s historic triumph over Penn Manor in the quarterfinals, the decisive goal by Victoria Whitehead was scored on a similar situation.

“That was so nerve-wracking,” Myers said of her team’s 1-0 victory over the Comets in OT that punched CY’s first-ever state playoff berth. “It went into overtime and I can speak for the team here in that we just crumble in overtime. But we were determined and we wouldn’t be denied.”

Coming off the heels that big triumph, Livingston didn’t think her team had an emotional letdown against the Eagles (16-3).

“Saturday (Penn Manor) had way more corners than we did,” Livingston said. “But tonight we had more, but just couldn’t take advantage of it.”

KK Sauve scored midway through the first period for the Eagles while Sidney Krebs scored off a corner early in the third period. Cumberland Valley celebrated the 600th victory in program history.

OTHER DISTRICT 3 FIELD HOCKEY

Hershey 2, Susquehannock 0: At Glen Rock, the Warriors fell in a District 3 Class 2-A consolation semifinal match to Hershey (11-8). Despite the loss, No. 5 seed Susquehannock (16-6-1) can still earn a state 2-A playoff berth with a win Saturday in the District 3 2-A seventh-place match. The top seven teams from District 3 will make the PIAA 2-A bracket. Susquehannock will face No. 7 seed Garden Spot (14-8), which suffered a 4-3 overtime setback to No. 6 seed Fleetwood (17-5) in the other 2-A consolation semifinal. The seventh-place match will be 5 p.m. Saturday at Lower Dauphin's Courtney Pollock Field.

Annville-Cleona 0, Littlestown 0, F-2OT (Annville-Cleona wins 3-0 in shootout): At Palmyra, No. 7 seed Littlestown dropped a District 3 Class 1-A consolation semifinal match, ending its season at 15-7. No. 6 seed Annville-Cleona improved to 15-6.

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