Central York's historic field hockey season ends with OT loss in state 3-A semifinals

Central York's Grace Harrold handles the ball with pressure from Lower Dauphin's Bridget Lawn in a PIAA Class 3-A field hockey state semifinal match at Central Dauphin's Landis Field Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Lower Dauphin won in overtime 3-2. Bill Kalina photo

The best season in Central York field hockey history came to a heartbreaking end on Tuesday night, just one match short of the state final.

The Panthers took an unbeaten Lower Dauphin team into overtime before suffering a 3-2 defeat in a PIAA Class 3-A semifinal at Central Dauphin’s Landis Field.

Before this season, the Panthers had never won a state playoff game. They ended that streak with a pair of shutout victories in PIAA action before falling just short against the District 3 3-A champions, who improved to 23-0-1.

The loss ends the Central York season ends at 21-6-1. That included the York-Adams Division I and York-Adams League playoff titles, as well as a third-place finish in the District 3 3-A tournament.

In Tuesday’s setback, Lower Dauphin jumped out to a pair of one-goal leads, but the Panthers responded with the tying goal on each occasion.

Avery Pollock’s first-quarter score gave Lower Dauphin a 1-0 edge, but Emilee Myers’ second-quarter penalty-kick score evened the match at halftime, 1-1.

Katelyn Strawser’s third-quarter tally again put Lower Dauphin up, 2-1. Central York’s Grace Harrold, however, responded by ripping a shot into the net from the top of the circle in the fourth quarter to deadlock the game at 2-2.

Lower Dauphin finally ended things in the first overtime when Pollack scored off an assist from Strawser.

Sydney Valdes made 16 saves for Central York in goal. The Falcons had a 19-3 edge in shots and an 8-3 advantage in corners.

Lower Dauphin will face District 11 champion Emmaus for the state crown at 3 p.m. Saturday at Whitehall. Emmaus beat District 1 champion Conestoga in the other semifinal, 3-1.

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