DALLASTOWN — After a pressure-filled and exciting York-Adams League season, Dallastown coach Scott Austin was eager to see two things Thursday evening during the annual senior all-star game — fun and goals.
“This is just a ton of fun,” Austin said. “It’s the sixth year doing it and I absolutely love doing it. Just giving back time to the girls and the seniors. It’s just a fun night for them to kick a ball.”
Austin figured to see quite a few balls fly into the back of the net during the exhibition contest that features the best seniors from around the league.
Trying to keep it competitive: To keep things as competitive as possible, Austin broke up the two teams based on their regular-season records. So Austin, who coached the "home" team, along with South Western's Tim Stich, featured players from Central York, Dallastown, South Western, York Suburban, Gettysburg, Dover, Littlestown, Delone Catholic and York High.
The "visitor" team, which was coached by Red Lion’s Meghan Roy and Biglerville’s Danielle Cramer, was made up of players from Northeastern, Red Lion, Spring Grove, Susquehannock, Kennard-Dale, West York, York Catholic, Fairfield, Biglerville, Eastern York and New Oxford.
The home team won, 4-1. Central York's Hannah Ferguson, Dallastown's Hannah Larson, York Suburban's Roma Williams and South Western's Macy Miller had the home team's goals. Biglerville's Carly Stoner scored for the visitors.
“We tried to take every other team from each division, ranking-wise,” Austin said when explaining why the Division I champion Lions were not paired with their regular-season rivals, the Panthers and the Wildcats.
In contrast, Wednesday’s boys’ all-star game featured Division I teams vs. Division II squads, with the Division III programs split up between the two.
“We wanted to try to make this as fair of a game as possible,” he said. “If we did it (like the boys) it probably would have been a blast, but I wanted to be fair to everybody.”
Getting the chance to coach the Central players — Hannah Ferguson and Rachel Szczypinski — was something that Austin seemed to enjoy. Getting to know everyone’s names, however, was a bit of a chore.
“Hannah, the attacking mid, we got to play her four times, so I got to know her pretty well, and Rachel, their keeper, are great,” Austin said. “It’s just always fun, but I’m still trying to learn all of their names, to be honest.”
Young having fun: Austin wasn’t the only one having a lot of fun. So too was Red Lion senior Gabby Young.
Young, who broke her nose in a game against Northeastern a month ago, was actually looking forward to playing with the Central and Dallastown girls that her Lions battled against all season. That wasn't in the cards, however.
“I’m always used to playing against them,” she said. “But I think that playing with them would be fun, but playing against them again should be fun too.”
Young was having a blast the entire night, meeting her new teammates while playing one last time for Roy, her high school coach, as well as teammates Paige Frey and Lexis Kline.
“It was just a lot of fun to talk to all of the different girls from the different divisions,” she said. “I know this night is going to be fun and interesting. And it’s a good last hurrah to play with some of these girls, like Lexis and Paige.”
That could also be said of Red Lion’s season, which included a Division I championship after a 10-2 campaign and an appearance in the league playoff tournament final. Victories over both Central and Dallastown during the regular season were certainly highlights for Young.
“I think our team had the talent go further, but I think this was just an amazing season,” she said. “It was something that we all thought we could do, and to just have some time to sit back and think about it, I think we really earned that.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.