Central York boys, York Catholic girls battle into league lacrosse finals

The Panther boys and Fighting Irish girls both held off Susquehannock in a doubleheader at Red Lion.

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

RED LION — There’s a saying in sports that "it ain’t over until it’s over," and the Susquehannock boys’ lacrosse team found that out the hard way Wednesday night in the York-Adams League semifinals against rival Central York.

The Warriors took a late lead on the Panthers when Doug Reinecke found the net with 84 seconds left. But no one-goal lead is ever safe in lacrosse, and Susquehannock’s wasn’t, either. Central's Dayton Bagwell evened the score up with just over 30 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

After winning the draw to begin the extra session, the Warriors called a timeout to set up a play to win it. While things went to plan, the shot didn’t find the net, giving the Panthers possession. With time winding down late in the four-minute session, the ball found its way to Mitchel Myers, who ripped a shot into the cage for a thrilling game-winner as the Central York boys clawed out an 8-7 triumph at Red Lion's Horn Field.

Central York's Mitchel Myers (40) against Hempfield during their lacrosse game in Springettsbury on Wednesday March 22, 2023.

The girls’ lacrosse semifinal was nearly as thrilling, as York Catholic and Susquehannock squared off. Deadlocked at 4-4 at the break, the Irish surged over the final 18 minutes of action to pull out a 10-7 victory.

Those outcomes set up a pair of championship matches Friday at Susquehannock High School. The Panthers will take on Dallastown in the boys' final, while the Irish will meet up with South Western in the girls' title tilt. The boys will kick off the doubleheader at 5 p.m. with the girls slated to begin around 7:15.

Wednesday roundup:Dallastown boys, South Western girls advance to league lacrosse finals

Sudden-death stunner: While Bagwell and Macon Myers are standouts on the Central York attack, Mitchel Myers has proven to be clutch when the Panthers need it. For the second time this season, he delivered the game-winner in overtime.

“My brother (Macon) had the ball and the alley was open,” Mitchel Myers said. “He saw me open and passed me the ball. I handled it well and was actually quite surprised that I caught it, but I did. I just then shot it at the (goalie’s) outside hip. I had confidence in myself and in my shot.”

The Central York bench erupted with Myers’ winner, and the Panthers celebrated together on the field.

“That was awesome,” Mitchel Myers said. “Just great to be able to celebrate it with my team.”

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Panthers coach Ryan Muller was probably one of the more anxious people on the field Wednesday as his team dominated in the time of possession in the second half. Despite that advantage, the Panthers were still playing catch-up after trailing 5-4 at the break.

“I was just thinking, ‘We have to get one,’” Muller said. “We had the ball for so long and had some good shots and we were so close to finishing it off. I knew that eventually one was going to fall. Mitch got a good pass and if he would have missed that one, well ... that would have been not good.”

Instead, "not good" was the feeling on the Susquehannock sideline afterward. In the timeout before Reinecke’s tally, Warriors coach Tom Mayne told his team in no uncertain terms that he believed in them. Seconds later, the team rewarded their coach’s faith with a goal that had the players in white and red jumping up and down and celebrating loudly.

After Bagwell broke Warriors hearts with his late goal, Susquehannock won the faceoff in overtime to get what Mayne hoped would be a shot-and-score finish.

“That was the one,” Mayne said. “And we got a look, but it wasn’t the right shot. I saw it and wanted to run something different there, but my guy was already shooting it, so I thought, 'Well, if it goes in, great, but if it doesn’t, we may not see the ball again.' And we didn’t, and that’s what happens.”

York Catholic's Jess Daugherty (6) against Dallastown's Hailey Markey (10) and Brynn Terry (14) during their girls lacrosse game in York on Thursday, May 4, 2023.

Seeking payback: The York Catholic girls rarely have looked for revenge over the past five seasons, primarily because they have run roughshod over the league of late. The Irish, however, were eager to gain a measure of redemption against a Susquehannock team that handed them a humbling loss in the regular season.

“They embarrassed us, quite frankly,” York Catholic coach Jim Mullen told his team. “So I’m proud of the effort tonight.”

A lot of that effort was the result of a terrific night by netminder Amanda Reed. The Georgetown recruit shined with 12 saves, frustrating a Warriors side that put up 11 goals in the regular-season victory.

“It was super stressful,” Reed said. “I’ve played lacrosse with a lot of these girls my whole life, so I know how talented they all are. But when you are in the goal, you can’t think of the friendships that you have. You just have to focus in on the ball. I just kind of take a deep breath in and relax.”

The Irish and Reed were able to do that, as the YC girls broke open a tight battle in the second half. The Irish used a 4-1 run to claim a 10-6 advantage with just over 11 minutes left, which allowed York Catholic to slow the game down and play keep-away.

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With her play on the field and her excitement off it afterward, one wouldn't have known Reed spent Tuesday, which was her birthday, not practicing because of a head cold.

“You couldn’t tell, but she was really sick (Tuesday),” said Mullen, who gave Reed a signed game ball to commemorate making her 300th career save in the triumph. “She could barely breathe at practice, she was so congested. So I was a little worried about if she would be able to make it today. I guess, maybe, she had some extra special birthday cake or something.”

The Irish were led by a four-goal game from Jess Daugherty, while Katie Bullen finished with three in the victory. Rachel Stiffler led Susquehannock with three goals in the setback.