GLEN ROCK — With each boys' lacrosse contest weighing a bit heavier on a team's ledger this season, one hiccup could prove troublesome in the York-Adams League.
So it wasn't good news for the Susquehannock Warriors when they found out that standout attacker Aidan Kirkendall would miss Thursday night's showdown with West York.
Good teams, however, boast more than just one good player, and the unbeaten Warriors proved that against the Bulldogs in a battle of 5-0 teams.
Despite losing five of the first six face-offs, the Warriors were able to storm out to an early lead. Buoyed by a strong defense in addition to a big game by Dorian Faster, the home team solidified its claim as the league's best squad after downing the Bulldogs, 14-6.
"Going into tonight, every goal was big," Susquehannock coach Russ LeBlanc said. "West York is a very formidable opponent and we just wanted to put our best foot forward. And I'm really proud of the way the guys played tonight."
Coming out on top in their only head-to-head showdown just added to the significance of the clash, according to LeBlanc.
"I think it makes it a lot more fun," LeBlanc said of the league's new format. "I'm really happy with the change to one division. It puts a lot more emphasis on each game. So, yeah, I really like it."
Faster was able to pick up the slack for Kirkendall's absence. The midfielder scored four goals and had two assists. The junior's goal with 8:10 left in the first quarter put the Warriors up 2-0. He added another tally to begin the second period that put Susquehannock ahead 4-1.
"He had a really great game," LeBlanc said. "His effort was there. He fixed some fundamentals and went back to some basics and had some success with that."
The real key to the victory, however, was the Susquehannock defense. Despite the Bulldogs winning most of the face-offs in the first half, the defenders — mainly Kevin Clapp, Jordan Stahm and Alex Founds — were able to keep the Bulldog attack away from goalie Shane Silk.
While West York was able to get off shots, they were often from long range, resulting in either saves or shots off target.
"Our defensive effort was very good tonight," LeBlanc said. "We killed a lot of penalties and played as a unit. Our hats go off to them."
Colin Riley added three goals and three assists for the Warriors, who got 15 saves in net from Silk.
Cole Rinehart registered eight saves for West York, who received two goals apiece from Hunter Betz and Ryan McCauley.
OTHER BOYS' LACROSSE
Dallastown 7, Eastern York 1: At Dallastown, the Wildcats defense stymied the Golden Knights, only allowing a single goal. Brian Prats and Cade Gold each had three goals for Dallastown, while Jack Marks stopped 12 shots in goal. Brian Lehman scored the lone goal for Eastern.
Central York 18, Kennard-Dale 2: At Central York, Katon Yantek scored five goals, while Tim Ross added four for the Panthers in their offensive explosion against the Rams. Connor Hoch also had a big game for Central, recording a hat trick. Dean Huntzinger scored the only two goals of the game for K-D.
York Suburban 12, York Catholic 7: At Suburban, Joe Saddock was the offensive star in this one, scoring a game-high five goals for the Trojans as they knocked off the Irish.
Spring Grove 14, South Western 7: At Spring Grove, Tanner Bolton poured in seven goals to lead the Rockets, while Dylan Griffiths added three goals and two assists.
Red Lion 15, New Oxford 9: At New Oxford, Sam Emig (five goals) and Tanner Reif (two goals, four assists) powered the Lions. Joey Giannotto paced the Colonials with four goals.
Red Lion 9, New Oxford 5: At Red Lion, Emily Harrington registered a hat trick to lead the Lions. Josie Raver and Peyton Shima also recorded multi-goal games for Red Lion, with each scoring twice. For New Oxford, Raleigh Bateman scored three goals, while Braxtin Reddinger added two.
Kennard-Dale 23, Central York 8: Maddie Day had a seven-point day, scoring six goals and adding an assist in the Rams' big win. Renee Gerring, Emmie Dressel and Maggie Biederman each had three-goal performances for K-D. For Central York, Addison Billings, Hannah Gilhool and Emily Kurland each scored twice.
Eastern York 9, Dallastown 8: At Wrightsville, after the Golden Knights took a 5-4 advantage into halftime, that proved to be the difference, with the two sides trading goals in the second half. Eastern got a hat trick from Bri Pfeiffer, as well as multi-goal efforts from Rylie Toomey, Rachel Deppen and Kylie Nikolaus. The Wildcats were led offensively by Alyssa Layton, who had a game-high five goals.
Susquehannock 18, West York 1: At West York, the Warriors had little trouble in this one, opening up a 10-1 lead by halftime. Ashley Valway led the way with eight goals, while Katelyn Welch and Maddie Ellis each added two goals and two assists.
York Catholic 15, York Suburban 2: At Suburban, Lindsey China, Kayleigh Pokrivka and Carlin Mayer each recorded hat tricks for the Irish. Shannon Moore had the biggest offensive day for either side, finishing with five points on two goals and three assists. The Trojans got their two goals from Karlee Wasilewski and Zoe Zambito.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.