GLEN ROCK — Shortly after Kennard-Dale earned a spot in the District 3 Class 2-A girls' lacrosse title match, Rams' star Emmie Dressel gave a shout out to teammate Megan Halczuk.
"The start set the tone for the entire game, and a lot of credit goes to Megan Halczuk," Dressel said following Kennard-Dale's 13-8 semifinal victory over York Catholic on Monday. "She (Halczuk) literally gets every draw."
K-D turned draw dominance and tenacious defense in the first half into goals.
The second-seeded Rams (17-1-1), who never trailed, led 6-1 at halftime. They pushed the advantage to 8-1 early in the second half, but York Catholic didn't quit. The third-seeded Fighting Irish (15-3-1) fought back and played like the team that tied K-D and to lost to the Rams by two goals in their earlier meetings this season.
York Catholic, which scored just one goal in the first half, outscored Kennard-Dale, 7-5, over the final 20 minutes, but the deficit was too big to overcome.
"Our defense hasn't gotten the credit it deserves," Rams' head coach Kelly Wetzel said. "Certainly that (the defense) was a factor. Also, we didn't have as many turnovers today."
Dressel, a LaSalle University recruit, led K-D with four goals. Gillian Zimmerman added three goals for the winners, while Callie Swegon and Morgan Bowings had two goals apiece.
Amanda Tufano, Peyton Feder and Anna Linthicum scored two goals each for York Catholic. However, the Fighting Irish didn't get their second goal until the 19:06 mark of the second half.
"I was shocked we only had one goal in the first half," York Catholic head coach Rob Linthicum said. "I bet we had a half dozen clears where we didn't get the ball past midfield. We gave them (K-D) too many (scoring) chances."
The Irish made an offensive adjustment at halftime that allowed them to find their offense.
"At halftime, we talked about taking care of the ball and placing shots," Linthicum said. "In the first half, our shots on her (K-D goalie Maria Schneider) were high. In the second half, we shot low."
K-D will bid for its second straight district title when it takes on York-Adams rival Susquehannock in the district title match. It's set for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hersheypark Stadium. The Rams won their first-ever District 3 title a year ago, when there was just a single class. This year, there are two classes.
"I'm curious to see how they come out," Wetzel said of Susquehannock. "They have some firepower."
No. 1 seed Susquehannock (19-3) cruised past No. 4 seed Hershey 18-10 in the other semifinal.
The message that Wetzel gave his players before Monday's match will be appropriate again on Wednesday.
"I told them, play your game. You're talented, and you are capable of competing with any team," he said.
K-D beat Susquehannock during their regular-season meeting 15-12 en route to winning the York-Adams League regular-season crown. The Rams also won the league playoff title.
York Catholic will face No. 4 seed Hershey (16-4) in the District 3 2-A third-place game at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lower Dauphin Middle School. All four of the teams still alive in the Class 2-A bracket have already qualified for PIAA state competition.
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