FAWN GROVE — The Kennard-Dale girls’ lacrosse team entered Thursday evening’s showdown with rival Susquehannock on a mission.
Just more than a week after falling in overtime to unbeaten York Catholic in an epic battle, the Rams were determined to finish their York-Adams League regular season on a high note.
To do so, however, meant going through a Warrior side that was riding a 15-game winning-streak.
That loss to the Irish reinforced some key elements that K-D coach Kelly Wetzel’s side had to work on.
Getting off to a good start was one. The other was playing better defense.
That extra focus helped the Rams storm out to an early 5-1 lead. They did so behind a defense that forced a slew of Susquehannock turnovers.
By the time the final horn sounded, it was the home team that was able to leave its own field with an impressive 17-6 victory.
“I think we’re starting to get to where we need to be,” Wetzel said. “I think the girls recognize what they can be. Our defense takes pride in itself and our defense played really, really well tonight.”
Maddie Day and Emmie Dressel led a balanced offensive attack for the Rams, who improved to 15-1 overall and 10-1 in the York-Adams League, with four goals apiece. Claire Gamache added three more, while Gillian Zimmerman and Megan Halczuk each tallied a pair of tallies.
Such offensive balance is often a sign of good teamwork. Finding the open attacker with a better shot usually trumps taking a more difficult shot anytime.
“We definitely played as a team,” said Day, who also finished with a pair of assists. “So much better than we did against York Catholic. And our defense had so many interceptions and turnovers. We just all played together. It was great teamwork.”
The few times that the K-D defense slipped up on a cold, wet night under the lights outside of Kennard-Dale High School, goalie Claire Boone was there most of the time to pick up her defense. The sophomore finished with nine saves.
“She is probably the best goalie that I’ve ever seen in my life,” Day said. “... She’s just so good and she works so hard to be that good too.”
While the Rams were definitely feeling good with Thursday’s outcome, they are aware that they haven’t seen the last of the Warriors. Not in the slightest, actually. Both teams will square off Tuesday in the York-Adams League playoff semifinals. K-D will enter as the No. 2 seed while Susquehannock (16-2, 9-2) will be the No. 3 seed.
“I know that we will still have to make some adjustments,” Day said. “We are not perfect. But I am sure that we’re both going to go back and work hard at practice and try to beat each other come Tuesday.”
Warrior coach Steve Marshner was understandably disappointed with how his team played Thursday. Turnovers will always bite a team whenever they play a quality opponent, such as Kennard-Dale. A repeat of that next Tuesday will likely culminate in a similar result. And the Susquehannock girls and Marshner know that.
“We have to stop turning the ball over,” he said. “We turned it over on both sides of the field. I think we were rushing and the game was moving a little too fast for us at times.”
Gena Speights led the Warriors with three goals, while Rachel Marshner finished with two goals and an assist. Tess Clancy finished with 10 saves for Susquehannock.
New Oxford 18, Dover 1: At Dover, the visitors rolled behind eight goals and two assists from Braxtin Reddinger. The Colonials also got big games from Raleigh Bateman (five goals, two assists) and Lauren Slonaker (two goals, four assists). Sarah Kistner had Dover's goal.
Red Lion 19, Conestoga Christian 4: Peyton Shima recorded three goals and four assists, while teammate Emily Robbins added two goals and six assists as the Lions cruised. Alyssa Adams, Jenna Godfrey and Emily Harrington each scored a hat trick for Red Lion.
Cedar Crest 11, Spring Grove 9: At Lebanon, the Rockets trailed 7-6 at the half but just came up short, dropping the non-league match. Lauren Grove led the Rockets with four goals. Teammate Jordyn Miller scored three goals, while Zabrina Enders made 10 stops in goal.
Central York 18, Trinity 14: At Trinity, Addy Billings (seven goals) and Alexa Glatfelter (six goals) powered the Panthers to the non-league triumph.
Central York 11, Trinity 9: At Springettsbury, the Panthers narrowly edged out the Shamrocks in this non-league battle. T.J. Ross scored six goals for Central, while Ryan and Alex Kilgour each scored twice for the Panthers. Central's final goal was scored by Connor Hoch.
Lancaster Country Day 17, Dover 4: At Lancaster Country Day, the Eagles trailed 10-0 at the half and were unable to recover. Steven Hoak led the Eagles by scoring two goals.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.