GLEN ROCK — Perhaps the biggest hope for the Susquehannock girls’ soccer team heading into the 2019 season was that new coach Phomma Phanhthy could be the piece that helped the Warriors end a District 3 playoff drought.
Phanhthy, who coached the Fairfield girls’ soccer team to the 2016 PIAA Class 1-A state title, shared that hope.
After three consecutive seasons of first-round exits, the Susquehannock girls and Phanhthy were looking to put that skid to an end Monday evening against Twin Valley in a District 3 3-A contest.
A good start, however, was the only thing that went right for the hosts against the 10th-seeded Raiders. Emily Rathell put the seventh-seeded Warriors up in the seventh minute, but the home team couldn’t finish the deal.
They also couldn’t stop a TV side that scored three times in the final half, including a back-breaking pair of goals by Annabella Acinapuia early in the second half.
The result was a 3-1 setback that again saw the Susquehannock girls (9-6-2) suffer defeat in the opening round of the District 3 playoffs.
“We just didn’t finish,” Phanhthy said. “We had so many opportunities and that just kind of killed us.”
The goals by Acinapuia six minutes into the final half had a big impact on momentum. The Warriors, however, remained within a goal until Hailegh Davis gave the Raiders (10-8-2) some insurance after scoring with 4:21 left.
“It’s been disappointing,” Phanhthy said. “And it’s been this way for the past few years for us. They made states back in 2015, but they can’t seem to get out of the first round.”
That Warrior team finished third in districts to earn a berth into the PIAA draw. While this year’s team fell short, Phanhthy didn’t feel it was for a lack of effort.
“Yeah, our girls played their hearts out,” he said. “We just needed to finish there. A couple of finishes and it’s a different game.”
Missing his seniors: With some teary-eyed faces on the sideline after the contest, Phanhthy reflected on his first season at the helm at Susquehannock. He will dearly miss his seven seniors — including a pair of all-star starters in Ashlynn Weger and Lilly Denis — who helped make the transition with the coaching change go smoothly.
“It was great to get to know the kids and get to watch them play,” he said. “But this is a beginning and it takes time to get to where we want to be. Next year we’ll see what happens.”
OTHER GIRLS' SOCCER
York Catholic 6, High Point 2: At York, the eighth-seeded Lady Irish cruised to a District 3 Class 1-A first-round triumph over ninth-seeded High Point. York Catholic improved to 8-11. High Point finished at 6-5-1. The Irish will next face No. 1 seed Camp Hill (18-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a quarterfinal match at Siebert Park in Camp Hill.
Gettysburg 2, Palmyra 1: At Gettysburg, the sixth-seeded Warriors knocked off the No. 11 seed in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. It was Gettysburg's first district win since 2012. Next up for the Warriors (15-4-1) is a quarterfinal contest vs. third-seeded Mechanicsburg (16-3), which rolled to a 6-0 win over 14th-seeded Lampeter-Strasburg on Monday. Thursday's Gettysburg-Mechanicsburg game is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Mechanicsburg's Northside Elementary. Maddy Gaydon and Lora Bertram scored Gettysburg's goals. Bertram and Reese Gourley had assists.
Conrad Weiser 4, York Suburban 0: At Tulpehocken, the Trojans' season came to an end with a District 3 Class 3-A first-round setback. The 15th-seeded Trojans finished at 12-8. Second-seeded Conrad Weiser improved to 17-3.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.