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Welsh from Matthews. Or Matthews from Welsh.

Either way, the scoring combination can produce big results for the York Catholic girls' soccer team.

On Monday, it was MaCayla Welsh on the receiving end of Melanie Matthews' passes, helping the third-seeded Fighting Irish defeat sixth-seeded Harrisburg Christian 6-2 in the opening round of the District 3 Class 1-A playoffs.

Welsh had a hat trick, with Matthews supplying the assists on two of the goals. Matthews also collected a goal of her own by successfully converting a penalty kick.

"We both have speed, and we really connect well," Matthews said. "She's always there for my crosses, and I'm always there for her crosses."

It didn't take long in their latest match for the duo to click. Less than four minutes into the clash, Matthews slid a pass from the right side to Welsh, who scored from just to the left of the goal.

After a Paige Phillips goal pushed the York Catholic advantage to 2-0, Welsh struck again. This time, she booted a rebound into the net after Harrisburg Christian failed to clear the ball..

Matthews closed the Fighting Irish's first-half scoring when she  put away a penalty kick at the 13:59 mark.

Courtney Nattans accounted for York Catholic's fifth goal at 25:23 of the second half, and Welsh completed her three-goal day by scoring at 22:45 on a cross from Matthews.

Anna Cardillo accounted for both Harrisburg Christian goals.

The Irish fired 26 shots on goal to just six for the Knights.

The victory was York Catholic's eighth in its last 10 matches, with the only losses being to Fairfield (5-4) and York-Adams Tournament champion Central York (1-0). The Irish are 13-6 overall. Harrisburg Christian finished 10-6.

"We had a lot of injuries early in the season, we had a lot of key players out," York Catholic head coach Joe Nattans said. "Alexa Citrone went down in the second game of the season and she's been down for the whole year. MaCayla Welsh was out for almost a month and Carolyn Haskell was out for almost a month. Once we got to the midway point of the season, we  started getting healthy again, and we  started getting better."

Welsh hyper-extended a knee in the first match of the season.

"It's my senior year, and I didn't want to be out too long so I really pushed to get better," she said. "We went to Hershey (the district championship match) last year, and we want to go back again. This time, we want to win it (the title)."

York Catholic took its first step to a return trip to Hershey by defeating Harrisburg Christian on a windy afternoon at York Catholic.

"The first game of districts, we really have to work hard to get ahead early," Nattans said. "MaCayla had a really good game, and I think Melanie did a really good job of getting her the ball. We did a lot of good things today, but we still have a lot to work on."

York Catholic will face seventh-seeded Camp Hill (7-12) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday at Northeastern High School. Camp Hill downed second-seeded Mount Calvary on Monday, 3-0.

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GIRLS' SOCCER

Northeastern 3, Conrad Weiser 1: At Manchester, the seventh-seeded Bobcats rallied from a 1-0 hole to earn the District 3 Class 3-A first-round win. Amanda Bentz had two goals for Northeastern, while Brittany Arentz added one. Rachel Reeser made seven saves in goal to get the win. Northeastern (14-6-0) will now face second-seeded Northern York (18-0-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Boiling Springs High School. Northern York blanked Cocalico on Monday, 2-0. Conrad Weiser, seeded 10th, finished 11-6-0.

Hershey 4, Susquehannock 1: At Hershey, the ninth-seeded Warriors fell to the eighth-seeded Trojans in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. The Warriors finished 12-3-2. Hershey improved to 12-6-1.

Fairfield 11, Lancaster Country Day 3: At Fairfield, the high-scoring Green Knights had no trouble in their District 3 Class 1-A first-round battle. Top-seeded Fairfield (19-1-0) will now face fourth-seeded Tulpehocken (11-7-1) in the quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hamburg High School. Tulpehocken beat Lancaster County Christian on Monday, 2-0. Eighth-seeded LCD finished at 10-9.

BOYS' SOCCER

Susquehannock 7, Red Land 1: At Glen Rock, the Warriors rolled to a District 3 Class 3-A first-round victory. Jason Weger led the second-seeded Warriors (16-2-1), scoring two goals and adding one assist. Also for the Warriors, Zach Buchanan scored two goals, Lucas Miller added two assists and Greyson Murray, Alex Kettinger and Colton Mumley each scored one goal, while Dylan Burke and Ben Wilson added one assist apiece. Susquehannock advances to the quarterfinals and will face seventh-seeded Fleetwood at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Hersheypark Stadium. Fleetwood (14-3-1) beat McDevitt on Monday, 3-0. Red Land, seeded 15th, finished 5-13-1.

Gettysburg 3, Palmyra 0: At Gettysburg, Drew Wivell led the third-seeded Warriors with one goal and one assist in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. Also for Gettysburg (18-2-2), Logan Carbaugh and Matt Yingling each scored one goal, while Sal Pellerito added one assist. Yanni Tassou made seven stops in goal to record the shutout. Gettysburg moves to the quarterfinals and will face 11th-seeded Garden Spot at 5 p.m. Thursday at Northeastern High School. Garden Spot (7-9-2) upset sixth-seeded Hershey 9-8 in penalty kicks after the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two overtimes. Palmyra, seeded 14th, finished 6-12-1.

Greencastle 3, West York 0: At Greencastle, the Bulldogs' season ended with a loss in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. The ninth-seeded Bulldogs finished at 11-6. Eighth-seeded Greencastle improved to 14-5. Cameron Goodling had saves in goal for West York.

Lower Dauphin 8, Dover 0: At Lower Dauphin, the Eagles' season ended with a District 3 Class 3-A first-round loss to top-seeded Lower Dauphin (19-0-0). Dover, seeded 16th, finished at 7-10-0.

Reach Dick VanO'Linda at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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