RED LION — Most of the players on the Red Lion girls’ soccer team were under the age of 6 the last time the Lions were York-Adams Division I champs.
Well, that was before Thursday’s title-deciding game against Dallastown.
Seniors Gabby Young and Lexis Kline both scored two goals to lead the Lions to a 4-0 win over the Wildcats to win the program’s first D-I title since 2006.
“We knew we could do it all along,” said Young, who scored the Lions’ first two goals of the match. “Since freshman year, I knew we had the girls who could do it. It’s just a sigh of relief. We’re really proud.”
Kline, who scored both of Red Lion’s second-half goals, said the team, led by an eight-girl senior class, has been working toward a D-I title.
“We really accomplished something,” she said. “We all really wanted this, and we worked hard. We put (in) a lot of work to get to this point.”
Young shines: Entering the rainy game at Horn Field, Dallastown (12-4-1, 9-3) and Red Lion (11-6, 10-2) were both 9-2 in Division I play.
Young drew first blood, scoring 10 minutes into the game.
Anna Gatchell directed a perfect through ball to Young, who scored the goal in the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
“It was a great through ball,” Red Lion head coach Meghan Roy said. “We were looking to see if that was on or not, depending on how Dallastown’s defense looked. It really was a great play, and Gabby had an excellent finish."
"Freaking out" over goal: Young scored again 10 minutes later in a fashion that she can barely comprehend. The senior took a cross into the box from Delaney Bittner. From about seven yards out, Young scored on a standing bicycle kick. With her back turned to the goal, she kicked the ball over her head and floated it over the goaltender’s outstretched arm.
“I knew the goalie wasn’t going to be expecting it, so I just put it up,” Young said. “I turned and it was going in, and I was so shocked. I really was.”
“We were all freaking out,” Kline said. “It was a really good goal.”
As Red Lion’s senior captain, Roy said Young is enjoying a “breakout season.”
“She’s so hungry, and that’s the No. 1 thing I can say about her,” Roy said. “She wants the goals and she wants to do everything for her team, and that’s what makes her a good leader. She’s someone we all count on.”
Kline puts the game away: While most teams would become defensive and worry only about possession with a 2-0 lead, the Lions stayed on the offensive in the second half.
About five minutes into the half, Kline scored to put the Lions up 3-0. Keirsten Strong sent a free kick into the box, and after Dallastown’s goaltender couldn’t corral it, Kline was there to find the back of the net.
Twenty minutes later, Kline scored on a header to seal the win and the division title. Sophomore Julie Rowe outran her defender into the corner and sent a perfect cross to set up Kline’s header.
“That was a great cross by her,” Kline said.
Stout defense: Red Lion controlled possession for much of the game and dominated nearly every statistic.
They kicked eight corners to Dallastown’s two and outshot the Wildcats by eight. Leading Red Lion’s defense was freshman goalie Kylyn McIntire, who had three saves.
“Kylyn is just really getting better each game,” Roy said. “We’re seeing major growth and development out of her. The defense had a great game today playing in the rain.”
Roy, who is in her third season at the helm, said her players won the title because of their “heart.”
“A lot of heart goes into this,” she said. “This feels great. They played 100 percent all season, this game included.”
Susquehannock 11, West York 0: At West York, the Warriors wrapped up a division championship season with an easy win. The Warriors finished 10-1-1 in York-Adams Division II and improved to 10-4-1 overall.
Kennard-Dale 7, Eastern York 2: At Fawn Grove, Lydia Gable had a hat trick for the Rams. Jamie Gorgeiff, Korrin Blough, Madison Manfredi and Cloe Thoericht also scored for KD. Kaitlyn Case and Caitlin Shetter had Eastern's goals.
Biglerville 8, York High 0: At York, Izzy Osby made 19 saves in a losing cause for the the Bearcats. Carly Stoner had a hat trick for Biglerville, as well as an assist.
York Suburban 2, Dover 1: At Suburban, the Trojans received one goal apiece from Katie Wand and Nyah Hood. Teammate Olivia Hayes added an assist. For the Eagles, Mackenzie Emig scored the lone goal, while teammate Cierra Miller made nine saves in goal. The Trojans held the Eagles to three shots on goal.
Southwestern 2, Northeastern 1: At Manchester, Kyla Brossoit scored both goals in the Mustangs' win.
York Catholic 10, Hanover 0: At York, the Irish improved to 6-7-0 in York-Adams Division III and 6-11-0 overall.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.