GLEN ROCK — Often there's one moment in a game that provides the key difference in the outcome.
In Tuesday night's District 3 boys' lacrosse first-round match between Susquehannock and Warwick, that moment came at the start of the fourth quarter.
After Warriors' attack Jack Allred was assessed a three-minute, non-releasable penalty for using an illegal stick at the start of the fourth quarter — the third illegal stick infraction of the game — Warwick made its move. Its offense was cold through the first three quarters, but strong defense and goal keeping kept it in the game after 36 minutes. With a golden opportunity to strike, Warwick did.
Entering as the No. 12 seed, Warwick capitalized twice on the man-up advantage to bring the game to within 5-4. Three more unanswered goals followed, allowing the visitors to pull off the upset and eliminate fifth-seeded Susquehannock on its own field, 7-5, and move into the quarterfinals.
"Honestly, when the opportunity arose, just being there," Warwick head coach Wayne Hummer said about the key to victory. "At halftime, I said to them, 'you guys really just need to stay the course.' We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and we were only looking at a 2-0 deficit."
With each successive goal that the Lancaster County team scored, its energy grew, while the frustration mounted for the Warriors. They had their chances to stop the bleeding and get momentum back on their side, but with each chance to strike back, Warwick goalie Cameron Epple continued to make big saves.
"When you have a goalie doing that for you, it gives you a chance to win," Hummer said.
Susquehannock took a 2-0 lead into halftime and came out of the gates with the third quarter's first tally to increase its lead to 3-0. Warwick was held off the scoreboard for the first 26 minutes of the game, but once Tyler Bogda finally broke the scoring drought, the visitors started to settle down and find their groove.
Still, the Warriors carried a 5-2 advantage into the final frame, and with the way their own defense was playing, they looked to be well in control. In the end, however, it was Warwick that came up with the big goals when they mattered most and seemingly stole victory away from Susquehannock out of nowhere.
"We just didn't make the plays," Warriors head coach Russ LeBlanc said. "We didn't play with self-discipline and we let this one get away. Warwick's a good program and took advantage of our lack of discipline."
Perhaps the biggest chance for Susquehannock to stop the Warwick run and turn things in its favor came with just under two minutes to play when Epple made a kick save in tight and then followed it up with another save to keep Warwick's two-goal lead in tact. The two saves were, arguably, his biggest out the 12 he made in the game.
At the other end of the field, Warriors' senior goalie Shane Silk stopped 11 shots, doing all he could to keep his team ahead early in the game and then within reach late in the contest.
"Shane's a very talented goalie and he's got a bright college career ahead of him," LeBlanc said.
Silk will be playing at Virginia Wesleyan next year.
Junior Aidan Kirkendall had a hand in four of Susquehannock's five goals, tallying two goals and two assists. Allred notched two goals, while Collin Riley scored the other.
Susquehannock finishes the season at 13-4. Warwick improves to 14-5.
OTHER BOYS' LACROSSE
West York 9, Trinity 7: At Shiremanstown, the Bulldogs were able to pull off the road upset in the opening round of the District 3 playoffs, thanks in part to a hat trick from Trevor Sweitzer and two-goal, two-assist game from Hunter Betz. Cole Rinehart was the key defensively, recording 23 saves in goal to collect the win. The 10th-seed Bulldogs (15-3) next face No. 2 Cumberland Valley (17-1) on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Lower Dauphin Middle School in a quarterfinal contest. Cumberland Valley dominated No. 15 Gov. Mifflin on Tuesday, 15-6. Seventh-seeded Trinity finishes 14-4. West York is the only York-Adams boys' team left standing after the first round.
Wilson 12, Red Lion 9: At West Lawn, the Lions saw their season come to a close despite a five-point night from Jac Gemmill. Gemmill recorded three goals and two assists, while teammate Tanner Reif added two goals and two assists. Sam Emig and Tyler Dunlap each had a pair of goals for Red Lion. Wilson was led by Connor Howell's three-goal, three-assist performance. Ninth-seeded Red Lion finishes at 13-5. Eighth-seeded Wilson improves to 16-4.
Berks Catholic 9, Dallastown 8: At Reiffton, Oliver Hanley scored the winning goal with 50 seconds left and the Saints ended the Wildcats' season in the opening round of the District 3 tournament. Cade Gold led the way for Dallastown, scoring three goals and adding an assist. Max Lohss chipped in with two goals for the Wildcats. The Saints were led by three-goal efforts from Robert Cressman and Tanner Pajakinas, each adding an assist to their totals. Jack Marks had 13 saves in net for Dallastown. His counterpart, Justin Huntsman, made 12 saves. No. 11 seed Dallastown finishes at 12-5. No. 6 seed Berks Catholic improves to 17-1.
Hershey 13, York Suburban 3: At Hershey, the Trojans trailed 8-1 at the half and were unable to recover, dropping the District 3 first-round match. Individually for the Trojans, Matthew LeCates, Raine Sindicich and Ryan Yost each scored one goal, while Justice Gettle and Foster Hoyt each recorded one assist. No. 16 seed Suburban finishes at 9-6. Top-seeded Hershey improves to 19-0.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com