York Catholic girls, Central York boys capture league lacrosse championships
The Panthers thumped Dallastown for a 17-3 victory, while the Irish held off a shorthanded South Western squad.
GLEN ROCK — The York-Adams League boys’ and girls’ lacrosse championship games Friday night at Susquehannock High School figured to be a pair of exciting clashes decided around the final buzzer.
One of those battles lived up that hype, but the other was an outright rout.
In the nightcap, short-handed South Western rallied in the second half to take a lead against rival York Catholic. Being down three players, however, proved too much of an obstacle as the Irish scored the final two goals to claim a thrilling 12-11 victory.
The much-anticipated boys' rematch between regular-season champ Dallastown and red-hot Central York featured absolutely no drama in the second half. The Panthers raced out to a quick 3-0 lead and never were threatened en route to a 17-3 thrashing of the Wildcats.
Irish escape: In a contest that featured seven cards for blows to the head — five against South Western and two against York Catholic — the Irish were up three players in the second half. But the Mustangs made a game of it when it almost certainly should have been a one-sided domination by the York Catholic girls.
After a quick tally to begin the second half, the Irish were up 10-6. Over the next 14 minutes and 10 seconds, South Western scored five unanswered goals to take an 11-10 lead with 10:09 left.
“We should have done a little bit better,” York Catholic coach Jim Mullen said. “I think the girls went into a timer, kind of, and they weren’t pushing. I wanted a couple more goals just to be safe.”
What Mullen got was a pair of goals by the Bullen sisters, Katie and Emma. Katie evened the contest with 4:20 left before Emma put the Irish up with 2:31 on the clock.
“I was getting a little bit nervous there,” said Katie Bullen, who matched her sister with three goals in the triumph. “I think we all were a little nervous and not as clean, but I think we got better and calmed down a little bit.”
The Irish won the ensuing draw but turned the ball over with just over a minute remaining. The Mustangs cleared the ball to the offensive zone, but the YC girls were able to double and triple-team the South Western attackers, preventing the Mustangs from getting a scoring chance.
South Western coach Randy Kavanaugh, however, felt as if a foul could have been called to give the Mustangs a free position chance to tie it.
“Even (Mullen) said to me that he thought (my players) got fouled,” Kavanaugh said. “I thought the officials did a good job and one play doesn’t define the game. You can’t check in the open field and those cards will kill you.”
The fact that the South Western girls were even remotely in the game with their player-down situation — in addition to losing attacker Rachel Marshall to a leg injury in the first half — is something Kavanaugh stressed he was pleased to see.
“Our girls worked hard,” Kavanaugh said. “Super proud of them. I have a lot of faith in my girls. We work hard at practice. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Delaney Staples led the Irish with four goals in the victory, followed by hat tricks from both Bullen sisters. Lexi Plesic and Paige Coates headed the Mustangs' scoring with three goals apiece.
Boys' blowout: After losing a tough 7-6 contest in the league opener to Dallastown, the Central York boys have not fallen since, including a tough 8-7 overtime victory against Susquehannock on Wednesday.
There was little doubt which team would prevail Friday, as the Panthers had their collective foot on the gas all night in gaining a big dose of redemption against the Wildcats. The biggest question of the night wasn’t who would win, but rather if CY coach Ryan Muller would have to pay off a little wager he made with his team Thursday.
“I told them I would buy them Chick-fil-A nuggets if we held (Dallastown) to three goals or less,” Muller said. “Three was the nugget number.”
The Panthers led 7-2 at intermission and were able to dominate possession in the second half, which limited the Dallastown boys to just one goal to win their wager with Muller.
“I’ll probably pay it off Tuesday at practice,” Muller said.
Even the offense was hyped about defensive effort. Panthers senior Dayton Bagwell, who scored three goals, sounded just as excited about the nuggets as the gold medal he was wearing for the team’s championship.
“The defense did a great job down there,” Bagwell said. “We held them to three and credit to Sam (Czech) and the crew.”
Czech, who missed last year’s playoffs with an injury, was given the task of stopping Dallastown standout Griffin Pickett all night. Pickett scored one goal and was limited to just that one shot.
“Sam does a ton for us,” Bagwell said. “He’s the rock back there. I’m going to be honest with you ... he’s one of the best defenders that I’ve ever played against. He guards me at practice and he throws hard checks. He’s just a great defender and he means a lot to our team.”
The Wildcats clearly weren’t expecting to be rolled like they were Friday, but some of it may have been a result of a number of injuries that have piled up over the past week.
“(Central) just came out and outhustled us all game and just won the one-on-one matchups all night," Dallastown coach Scott Toman said. “We’re a little banged-up, so we’ll give the boys off for the weekend and get back at it starting Monday.
“We’ll have to watch film and see what we did, but I think we already know a lot of the things we did wrong, but we’ll make our adjustments and make our corrections.”
Macon Myers scored four goals and Cameron Diehl finished with three for the York-Adams League champion Panthers.