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A slow start last week against Kennard-Dale cost York Catholic a possible York-Adams League title.

So when Fighting Irish fell behind by two goals early on in its District 3 opener Tuesday against West York, it definitely caught the team's attention.

However, the top-seeded Irish (18-1) quickly regrouped en route to a 19-5 first-round girls' lacrosse victory in a contest played at York Suburban. York Catholic will now meet No. 8 seed Hempfield (15-5) on Thursday in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. at Hershey High School. Hempfield beat No. 9 seed Gov. Mifflin on Tuesday, 14-3.

“We just had to focus and settle down,” said Irish senior attacker Lindsey China, who led York Catholic with five goals. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because West York is a good team with great chemistry."

Considering York Catholic had handled the Bulldogs a 21-5 defeat this season, the early deficit was a surprise. Chloe Smith scored two goals and Ally Williams added one to give West York a 3-1 advantage less than six minutes into the contest.

“I was really pleased with the way we played,” Bulldogs coach Rachel Klado said. “Our girls really wanted it and they came out and played that way. I think eventually York Catholic’s composure made the difference, and I think we just started forcing some things.”

York Catholic’s Anna Linthicum, who had four goals and four assists, had her team’s first three goals. She tied the score at 3-3 on one of Lisa Casagrande’s two assists at the 15:43 mark. Amanda Tufano (two goals) gave the Irish the lead for good less than a minute later when she took advantage of West York being a player down for a penalty.

From there, the Irish ran off five more goals before halftime to enjoy a 9-3 advantage. The Irish had 20 shots in the first half, compared with West York’s nine.

"It seemed like early on we had a couple of draw controls we could have won, maybe should have won, and we just didn’t come out with them cleanly and they got a couple of quick goals,” said Irish coach Rob Linthicum. "But I thought we just needed to settle down. I always try to find the bright spot. The dark spot was that we played the worst first half of lacrosse we had all season in the championship game last week against Kennard-Dale. The bright spot was when we were down two players we outscored them 8-2 so I try to look at the positives to lift them up.”

And he’s hoping last week’s loss might be a blessing.

"I think it’s tough when you go undefeated and then lose a big game like that,” Coach Linthicum said, "but maybe in districts that will help. You lose that complacency and realize you’re not invincible.”

While York Catholic relies heavily on its three seniors, China, Casagrande and defender Maura Palandro, the Irish also get key contributions from underclassmen, too.

"The three seniors we have are big because they’ve been playing for a long time and they have the experience,” Coach Linthicum said. "But we have a lot of sophomores and even a couple of freshmen who are getting significant playing time. I told the team after the game that from here on out we have to play 50 minutes of good lacrosse. The past few games we’ve played anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes of good lacrosse and that’s not going to cut it against the teams we’re going to be facing. Hopefully, we can get a little faster start from now on.”

Other goal scorers for York Catholic were: Reiley Anderson (two goals), Carlin Mayer, Casagrande, Katy Rader, Palandro, Kaleigh Pokrivka and Jamie Mullen.

OTHER DISTRICT 3

GIRLS' LACROSSE

Susquehannock 21, Penn Manor 6: At Glen Rock, Rachel Marshner led the Warriors  by scoring four goals and adding four assists. Also for Susquehannock, Gena Speights and Emma Stiffler each had three goals and three assists, Maddie Ellis had four goals and one assist, Kayla Held had two goals and three assists, Kenna Hancock had two goals and two assists and Riley Roeder scored three goals. No. 3 seed Susquehannock improved to 17-3 and moves on to the quarterfinals and will face No. 6 Manheim Township on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Hershey High School. Manheim Township (14-6) has won every District 3 girls' lacrosse title since the tournament started in 2009.

Kennard-Dale 21, Lampeter-Strasburg 6: At Fawn Grove, Maddie Day led the Rams by scoring five goals and adding two assists. Also for K-D, Emmie Dressel scored five goals, Morgan Bowings scored three goals, Gillian Zimmerman had two goals and two assists and Claire Gamache scored two goals. No. 2 seed K-D improved to 18-1 and will now face No. 7 seed Lancaster Country Day on Thursday in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. at Hempfield High School. LCD beat Central Dauphin on Tuesday, 9-7.

Wilson, 14, Red Lion 4: At West Lawn, the Lions saw their season come to a close. Alyssa Adams, Emily Harrington, Peyton Shima and Sara Simms each scored once for Red Lion. The Lions finished 10-6.

Manheim Township 21, New Oxford 7: At Manheim Township, Braxtin Reddinger led the Colonials with four goals and one assist. Teammate Bri Smith scored two goals. New Oxford finished 10-6.

Reach George Hammond at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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