Video from Central York's District 3 Class 3-A first-round victory and York Catholic's Class 2-A first-round win. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
With as long as they had waited to simply appear in the District 3 lacrosse playoffs, the Central York girls’ team didn’t mind waiting a bit longer to taste district success for the first time.
Heavy thunderstorms moved through the area on Tuesday night, causing a delayed start to the Panthers’ first-round Class 3-A contest with No. 11 seed Carlisle. It was the Panthers' first postseason appearance of any kind. Then, lingering lightning in the area caused the game’s suspension until Wednesday.
After all of that, the sixth-seeded Panthers needed to make sure they maintained the early momentum built on Tuesday. They did that and more, with a quick offensive outburst when play resumed Wednesday that ultimately led to a 14-4 victory.
“That was worth it,” Panthers head coach Matt Klinedinst said. “The weather was tough (Tuesday), and then again (Wednesday). But after all these years, for these kids, it was worth the wait.”
With the win, Central (12-5) moves into Thursday’s quarterfinalsm when the No. 6 Panthers will travel to third-seeded Exeter (14-2) for a 7 p.m. face-off. Exeter had a bye in the first round. A win in that contest would give the Panthers a shot at making more history this season. Class 3-A sends three teams on to the PIAA state playoffs.
When play resumed Wednesday, Central’s Sam Kreis scored a pair of goals to finish off a two-day hat trick as part of a 4-0 run to close out a suspended first half and put the Panthers up 11-1 at the break.
“We had control of the ball a lot last night and we were getting the draws,” Kilinedinst said. “We just kind of kept our composure and kept going with that (Wednesday).”
After a delay of about an hour to start the contest Tuesday, the Panthers’ offense wasted little time in building a 7-1 lead before the game was initially delayed and ultimately suspended with 8 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first half.
Central’s Abby McFerren got things started Tuesday when she took a pass off a restart near the left corner of the net and emerged on an angle before taking some contact and burying her first of the two-day affair three minutes in.
McFerren completed a hat-trick effort with 18:23 to play and would score four goals before the delay. McFerren finished with five goals and an assist over the two days. Liz Rader added her two goals and Kreis added a goal to round off Central’s Tuesday production.
“Just to keep the momentum going from last night, because we did get up by a lot,” McFerren said as the key to the program's inaugural postseason triumph. “It was just a mental game pretty much. We had to keep our heads and not let them get in our heads.”
When lightning refused to leave the area during the delay, the game was suspended until 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Madison Kurland added three goals and an assist for Central, while her sister, Emily, scored once and aided two others for the Panthers.
Grace Lippert scored a pair of goals to lead the Thundering Herd.
York Catholic 14, Palmyra 10: With No. 10 seed Palmyra threatening late in Wednesday’s rainy District 3 Class 2-A girls’ lacrosse first-round game at York Suburban High School, York Catholic head coach Rob Linthicum took a timeout to deliver a simple message to his team.
The Cougars had just pulled to within three after a big run with three minutes left to play, and the Irish bench boss wanted to stop any nerves that might have been creeping in.
“Just to settle down and play our game,” Linthicum said he implored his squad. “We’ve been inconsistent this year, up and down, and we played down, one of our sloppier games. Just told them to settle down and play like we’re capable of. And they turned it on.”
The Irish responded by scoring a goal a minute after the message before gaining possession again and running out the clock on a 14-10 victory. With the win, the No. 7 seed Irish move to the quarterfinals on Thursday, when they’ll travel to face No. 2 seed Hershey (17-2) at 7 p.m. Hershey advanced with a 16-3 pounding of No. 15 seed Northern York (8-11).
York Catholic’s Sarah Mazzur looked like she might have sealed it earlier when she potted her hat-trick goal to put the Irish head 11-6. She then assisted on Lauren China’s second of the day to put Catholic ahead 12-6 with 16:07 left to play.
Mazzur finished with four goals and added two assists and China would finish with three goals for York Catholic (11-6).
Palmyra (10-8) then went on a 4-1 run over a large part of the second half, culminating with a Gabby Corricelli goal and an Irish timeout. Nikki Bowman led Palymra with four goals.
Linthicum noted afterward that his team’s possession game would need to turn around in a hurry to find success Thursday against the Trojans. With the top four teams in Class 2-A qualifying for the PIAA tournament, Thursday’s winner automatically earns a spot.
“We’ve played better games, (Wednesday was) sloppy. I like to think it’s the weather, but everybody is playing in the same weather, so I don’t know,” Linthicum said. “We turned the ball over a lot. I think we had 12 turnovers in the first half alone. … But, this time of year, just have to get the ‘W’ and move on.”
Susquehannock 23, West York 0: At Glen Rock, in a game that took two days to complete because of inclement weather, the top-seeded Warriors cruised a District 3 Class 2-A first-round win over 16th-seeded West York.
Emma Stiffler (two goals, six assists), Riley Roeder (five goals), Harley Mummert (three goals, two assists), Kenna Hancock (two goals, three assists), Maggie Howells (four goals) and Kalen Hancock (three goals, assist) paced the defending District 3 2-A champions, who improved to 17-3. West York finished 7-10.
Susquehannock will now play host to eighth-seeded Cocalico (12-6) in a District 3 2-A quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that game clinches a state berth. Cocalico advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-0 win over No. 9 seed Conestoga Christian (11-3).
Kennard-Dale 15, Berks Catholic 7: At Fawn Grove, Megan Halczuk had six goals and four assists to power third-seeded K-D (17-3) over 14th-seeded Berks Catholic (7-11).
The York-Adams League playoff champions also got four goals from Maddie Day.
In Thursday's quarterfinals, the Rams will play sixth-seeded Lancaster Country Day (13-5), which earned a 13-7 victory over 11th-seeded Eastern York on Wednesday. The game is set for 6 p.m. at North Harford High School in Maryland.
Lancaster Country Day 13, Eastern York 7: At Lancaster, Chelsea Forsyth (three goals), Marissa Gockley (two goals) and Addison Malone (two goals) accounted for the Golden Knights' scoring in their season-ending District 3 Class 2-A loss. Eastern finished 8-9.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.