The Central York, Spring Grove and Trinity boys' lacrosse teams have a couple things in common.
For one, they all beat York Catholic this season.
For another, none of them will have to see the Fighting Irish again until the playoffs.
The defending York-Adams League champion is a team that no one wants to face these days. Coach Shane Harper’s crew has kicked things up a gear after ending a three-game losing streak two weeks ago.
The roll continued Thursday when York Catholic hosted rival Red Lion in a rematch of last year’s Y-A League title game. Senior Eli Doyle found the net nine times, but he had to endure a thrilling final 70 seconds before his team hung on for a 13-12 victory.
“Our game plan was to attack their defense,” Harper said after his team improved to 8-3 overall and 8-2 in the league. “We knew they had some strong, strong midfielders and we wanted to make use of our strong attack.”
Doyle singled out face-off specialist Drew Snelbaker for allowing the Irish to build momentum. Snelbaker won an impressive 21 of 26 draws for the contest.
“I have to give all of the credit to Drew,” Doyle said. “He got us the ball, and without the ball we can’t score. He controlled the game and really put us in good position.”
Doyle also couldn’t have done it without his young attacking peers giving him room to operate. Sophomore Chandler Hake finished with three goals and sophomore Matt Cassidy proved adept at helping Doyle find room to shoot.
To Doyle’s credit, he didn’t miss very often.
“They’ve really stepped up,” Doyle said. “Coming into this year, and not having any varsity experience, they’ve shown that they can play with anybody.”
The Irish were able to seize control of a nip-and-tuck affair early in the fourth quarter. After the Lions regained the lead at 10-9 with 10 minutes,19 seconds left, the home team reeled off four straight goals. They almost had a fifth one that came shortly after a Red Lion penalty, but the goal was waved off.
That negated tally seemed to light a fire under the Lions, who scored twice in a 48-second span to draw within a goal with 2:11 left on the clock. The visitors were then able to take possession of the ball with 70 seconds left on the clock when they called their final timeout.
The Irish were pretty sure that Red Lion standout Sam Emig would be called upon to help his team even things up. They were right. Emig, who scored three goals in the contest, worked his way behind the cage before dashing to the right of the cage. He tried several moves to get free before the home team was able to knock the ball to the ground.
“We fought hard,” said Red Lion coach Stefan Striffler, whose team dropped to 10-4 and 8-3. “A couple of calls didn’t go our way, but, you know what, at the end of the day we have to play hard and we have to put the ball in the back of the net.”
York Catholic was able to move the ball down the field before calling a timeout with 17 seconds left. After play resumed, the Lions were unable to get possession and take a final shot before the horn sounded.
That horn set off a wild celebration for the Irish, who drew closer to claiming one of the four Y-A League playoff berths.
The Lions, conversely, will need to likely win out to be able to finish in the top four. Striffler’s team still has tough games next week with rival Dallastown and Susquehannock — two teams that are battling with Red Lion for one of the final playoff berths.
Eastern York 19, Kennard-Dale 3: At Fawn Grove, Dominick Particelli led the Golden Knights by scoring six goals and adding one assist. Also for Eastern, Cole Witman had three goals and four assists, Jim Kurnik had two goals and six assists, John Gilbert had four goals and one assist, Cayden Michael had two goals and one assist and Bryce Henise had one goal and one assist. For the Rams, Wyatt Cairns scored two goals.
Central York 16, South Western 7: At South Western, T.J. Ross scored five goals to lead the Panthers past the host Mustangs. Central is 13-0 overall and 11-0 in the York-Adams League. Carson Perry scored four goals for South Western.
Susquehannock 13, York Suburban 8: At Glen Rock, the Warriors earned a big home win over the Trojans thanks to a nine-goal first half. Ian LeBlanc and Adam Rebich each netted three goals to lead Susquehannock, while Jacob Bedger, Colin Kernan and Zach Buchanon each tallied two. John Geary led Suburban with three goals, while Dominci Corto added a pair. Both goalies had big games, with the Warriors’ Justin Reed making 10 saves and the Trojans’ Blake Wallace coming up with 14. Susquehannock is 9-4 overall and 8-3 in the York-Adams League. Suburban is 7-4 both overall and in the league.
Dallastown 17, Dover 4: At Dallastown, Braven Morris and Ethan Pickett led the Wildcats to the victory by each scoring four goals and adding three assists. Also for Dallastown, Josh Sebastian had two goals and one assist, Jay Shifflet had one goal and one assist and Tanner Haines added two assists. Dallastown improved to 9-2 overall and 7-2 in the York-Adams League. For the Eagles, Sean McDonald scored two goals, while Cole Jesmer scored two goals and added one assist.
Kennard-Dale 23, Eastern York 5: At Wrightsville, Emmie Dressel led the Golden Knights by scoring six goals and adding three assists. Also for K-D, Megan Halczuk had five goals and two assists, Morgan Bowings scored four goals, Gillian Zimmerman had three goals and one assist, Calie Swegon and Maddie Day each scored two goals, Kayli Ashenfelter had one goal and one assist and Hannah Dandy added two assists. For the Knights, Addy Malone scored three goals, while Briana Pfeiffer scored two goals. K-D leads the York-Adams League at 8-0-1.
York Catholic 15, Red Lion 2: At Red Lion, Sarah Mazzur led the Irish by scoring four goals. Also for the Irish, Carlin Mayer scored three goals, Lauren China had two goals and one assist, Jamie Mullen scored two goals and Kirsten Lake made seven stops in goal. The Irish are 8-1-1 in the York-Adams League.
Susquehannock 23, York Suburban 3: At Suburban, Gena Speights scored a game-high six goals as the Warriors cruised. Emma Stifler, Sydney Smith, Kayla Held and Marciala Quintala each recorded hat tricks for Susquehannock. Kamile Waselewski scored two goals for Suburban.
West York 15, Spring Grove 13: At Spring Grove, Holly Detweiler scored five goals and Lakyn Brennaman added three more for the victorious Bulldogs. Lauren Grove paced the Rockets with a game-high seven goals.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.