GLEN ROCK — The gap between the top girls' lacrosse teams in the York-Adams League and Kennard-Dale is slowly closing.
With each passing year, the league is becoming more and more competitive at the top.
For the last few years, the Rams' closest rivals have been Susquehannock and York Catholic, two formidable foes who have always presented them with the toughest tests in the regular season and league playoffs, occasionally coming away with wins. Tuesday, K-D traveled to face the Warriors in an early-season road test that would provide an indication on whether there might be a changing of the guard in the league this year.
If Susquehannock wants to overtake the Rams as the top dog, the Warriors will need to learn that the smallest of errors can create a hole that can't be overcome. That played out in the latest encounter, when K-D took advantage of the Warriors' sloppy and physical play to come away with a 15-12 win and move to 3-0-1 on the year, while Susquehannock dropped its first game of the young season, falling to 2-1.
Despite the win, however, Rams' head coach Kelly Wetzel knows his team still has plenty to improve on to get where it wants to go by the end of the year.
"As good as we are, we are still accident-prone and mistake-prone," Wetzel said. "...If our end goal is districts and states, we need to improve that."
There's no doubt that K-D was hardly a crisp team Tuesday, but the difference was it didn't let its mistakes drastically impact the outcome. The Warriors couldn't say the same. There was no breakout moment when the Rams grabbed firm control of the game. Instead, it was just a steady dose of mini-scoring runs that saw them slowly pull away.
After falling behind midway through the first half, 3-2, K-D responded with a 4-1 run to close out the half and take a 6-4 advantage into the break. After the two sides traded goals to start the second half, another 4-1 run by the Rams saw them extend their cushion to 12-8 with less than 14 minutes to play. K-D extended its lead to a game-high five goals with less than five minutes to play, all but icing the game. The Warriors mounted one last comeback attempt late in the game, striking for two quick goals to pull within three, but couldn't find anymore offense before time ran out.
"I'm very proud of the resiliency," Wetzel said. "They believed in themselves and believed in their teammates and that's a great quality to have."
The Rams showed their scoring depth, with six different players notching goals. Morgan Bowings had a team-high four goals, while Gillian Zimmerman and Megan Halczuk each had three and Emmie Dressel scored twice and assisted on three others.
Kenna Hancock led the Warriors with four goals, all coming in the second half, while Rachel Marshner, Harley Mummert and Riley Roeder added two. Kayla Held scored a goal to go along with her three assists.
Despite the close loss, Susquehannock head coach Steve Marshner knows his team's sloppiness cost it a golden chance to earn a second huge win to kick off the season, after beating York Catholic by one to open the year.
"Turnovers hurt us and we couldn't get back into our offense," Marshner said. "We had so many turnovers in the game and they took advantage of the opportunity and also won over 50 percent of the draws. They're a really good ball team, but we just did not get the continuity we wanted in our offense and they took advantage of our turnovers."
Red Lion 13, New Oxford 11: At New Oxford, Allyssa Adams poured in seven goals to power the Lions. Peyton Shima (three goals), Samantha Collis (two goals, assist), Sara Simms (goal, assist) and Larissa Herbert (10 saves) also excelled for the winners.
Spring Grove 17, York Suburban 5: At Suburban, Casey Franklin scored eight goals and added two assists to have a 10-point afternoon for Spring Grove. Lauren Grove (five goals) and Hannah Miller (three goals, two assists) each had five-point games for the Rockets. Eryn McBride had three goals to lead York Suburban.
Dallastown 13, West York 4: At Dallastown, the Wildcats scored 11 times in the first half to pace themselves in the easy win. Danni Dubois had four goals and three assists to lead Dallastown, while Georgia Prindle, Olivia Jackson and Melissa Clapsaddle each added two goals. Clapsaddle also had an assist. Sydney Sweitzer scored three of the four goals for West York, while Holly Petwiler had the other.
Red Lion 19, New Oxford 5: At Red Lion, Sam Emig collected seven goals and two assists to power the home team. Zach Mentzer (five assists), Mason Gauntt (four goals) and Elijah Workinger (goal, three assists) also excelled for the winners. Gauntt was also a perfect 14 for 14 on face-offs.
Dallastown 16, West York 4: At West York, Ethan Pickett and Ser Greene each had three goals, while Andrew Kvasnovsky, Josh Sebastian, Nate Orendorf and Tanner Haines each added two scores for Dallastown. Pickett, Kvasnovsky and Haines also had assists. Taylor Bumgarner had seven saves to get the win in goal.
York Catholic 13, South Western 9: At York Catholic, Matthew Cassidy led the home team to the victory by scoring four goals and adding two assists. Eli Doyle had three goals and two assists for the winners, while Steven Nigro had two goals and two assists and Chandler Hake scored two goals.
York Suburban 13, Spring Grove 11: At Spring Grove, a big third quarter propelled the Trojans to a narrow win. Austin Sipes had five goals and an assist to lead Suburban, while Dominic Corto had two goals and five assists and goalie Blake Wallace made 14 saves. Spring Grove was led by Tanner Bolton, who had six goals.
Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.