York Catholic falls just short in bid to win another District 3 2-A girls' lacrosse crown

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@ydsports
York Catholic's Sydney Mentzer (10) against Twin Valley's Anna Kaplan (22) in the Class 2-A girls lacrosse title match in Harrisburg, Pa on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

HARRISBURG – When the York Catholic and Twin Valley girls’ lacrosse teams met in late March, the outcome was decidedly one-sided.

It was a much different story Wednesday evening when the top two seeds in the District 3 Class 2-A draw met at Landis Field in Harrisburg for the championship.

With just more than two minutes remaining in regulation, the Irish and Raiders were deadlocked after a goal by York Catholic’s Olivia Staples.

Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.

Possession seemed to be essential on the ensuing faceoff, one that the York-Adams League champs secured. During perhaps the most important moment in York Catholic’s season to this point, the Irish came up empty.

Top-seeded Twin Valley, who won 17-7 in the first clash, did not. Anna Kaplan was awarded a free shot with 19 seconds left and the TV standout buried it to give Twin Valley a thrilling 14-13 triumph.

“That’s a tough one,” YC coach Rob Linthicum said. “I thought we had a good game plan. We lost to them by 10 the first time we played them, so I’m proud of the girls. We played a heck of a game, but just fell a little bit short.”

Early on it appeared as if the Raiders were going to steamroll the Irish again. TV raced out to a 7-4 lead, which prompted Linthicum to call a timeout with 9:55 left in the first half.

Irish surge into halftime: Linthicum’s squad then did something that few teams have been able to do against Twin Valley (20-1) all season – shut them down. The Raiders were held off the scoreboard the rest of the half while the Irish ran off five consecutive goals to take a 9-7 lead into the break.

“We face guarded their leading scorer (Emma Raines) who had eight goals against us the first time,” Linthicum said. “I think she had two tonight, so we were able to slow her down.”

Raines, however, is but one of a slew of skilled attackers on the TV roster. That was evident when the Raiders came out hot to begin the second half. TV used a 6-2 run to go up 13-11 with 13:09 left.

“They have so many good players,” Linthicum said. “They’re such a well-rounded team. You can face-guard one, but you can’t do that with all of them.”

Again, the Irish defense and goalie Amanda Reed (14 saves) put the lid on the Raiders from that point on to allow the offense to catch up.

Unlike the first half, however, the Irish were unable to surge ahead.

Late-game heroics: Still, Staples (two goals) was able to even the score with 2:06 left on the clock, setting the stage for some late-game heroics. Despite winning possession and getting a good look to go ahead, the Irish came up empty.

“This game comes down to momentum,” Linthicum said. “And we didn’t quite have that momentum streak at the end when we really needed one.”

Sydney Mentzer led the Irish (19-2) with five goals, while Grace Doyle finished with three.

Despite the loss, the first one for the Irish in the district title game after winning crowns in 2021 and 2019, the York Catholic girls will play next week in the PIAA tournament. They will get either the District 4 or District 6 champ at a time and location yet to be determined Tuesday.

OTHER GIRLS' LACROSSE

Susquehannock 9, Red Land 8: At Dallastown, in a win-or-go-home game, the Warriors edged the Patriots to win the District 3 Class 2-A third-place match. The win gave Susquehannock a state 2-A playoff berth. The third-seeded Warriors improved to 17-3. No. 4 seed Red Land sees its season end at 17-4. In the first round of the 2-A state playoffs on Tuesday, Susquehannock will face the District 1 runner-up. Sydney Marusko led Susquehannock with four goals, followed by three goals from Addison Roeder and two goals from Rachel Stiffler. The Warriors rallied from a 7-5 second-half deficit to earn the win. Roeder's final goal broke an 8-8 tie.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.