GLEN ROCK – The only certainty entering the Susquehannock-West York girls' lacrosse match on Tuesday was that at least one York-Adams League team would be through to the District 3 quarterfinals.
After that, everything else was up for grabs.
But only briefly.
The Warriors raced out to a quick start against their league foes and eventually doubled up the Bulldogs, 14-7, to book their spot in the quarterfinals.
Susquehannock, playing in front of its home fans, showed why it entered the tournament as the second seed, scoring six of the game's first seven goals in the opening 13 minutes, 35 seconds.
"We're playing with a lot of adversity and a lot of injured people," Warriors head coach Steven Marshner said. "So, coming out, taking possession and scoring early was the key to our game."
The injuries Marshner was referring to were to Rachel Marshner, Rachel Miller and Katelyn Welch. All three are starters and played major roles in earning Susquehannock such a high seed.
But, like any good team, the Warriors adapted and used their depth to their advantage. Without missing a beat, Susquehannock filled the holes left behind by the three injured players and continued to carry the play to West York.
"We have our bench and we trust our bench," Marshner said. "Some of our players are young and still figuring out how we play in our system and they did a good job today."
One positive that helped the Warriors maintain control of the game was the favorable match-up of playing against a league opponent that it had beaten 18-1 during the regular season. Already with a scouting report on the Bulldogs, Susquehannock played strong defensively in the first half, carrying an 8-2 advantage into the break.
After that, it was just a matter of keeping the foot down, which the Warriors did, scoring three of the first five goals to open the second half and extending their lead to 11-4.
After that, the two sides alternated scoring over the final seven minutes to finish out the game.
Defensively, Susquehannock stymied the West York attack, surrendering only the seven goals, while senior goalie Amber Orner made nine saves.
"We thought we knew how they played," Marshner said. "And they played pretty much how we thought they would. ...They like to dodge and we play a help-style defense and against a dodging team, we matched up pretty well."
Senior Ashley Valway led the Warriors with four goals, while sophomore Kayla Held chipped in with a goal and three assists and freshmen Riley Roeder and Emma Stiffler each scored twice.
The Bulldogs saw senior Kelley Dietz and junior Ally Williams each record hat tricks, while Williams added an assist. Chloe Smith was the only other West York player to score a goal. In the cage, junior Tori Gross came away with eight saves.
Susquehannock (17-2) will face No. 7 seed Cumberland Valley (15-4) at 5 p.m. Thursday in the District 3 quarterfinals at Central York. Cumberland Valley routed No. 10 Hershey (13-6) in its first-round contest on Tuesday, 18-7.
West York finishes at 9-7.
— Reach Patrick Stroehcker at firstname.lastname@example.org