THURSDAY'S DISTRICT 3 CLASS 2-A LACROSSE: York Catholic girls win another championship

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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York Catholic celebrates a 14-8 win over Twin Valley during PIAA District 3, Class 2-A girls' lacrosse championship action on Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at Central Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

HARRISBURG – Winning titles is always sweet for the victors.

When those victors have won multiple championships, the comparison between them is usually never easy to make.

After claiming the program's first-ever District 3 Class 2-A crown in 2019, the York Catholic girls' lacrosse team was eager to do it again Thursday afternoon against Twin Valley at Landis Field at Central Dauphin Middle School.

The YC girls set the tone early after winning the opening faceoff before quickly scoring.

After the Raiders evened the score moments later at 2-2, YC standout Sydney Mentzer did her thing. The junior ignited a four-goal burst for the Irish, who never looked back en route to a 14-8 triumph.

York Catholic's Sydney Mentzer, left, controls the ball while Twin Valley defends during PIAA District 3, Class 2-A girls' lacrosse championship action on Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at Central Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“We came in humble and hungry,” YC senior Ella Linthicum said. “We knew they had a lot of good players so we just needed to want it more.”

TV (20-2), the top seed in the 2-A bracket, scored at least 10 goals in all of their contests before Thursday’s title match. Limiting them to eight goals was quite an accomplishment for No. 2 seed York Catholic (18-1).

“That’s good,” YC coach Rob Linthicum said. “It wasn’t under eight, but it was eight and eight was enough to win the game.”

Mentzer, who finished with five goals, wore a red-white-and-blue bandana on her head during the game. A black-and-blue one might have been more appropriate for one of the team’s most hard-nosed players.

Mentzer suffered a bloody nose after taking a stick to the face late in the first half, but came back moments later while continuing to play her all-out style.

“I knew I was going to come back in,” Mentzer said with a smile. “No worries.”

York Catholic's Grace Doyle, left, works to get around Twin Valley's Shannon Staples during PIAA District 3, Class 2-A girls' lacrosse championship action on Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at Central Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Surviving COVID: The only worries the Irish had this entire season was whether or not they would even get to play an entire slate. After COVID-19 wiped out all of last year’s schedule, the YC girls suffered a 10-day quarantine period in early April.

“It was hard to stay to motivated,” Mentzer said. “We didn’t know. We got shut down once and we had to take our opportunity.”

Mentzer and her teammates made sure they did that in the final. A total of eight different YC players scored Thursday.

Comparing titles: As the horn sounded at the end the game, the Irish girls celebrated together.

A successful defense of their 2019 title was sweet. The question afterward was whether it was sweeter.

The answer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

“I think that just because we got to get the season in and we got through the ups and downs and got in all our games, this one feels a little sweeter,” coach Linthicum said.

“Right now,” Mentzer said quickly when asked. “This is my last year with one of my best friends and I think this year was special.”

Ella Linthicum, who finished with two goals, agreed.

“Last year a lot of the seniors and juniors grew up playing with each other,” she said. “Now it’s our last year and it’s just a really great feeling.”

The Irish will take some time to rest this weekend before starting on a trek to what they hope is a PIAA 2-A title. That journey will begin Tuesday against District 7 runner-up Blackhawk at a time and location yet to be determined.

OTHER DISTRICT 3 GIRLS' LACROSSE:

Susquehannock 7, Cocalico 6 (OT): At Denver, in Lancaster County, in a win-or-go-home-match, the Warriors beat the host team in the District 3 Class 2-A third-place match to earn a state playoff berth. Fourth-seeded Susquehannock improved to 14-3. Third-seeded Cocalico finished at 15-5. In a first-round PIAA 2-A game on Tuesday, the Warriors will face the District 1 runner-up.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.