The York Catholic boys' lacrosse team locked up the third spot in the upcoming York-Adams League tournament with a 20-8 statement victory against Dallastown.
There may not be a hungrier team entering the York-Adams League lacrosse playoffs than the York Catholic boys’ squad.
After suffering some tough early defeats to the teams now seeded above them, the Irish decided they wanted to wrap up the regular season last week by making a statement.
The message sent was simple. The Irish won’t be an easy out once the tournament kicks off Wednesday. They stated that case by putting up 20 goals against only eight in a decisive victory against Dallastown on May 3.
“I told them ‘With the exception of all of us in that huddle, there’s not a lot of people that believe we can just take it to anybody.’ And I said ‘Look guys, here’s your time to prove to not only Dallastown, but anyone else that wants to watch or listen, we mean business. We’re here to play,’” Irish head coach Shane Harper said after the win.
Not only do the Irish (11-4 overall, 11-2 in the league) want to prove they’re no slouch, they’re also looking to exact some revenge along the way.
One last thing: Before the Y-A lacrosse postseason get started, however, there’s one big piece of regular-season business left unfinished. A solid week of local lacrosse actions gets underway Monday in a game that will determine the fourth-and-final boys' playoff spot.
Still stinging from the drubbing delivered by the Irish, Dallastown (11-3, 9-3) hosts backyard-rival Red Lion (9-6, 7-4) at 7 p.m. Monday to help find out which team will take on top-seeded Central York at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Susquehannock in a league playoff semifinal.
Dallastown is in with a win. Should the Lions win, however, they’d also need to beat New Oxford (4-11, 3-8) the next day to secure the fourth spot.
The defending league champion Panthers enter the event having gone through the regular season 16-0. It was the second-straight year they posted an unblemished, 13-0 Y-A record.
Central owns a 15-10 road win at Red Lion on April 6. A week later, Central defended its turf from a Dallastown comeback attempt in an 10-8 triumph.
The Panthers haven’t been tested in quite some time. No league team has gotten within 10 goals of Central since the Panthers claimed a 9-6 win at Susquehannock on April 17. Since then, the tightest battle Central was given was a 11-10 nonleague triumph at Cumberland Valley on April 27.
Irish on a roll: The Irish, meanwhile, are on a run, too, rattling off six straight wins since falling to the team they’ll tangle with in the other league semifinal Wednesday — Susquehannock.
The Warriors and Irish were locked in a 9-9 tie midway through their first meeting on April 23 before a 5-0 scoring run helped Susquehannock to a 14-11 win on its home turf. It was the first time the Warriors had defeated the Irish in three years.
Since that loss, the Irish have gone on to outscore their opposition, 92-27.
Susquehannock is on a solid streak of its own entering the playoffs. The Warriors' defeat of the Irish is part of a seven-game win streak that has seen them outscore foes, 93-40.
The Irish and Warriors will face off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Central.
Should Central and York Catholic each prove victorious, they’d meet again in a rematch of one the regular-season's more entertaining games.
On April 10, Central traveled to York Catholic. A Connor Hoch goal with 3:01 left to play, followed by a series of defensive stops, helped push the Panthers past the Irish, 10-9.
Also, it was the Panthers who denied the Irish the league playoff title a season ago.
Girls' tournament: On the girls’ side, the league tournament field will be comprised of its usual "Big Three" in Susquehannock (15-0, 13-0), Kennard-Dale (14-2, 11-1) and York Catholic (10-5, 9-3), as well as a potential wild card.
It marks the fourth-straight season the group has participated in the playoffs. With the inclusion of South Western (11-3, 9-3), the field and match-ups are the same as a season ago.
The Warriors are the tournament’s top seed thanks to an undefeated league schedule that included a thrilling early-season, April 3 victory over second-seeded K-D.
That game, which might have been a tournament title game preview, was originally scheduled to be played in Fawn Grove. But the persistent cold and rainy weather that plagued the first few weeks of the spring sports season caused a venue change to the turf in Glen Rock.
There, the Warriors and Rams each put on brilliant efforts despite the less-than-ideal conditions before Riley Roeder scored in overtime to give Susquehannock the 11-10 win.
Familiar matchup: Just like on the boys’ side, one of the semifinals Wednesday will see Susquehannock facing York Catholic at Central, with a 5:30 p.m. start. York Catholic enters as the fourth seed with three league losses coming to the three seeds ahead of them.
The first meeting between the perennial league powers saw the Warriors walk away from the field at York Catholic with a 9-8 victory in overtime. While the usual suspects did their thing in the scoring column, that contest was critically aided by Sam McGuire narrowly outdueling another all-star keeper in Kirsten Lake. McGuire made 13 crucial saves on a night when Lake stopped seven shots.
The other girls' semifinal will see defending league champion K-D begin its quest for a fourth-straight league crown when it takes on South Western at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the turf in Glen Rock.
South Western is the third seed thanks to an April 7, 14-11 home victory against the Irish.
The Rams tamed the Mustangs 22-6 the first time these two teams met on April 12.
The winners of each of Wednesday’s semifinals will then face off on Friday at Red Lion, with the girls’ game getting underway at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ title tilt at 7 p.m.
Elijah Armold is a sports reporter for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.