EMIGSVILLE — The best offensive teams go through their struggles.
Even with a roster full of talent at the attack and midfield positions, it's sometimes hard to get everyone on the same page.
The Central York boys’ lacrosse squad has not been immune from those issues.
A team that has a knack for putting up some big numbers can, at times, play what coaches refer to as "hero ball."
That trait was nowhere to be seen Monday during the Panthers' impressive 12-5 triumph over visiting Susquehannock in a meeting of York-Adams League powers.
Even though Matt Hawksworth scored a career-high five goals, a good deal of scores were the result of crisp passes that left the CY senior with open looks.
“The really good thing about our team is that we can score from anywhere on the field,” Central coach Ryan Muller said. “A lot of teams have two or three goal scorers, but we have a guy that might score five in one game and not score in the next one.”
With everyone aware of their abilities, that can sometimes lead players to try to do too much.
“We can try to play hero ball because we have so much depth,” Hawksworth said. “We just have to work the ball around and not go for the first shot, but go for the best shot.”
Lots of assists: Monday’s victory was a perfect example. Each of the 12 goals came with an assist attached to it. Ryan Fahs led the way with four assists to go with his two goals, while Ryan Kilgour tallied three assists to go with his pair of goals.
“We know that we can all create shots,” said Hawksworth, who also had an assist. “But we play our best when we go for the best shot.”
That realization was cemented for the Panthers just seven days before their triumph over the Warriors in a heartbreaking overtime loss against unbeaten York Catholic.
“We start out better when we’re actually focused on what we need to do,” Hawksworth said. “Sometimes in big games we start out slow.”
Fast start: The Panthers raced out to a 2-0 lead against Susquehannock and led 5-1 midway through the second quarter.
“I always try to stress with the kids that we have to dictate early how the game is played,” Muller said. “A couple of times already this year we’ve kind of let the other team dictate to us.”
The biggest question for the Panthers now is how to keep playing that way more consistently. Muller and Hawksworth both believe that if they can do that, good things are in store for them come playoff time.
Since their OT loss to the Irish a week ago, the Panthers have impressed in victories over Dallastown, Cumberland Valley and now against Susquehannock. They entered Monday ranked fifth in Class 3-A in the latest District 3 power ratings.
“With this team, we’ve been playing together for all of our life,” Hawksworth said. “And I feel that we have the talent to make it to a District 3 final. We just have to stay focused and stay on track.”
Both Central and Susquehannock are both 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the Y-A League. Susquehannock is No. 5 in the District 3 Class 2-A power ratings.
The Warriors are led this season by Tom Mayne, who earlier enjoyed a successful run as Central York's head coach.
Spring Grove 13, Garden Spot 5: Cameron Back had three goals and an assist to lead the Rockets to the nonleague win. Jake Delaughter and Colson Martin each added three goals, while Nicholas Myers added two goals and Adam Culp collected a goal and an assist.
Dover 15, West York 5: At West York, Paige Lantz led the Eagles by scoring 11 goals and adding two assists. Also for Dover, Annie Long scored two goals, while Kaitlyn DiGiovanni scored one goal and added two assists. For the Bulldogs, Lydia Neuman and Sydney Sweitzer each scored two goals.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.