Dallastown boys' lacrosse thwarts Susquehannock in battle for first place

The Wildcats cemented their place atop the York-Adams League standings with the 11-6 victory.

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

GLEN ROCK — Neither the Dallastown or Susquehannock boys’ lacrosse teams suffered a single defeat over the first month of the 2023 season. In the last week, however, both squads felt the bitterness of their unbeaten marks taking a direct hit.

Those setbacks only reinforced how important Thursday evening’s clash between the York-Adams League powers was to both sides.

After falling behind early, the Wildcats used a late first-period blitz to take command. The visitors then throttled the high-octane Warriors offense, limiting the hosts to just one goal in each of the final three quarters to claim a thrilling 11-6 triumph.

Dallastown’s Griffin Pickett, left, carries the ball while Kennard-Dale’s Tyler Mack defends during boys’ lacrosse action at Dallastown Area High School in York Township, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Dallastown would win the game 19-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Dallastown’s victory keeps the Wildcats (14-1, 11-0) atop the York-Adams League standings, while the Warriors — who entered the week tied with Dallastown — dropped their second straight game to fall to 11-2 overall and 9-2 in the league.

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Coming off a non-league 13-10 setback against Lampeter-Strasburg that ended the Wildcats’ unbeaten run, the Dallastown boys placed their focused back on doing the things that have worked so well for them to date.

“We just really took that loss to heart,” Dallastown senior Evan Mitchell said. “We just knew what we had to do coming (into this week). We studied the film on them and we were mentally locked in.”

Mitchell was a thorn in the side of the Susquehannock defense all game as he burned the Warriors for five goals to go along with an assist in the triumph. Teammates Josh Reid and Connor Farrell each found the net twice, while Griffin Pickett controlled the attack while collecting four assists.

“The game plan was to execute and play the type of lacrosse that we’ve played all year,” Wildcats coach Scott Toman said. “And I think in the second quarter that they controlled the ball and we were struggling to clear the ball a little bit. We just had to clean that up and in the second half we did.”

Doug Reinecke led Susquehannock with three goals, while Ben Oestrike finished with two in the setback. Dallastown goalie Nick Ungerland stood tall throughout the match as he cleaned up what his defense couldn’t. Ungerland finished with 19 saves between the pipes to stymie the Warriors.

Susquehannock's Doug Reinecke (19) on goal against Southwestern during their boys lacrosse game in Hanover on Thursday, Apr. 6, 2023.

Dallastown held Susquehannock to just two goals over the final 24 minutes as the Wildcats controlled the flow of the game for most of the last two periods.

“We made some adjustments at halftime and it was much better,” Toman said.

Against the Pioneers on Saturday morning, the Wildcats had trouble finding open shots. While the space wasn’t much more prevalent Thursday, they were more patient as they wore down the Warrior defense.

“I think we are just working together well as a team,” Mitchell said. “This is the best group of guys that I’ve played with in a while. These guys are just great. ... I couldn’t enjoy playing with them any more than I do.”

While Susquehannock and Central York, which took down the Warriors on Tuesday, have garnered much of the attention as the top two programs in the league over the past five years, the Wildcats weren’t about to settle for being second-class citizens this spring. Dallastown handed the Panthers a 7-6 setback in March and now has beaten a Susquehannock team that won the District 3 Class 2A title a season ago.

“I had a feeling about this team,” Mitchell said. “Every other team lost some guys, but we just had our core coming back, so I really believed we would be where we are.”

While the Wildcats are in sole possession of first place, Mitchell knew exactly where they would be when they boarded the bus back to Dallastown after Thursday’s triumph.

“Miami by Will Smith,” Mitchell said. “That’s the first song we play on the bus after every win and we’re always listening to it.”

The Wildcats' party will resume next week when they close their regular season against West York and York Catholic. Susquehannock's final league games are at Delone Catholic and Dover, followed by a meeting with Hempfield on Friday, May 5.