Anytime the postseason begins and the one-and-done concept comes into play, it adds a different dynamic to the games.
For a team such as York Catholic, which entered the District 3 Class 2-A girls' lacrosse playoffs as the No. 3 seed, there is even more pressure. The Fighting Irish don't want to allow an underdog team to stick around early and generate momentum into the latter part of the game. That's how upsets are made and how dream seasons are crushed.
So, it came as a relief and a pleasure to Irish head coach Rob Linthicum that his girls came out firing on all cylinders in Monday's first-round game against No. 14 Berks Catholic, comfortably winning 19-6 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
"We obviously came out with a lot of intensity after the county championship on Friday night," he said. "Coming off that tough loss (12-10 to Kennard-Dale), you always worry about that, whether the kids would be emotionally ready for it and they seemed to be. They were in a joking-around mood and that's always a good sign for their mental state, so I was pretty happy with how they came out."
The game could best be summed up in two major scoring runs by York Catholic (14-3-1), the first to open the game and then the second one to close it out and put away the Saints (7-11).
To begin the game, the Irish scored the game's first eight goals, establishing their superiority over Berks Catholic and not letting their foot off the gas. Then, after the Saints finally gained possession a couple times and scored twice in less than two minutes to halt York Catholic's momentum, the Irish picked up where they left off, rattling off 11 consecutive goals to put the game firmly in their grasp. By halftime, York Catholic led 12-2, instituting a running clock for all of the second half. By the time the score got to 15-2, Linthicum began pulling his starters to give them much-needed rest and allow other players to get some meaningful minutes.
"Every game in the postseason is important and knowing that the starters can come out and have some of the other girls get out on the field is really awesome," senior Anna Linthicum said. "...It says a lot about the girls themselves to have enough confidence to go out and produce."
Aside from Linthicum, who had three goals and four assists, the scoring attack for the Irish was balanced. After Linthicum, Carlin Mayer was the next highest scorer for York Catholic with three points, all coming on goals. In total, 10 different Irish players registered goals, while seven of them had multi-goal performances — Linthicum, Mayer, Amanda Tufano, Kayleigh Poprivka, Peyton Feder, Kloe Jackson and Lauren China.
"All around the league and in different leagues, you hear people talking about stats and scoring records and different things," Rob Linthicum said. "My players know that I'm not into that. I won't keep players in to pad stats. We like to see 10 girls score, so it's a good performance."
The only time Berks Catholic looked like it could match up with York Catholic was when pretty much every Irish starter was out of the game, leading to the Saints closing out the game on a 4-0 run to make the final score a little bit more reasonable.
York Catholic will now face No. 6 Wyomissing (14-6) in Wednesday's quarterfinal round, after Wyomissing dispatched No. 11 Palmyra, 20-9. The Fighting Irish will play host to that game. The winner of that game will also secure a berth in the state playoffs. The top-four teams in Class 2-A qualify for the PIAA state tournament.
Kennard-Dale 29, Harrisburg Christian 2: At Fawn Grove, the York-Adams League champion Rams (15-1-1) easily advanced to the quarterfinals of the District 3 2-A tournament by scoring a District 3 playoff record for goals in a game. While the goals are what stood out for the team, it was Emmie Dressel’s passing that paced the K-D attack. She dished out 13 assists in the win. Megan Halczuk had six goals to lead the Rams, while Maddie Day added five. Dressel and Gillian Zimmerman each tallied three goals. No. 2 seed K-D will play host to No 10 seed Trinity in Wednesday's quarterfinals. Trinity (12-6) downed No. 7 seed Lampeter-Strasburg on Monday, 15-14.
Susquehannock 28, West York 4: At Glen Rock, the Warriors’ offense gave the Bulldogs little chance in this one, scoring 18 goals by halftime to advance into the quarterfinals of the District 3 2-A playoffs. Rachel Marshner, Harley Mummert and Gena Speights all scored five goals for Susquehannock (17-3), while Riley Roeder, Kenna Hancock and Emma Stiffler each netted four. MaKenna Hoffman had two goals for West York, while Sydney Sweitzer and Chloe Smith each added one. No. 1 seed Susquehannock will now play host to No. 9 seed Cocalico (11-7) in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
Cocalico 16, Eastern York 4: At Wrightsville, the eighth-seeded Golden Knights saw their season come to a close in the opening round of the District 3 2-A tournament. Briana Pfeiffer, Chelsea Forsyth, Addison Malone and Kylie Nikolaus each scored a goal for the Golden Knights, who finished 11-6-1.
Hempfield 17, Red Lion 12: At Hempfield, the Lions saw their season come to an end in the opening round of the District 3 3-A tournament. No. 11 seed Red Lion scored six goals in both halves, but was done in by a huge 12-goal first half by No. 6 seed Hempfield. Alyssa Adams was the Lions’ standout scorer, netting six goals and adding an assist, while Peyton Shima and Kaiya Edwards each added two. Red Lion finished at 9-8. Hempfield is 13-6.
Gov. Mifflin 13, Dallastown 6: At Shillington, the 12th-seeded Wildcats saw their season come to a close with a loss in the first round of the District 3 3-A playoffs. No. 5 seed Gov. Mifflin used a dominating first half, outscoring Dallastown, 10-2, to pace itself to the comfortable win. Melissa Clapsaddle was the only Wildcat to score more than one goal in the game, putting home two in the loss. Dallastown finished 8-9. Gov. Mifflin improved to 13-7.
Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.