EMIGSVILLE — It's been an interesting season so far for the Dallastown girls’ soccer team.
That may be an understatement.
After winning the first six games of the season, while surrendering just one goal, the Wildcats seemed destined for greatness. Then, however, something happened that had never been seen with a coach Scott Austin club.
It began with a loss to Northeastern. Then a loss against rival Central York. Then another one against backyard rival Red Lion. Three York-Adams League Division I losses — all by 1-0 scores — are certainly tough to swallow. That, however, wasn’t the end of it. Two more setbacks — a 2-1 loss against Lower Dauphin and a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hershey — ran the rare Wildcats losing streak to an unsightly five games.
Something had to change if the Dallastown girls wanted their season to have any chance of ending on a high note. Austin challenged his club to not allow that five-game stretch in the middle of the season to define the team.
“No one is going to remember the middle part of the season,” Austin told his girls. “But they will remember how it ends.”
That was all the Dallastown girls needed to hear. Since that loss to Hershey, the Wildcats have righted the proverbial ship. Heading into Tuesday evening’s clash against the Panthers, the Wildcats had been unbeaten and unscored upon over the past four contests (three wins and a tie).
It appeared that the streak would persist with a tie against a Central side that was aiming to clinch the D-I title. After a scoreless regulation and first overtime, there were under two minutes left in the final overtime session. Nearly every girl on the field was pretty well spent after playing a physical 98 minutes of soccer.
Robinson gets game-winner: On the wet grass at night at Central’s home field, however, the Wildcats prevailed. Ashley Robinson didn’t get as much of her foot on a late scoring attempt as she may have wanted, but the contest between the Panthers and Wildcats was over in a flash. Robinson’s attempt skimmed off the soaked grass and eluded the grasp of the CY goalie with 1:16 left on the clock, sending Dallastown to a thrilling 1-0 triumph.
“It was a bad shot,” Robinson said with a smile. “But that’s how the game plays sometimes.”
The victory not only solidified Dallastown’s chances of making the District 3 Class 4-A draw, but it also gives the Wildcats (10-5-1, 7-3-1) control of their destiny for a Y-A playoff berth. With Red Lion’s 2-1 loss to Northeastern (11-5-1, 8-2-1) earlier in the day, the Wildcats can earn either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed from D-I with a victory against the Lions (11-5, 8-3) Thursday.
“We knew that we just had to keep pushing,” said Robinson, who also scored the game-winning goal against Central in last year’s 1-0 District 3 playoff game. “We still have a chance to make counties even after that (losing-streak).”
Suffering five losses in which the team scored just one goal was pretty excruciating for the Wildcats. But its how his team responded to some pretty extreme adversity that makes Austin proud.
“A lot of 1-0 and 2-1 losses,” Austin said. “One was in overtime and another was in double-overtime, so this was nice. This was ‘our turn’ to finally enjoy a victory and I’m very happy for the girls.”
Panthers still clinch D-I title: While the loss was disheartening for the Panthers on their Senior Night, there was a silver lining for the CY girls to enjoy. Red Lion’s loss officially clinched the Division I title for the Panthers (12-3-1 overall and 10-2 in D-I).
“Yeah, we’re the division champions,” CY coach Eric Webb said. “And we’ll be the No. 1 seed (for the league playoffs), but certainly we wanted to win tonight on Senior Night.”
The contest was not without a bit of controversy for the hosts. The CY girls felt that a shot on goal with just more than eight minutes left in regulation actually went across the goal line. Webb didn’t have a great view of it, but he was told by his players that the ball crossed the line by “almost a foot” before the Dallastown goalie covered it up.
“We had one that crossed the line in the second half,” Webb said. “I couldn’t see it clearly but that’s what our girls said. And there was maybe a penalty that should have been called but wasn’t. So you don’t finish your chances in regulation and you let a team get one chance, or maybe a half-chance, in overtime and that’s the way this game goes.”
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
Northeastern 2, Red Lion 1: Logan Jennings scored both of Northeastern's goals. Megan Elzinga and Jordyn Jennings provided the assists. Brooke Wentz scored for Red Lion. Northeastern's Katie Shearer made three saves. Red Lion's Kylyn McIntyre had two saves.
Gettysburg 5, Dover 0: At Gettysburg, the Warriors won the York-Adams Division II championship. It was the first Y-A title in program history. Gettysburg improved to 12-3-1 overall and 10-1-1 in D-II. Lora Bertram had four goals for Gettysburg, while Rachel McKinney had the other score. Alivia Colgan had an assist. Gettysburg outshot Dover, 25-1. Cierra Miller had 10 saves for Dover.
Eastern York 1, West York 0: At West York, Abby Zumbrum scored the game's only goal to give the Golden Knights the win.
Susquehannock 4, York Suburban 2: At Glen Rock, the York-Adams Division II champion Warriors remained unbeaten, improving to 15-0-1 overall and 10-0-0 in D-II. Suburban fell to 11-4-1 and 5-3-1. Greyson Murray had two goals and an assist to lead Susquehannock. Mitch Brown and Sam Thomas also scored, while Nolan Holloway had two assists. Jason Smiley had one helper. Aiden Leheron scored for Suburban. The Trojans' other score came on an own goal. Cody Willoughby had eight saves for Suburban. Nick Koval had five saves for Susquehannock, which has won four straight D-II crowns.
Dallastown 3, Central York 0: At Dallastown, the Wildcats continued their perfect season with another shutout. Dallastown, the No. 1 team in the District 3 Class 3-A power ratings, improved to 16-0 overall and 11-0 in York-Adams Division I. The Wildcats had previously clinched the York-Adams Division I crown. Central fell to 9-5-2 overall and 7-3-2 in the division. Dallastown has allowed just five goals on the season, collecting 11 shutouts.
Northeastern 2, Red Lion 1: At Manchester, Alex Afata and Seth Sidle scored goals to lead Northeastern. Logan Axe scored for Red Lion. Northeastern improved to 10-6-1 overall and 7-3-1 in York-Adams Division I. Red Lion fell to 7-7-1 and 5-4-1.
York Catholic 2, Fairfield 1: At Fairfield, Pasen Maynard and Sean Lavallee scored the Irish goals. Lavallee scored on a free kick with 1:06 left to break a 1-1 tie. York Catholic improved to 14-2 overall and 11-1 in York-Adams Division III.
West York 6, Eastern York 0: At Wrightsville, the Bulldogs improved to 10-5-1 overall and 7-3-1 in York-Adams Division II.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.