DALLASTOWN — Fans of York-Adams League boys’ lacrosse get a treat this season when any of the top six teams square off with one another.
Thursday evening was no exception.
It was thrilling once more when two of the best teams in the league faced off at Wildcat Field in Dallastown, where the home team hosted York Catholic.
The Wildcats and Irish traded the lead back and forth throughout the contest on a cold and windy evening. The score was deadlocked at 10-10 heading into the final period, but it was the visitors who gained the lead for good with a pair of goals.
While Dallastown had its chances to even things up, the Irish were not to be denied. Steven Nigro maintained possession as the horn sounded in an exciting 15-14 victory.
York Catholic sewed up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Y-A League playoffs after improving to 10-2. The Wildcats dropped into what could very well be a three-way tie for the fourth-and-final playoff spot with both Susquehannock (9-4) and York Suburban (8-4) after falling to 9-4. Red Lion defeated Susquehannock, 9-8, in overtime to improve to 10-3 while locking up the No. 3 seed.
While guys such as Eli Doyle, who leads York Catholic in scoring, get a lot of attention, it was the role players who stepped up for the Irish Thursday. Many of them did the little things that often don’t show up on the score sheet, yet proved invaluable to the outcome.
“Steven was work horse,” Doyle said. “He took some hits but he stuck in there.”
While the trio of Doyle (five goals), Matt Cassidy (three goals) and Chandler Hake (three goals) were solid all night, the play of guys such as Nigro, Dimitri Amalfitano and Drew Snelbaker was key, too.
Not typically a big scorer, Nigro tallied a pair of goals to go with an assist in the triumph. His big impact, however, came in helping the Irish maintain possession of the ball late.
“He doesn’t score many goals,” York Catholic coach Shane Harper said. “He’s more of an assist guy, but he’s our dodger from up top. He loves to score, but he’s a very unselfish player.”
Amalfitano scored a goal with 8 minutes and 11 seconds left that put the Irish ahead 12-10. His goal came while he received a cross-check that resulted in a Dallastown penalty.
“He ran around and went through to middle,” Harper said. “He drew a penalty yet still scored the goal.”
One reason the Irish are in a position to defend their league title next week is the play of Snelbaker, who won 19 of 27 draws on the evening.
“We all wanted to win this thing,” Harper said. “But there were certainly some big individual efforts on Steven’s part, Dimitri’s part and Drew’s part. Drew took a beating on the face-offs. (Dallastown’s) plan was to bring a pole up and just beat Drew. It worked last year, but Drew really stepped it up and he was able to power through some of those.”
The Irish still have a make-up contest to play Monday against New Oxford before next week’s playoff, but the Wildcats will have to scramble to claim a spot. Entering the week with two losses, the Wildcats fell by one-goal margins to both Red Lion and now York Catholic this week. Their other two losses came against Central and Suburban, also by just one goal.
Dallastown was led by Tanner Haines and Ethan Pickett, who each tallied three goals.
Red Lion 9, Susquehannock 8 (2 OT): At Glen Rock, Sam Emig and Ben Hornberger each posted three goals and an assist as the Lions collected a key road victory in double overtime. Jack Allred and Jacob Bedgar each recorded two goals and an assist to lead the Warriors. With the victory, Red Lion clinches a spot in the York-Adams League Tournament. The loss pushes Susquehannock into a group of three teams vying for the final spot in the league tournament. Central York and York Catholic will join the Lions in the four-team tournament.
Spring Grove 11, New Oxford 5: At New Oxford, Tanner Bolton led Spring Grove with five goals, while Dylan Griffiths chipped in with three goals and two assists.
South Western 13, Eastern York 10: At Hanover, Braden Dunn led the offensive charge for South Western, registering four goals and three assists. Dom Particelli and Jimmy Kurnik each tallied four goals for Eastern.
Susquehannock 23, Red Lion 6: At Red Lion, Gena Speights had a game-high six goals and Kenna Hancock added an eight-point effort with four goals and four assists to lead the Warriors (11-1 in York-Adams League). Peyton Shima scored three goals and added two assists for Red Lion.
York Catholic 15, Dallastown 6: At York Catholic, Amanda Tufano and Lauren China each scored four goals to lead the Irish. Melissa Clapsaddle scored four goals to pace the Wildcats.
South Western 9, Eastern York 7: At Wrightsville, Elizabeth Antoshak and Jordon Gertz each scored three times to lead South Western. Chelsea Forsyth and Kylie Nikolaus each led Eastern with two goals.
New Oxford 10, Spring Grove 5: At Spring Grove, Bri Smith, Raleigh Bateman and Carli Flickinger each had two goals for New Oxford, while Smith, Bateman and Lexi Leete (goal, two assists) each had three points. Spring Grove got two goals from Cassidy Patchel.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.