GLEN ROCK — There was little doubt that Susquehannock girls’ soccer standout Emma Lonas would play a big part in the game plan for York-Adams League Division II showdown with rival Dover on Thursday, Sept. 28.
After scoring all four of her team’s goals in a 4-3 victory earlier in the month vs. Dover, Lonas certainly had the attention of the Eagles' coaching staff.
That effort also drew the attention of Warriors' coach Pat Brubaker. So, instead of having Lonas attempt to match her feat, Brubaker decided to use Lonas in a more defensive role.
The Susquehannock junior was given the task of limiting Dover playmaker Kylie Firestone in the pivotal battle. To her credit, Lonas did just what her coach asked her to do.
Firestone, as well as the rest of the Dover squad, was held scoreless by Lonas and company. Matched with a pair of goals by Emily Rathell and Ashlynn Weger, and it was a recipe for a satisfying 2-0 triumph for Susquehannock.
“It was definitely different,” Lonas said. “But my freshman year I man-marked a lot and I think that coach thought I might be man-marked for this game just because of what happened last time. And we know that (Kylie) is their playmaker and we thought that if we shut her down that we could shut their whole team down.”
While the Warriors' efforts were effective, the visiting Eagles did still have their chances. Dover came close a couple of times, including one shot that bounced off the crossbar with just more than a minute left in the contest.
“I can’t really be upset about our performance at all,” Dover coach Bret Altimore said. “We just didn’t come out winning, but that’s OK.”
It is much easier for a team to protect a lead with a more defensive posture in soccer than it is to comeback. Rathell got the scoring started around the nine-minute mark to put the home team ahead. Weger doubled the lead on the counterattack just more than six minutes into the second half.
With the Eagles taking more chances to try to even the score, Lonas was forced to expend a lot of energy. She chased Firestone around the field throughout the game, often without a chance to catch her breath.
“She’s a really, really good player,” Lonas said of Firestone. “She’s really fast and she’s all over the place. I would try to get a break, but she’d move down the field and I just kept having to chase her down.”
While the victory was equally important for both teams, it was probably a little bigger for Brubaker’s crew, which was coming off a disheartening loss to Gettysburg earlier in the week. That setback briefly created a three-way tie between Dover, Susquehannock and Gettysburg atop the division standings.
“We’ve sort of been beating each other,” Brubaker said, noting that Dover beat Gettysburg last week. “Even after tonight, I think it remains pretty wide open.”
A loss to the Eagles would have marked the first time in nearly three-plus years that Brubaker and his team dropped back-to-back contests on their home turf. That possibility was something that neither Lonas nor her teammates wanted to experience.
“That loss kind of lit a fire underneath of us,” she said. “And that fact that we were tied with Dover and Gettysburg, we knew that this was a crucial game.”
Susquehannock and Gettysburg are now tied for the division lead at 6-1, while Dover fell to 5-2.
Warrior goalie Maggie Sisler made five saves to record the shutout.
Dallastown 3, South Western 0: At Hanover, the Wildcats rolled behind goals from Lily Jamison, Emma Schmitt and Carsyn Gold.
York Catholic 1, Littlestown 0: At Littlestown, the lone goal came in the first half on an own goal at the 25:41 mark. Irish goalie, Amelia Strayer made 11 stops to record the shutout victory.
York Catholic 4, Littlestown 2: At York, Nick DeMarco and Seth Falvey each had a goal and an assist to lead the Irish. Tate Kibler and T.J. McGraw also had York Catholic goals, while Nick Santamria had an assist.
Red Lion 4, New Oxford 3 (2OT): At Red Lion, Michael Moffit broke a 3-3 tie in the second OT. Moffit scored all four Red Lion goals. Dean Hanes picked up two assists, while Brody Patmore added one assist.
Dallastown 1, South Western 0: At Dallastown, Cade Curran scored a second-half goal off an assist from Gabe Wunderlich to lift the Wildcats to the win. Brandon Hole made three saves to record the shutout.
Gettysburg 2, Kennard-Dale 1: At Fawn Grove, Sal Pellerito broke a 1-1 tie when he found the back of the net at the 15:00 mark of the second half. For the Rams, James Craig scored the first goal of the match.
Conestoga Valley 3, Northeastern 1: At Manchester, D.J. Hamilton scored the game's only goal for the Bobcats.
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