There are really two ways for a high school team to handle disappointment.
One is to get fired up by it and use a laser-like focus on the next opponent.
The other is to allow a hangover to persist, which could prove lethal to future aspirations.
After a less-than-satisfying night of soccer this past Saturday, the West York boys chose the former route.
Hosting a first-round District 3 Class 3-A contest against Lampeter-Strasburg Monday afternoon, the Bulldogs played with a sense of purpose en route to a 2-0 triumph.
That purpose? Earning a second-round meeting against York-Adams Division II rival Susquehannock.
West York (16-3-2) and Susquehannock shared the D-II regular-season title. They then played to a 0-0 draw Saturday night in the Y-A playoff title match — a match that could not be finished because of inclement weather.
Clark, McClellan score for West York: Monday, Aidan Clark got the sixth-seeded Bulldogs on the board midway through the first half before teammate Alex McClellan gave his team some extra cushion in the second half to help West York claim the win vs. the Lancaster County team.
The Bulldogs now get a fourth date with Susquehannock, which rolled to a 4-0 triumph over East Pennsboro in another District 3 3-A contest on Monday. West York has a win and two draws with the Warriors this season.
“We play with a lot of heart,” McClellan said. “Everyone on this field … we know is going to give it 100 percent. I love them like brothers and we’ve all grown up together as kids. So (playing in districts) is just awesome.”
Unfamiliar foe: McClellan and his teammates didn’t know a great deal about Monday’s opponent. So instead of worrying too much about the Pioneers, coach Ben Reiber focused his team on doing what they do best. While that formula failed to produce a goal Saturday vs. Susquehannock, the Bulldogs were able to make things happen against 11th-seeded L-S (8-9).
“We didn’t have a great deal of information on Lampeter-Strasburg, but we knew what our game plan was and we felt comfortable coming in and playing that way against them.”
That plan included using the Bulldogs' speed and skill to produce scoring chances. The Bulldogs were able to get seven shots on net while adding a few other close calls while carrying much of the play.
“What we were attacking Susquehannock with (Saturday) was essentially the same plan we attacked them (the Pioneers) with,” Reiber said. “They kind of play in a similar fashion and we knew we had an advantage with certain things.”
"Do or die:" Advantages, however, only go so far. Finding the net is what counts, so it was a relief for the Bulldogs when Clark was able to do so in the first half. Then McClellan, one of 10 seniors on the squad, all but put the game away with his tally with 23 minutes left.
“We’ve come into every game (in the playoffs) like it’s do or die,” McClellan said. “We know we’ve got to give it our all.”
Doing that would include winning Thursday's quarterfinal vs. Susquehannock, which is set for 7 p.m. at the Warriors' Robert Lau Stadium. With only three PIAA berths available in 3-A, the loser of Thursday’s quarterfinal will see its season end.
That’s a point that McClellan and his teammates are well aware of.
“Many of us know that (the playoffs) is probably the last time we’ll be playing together,” he said. “So we have to make it as special as we can.”
Susquehannock 4, East Pennsboro 0: At Glen Rock, the third-seeded Warriors rolled in their District 3 Class 3-A opener over the No. 14 seed. Greyson Murray had a goal and two assists for Susquehannock. Nolan Holloway added two goals. Nathan Weldon had the Warriors' other goal. David Muriel-Diaz and Jon Lippy added assists. Griffin Kaifer made seven saves to record the shutout in goal for the Warriors, who improved to 18-2-2. East Pennsboro finished 11-7-1.
Gettysburg 1, Red Land 0: At Lewisberry, 10th-seeded Gettysburg knocked off seventh-seeded Red Land in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round contest. Cade Wilhelm scored the game's only goal. Gettysburg improved to 9-6-2 overall and advances to Thursday's quarterfinals against the winner of Monday's game between second-seeded Lower Dauphin and 15th-seeded Octorara. The site and time for that game has not yet been released. Red Land finished 10-8-1.
Lampeter-Strasburg 3, Susquehannock 2: At Glen Rock, the Warriors led 2-1 late in the second half, but couldn't hold in an overtime setback in a District 3 Class 3-A opener. The 11th-seeded Pioneers improved to 8-6-4. The sixth-seeded Warriors finished their season at 10-6-1.
Lancaster Country Day 2, York Catholic 0: At Lancaster, the Lady Irish season came to an end with a District 3 Class 1-A first-round setback. The 10th-seeded Irish finished at 6-13. Seventh-seeded LCD improved to 8-10.
Conrad Weiser 4, Gettysburg 1: At Conrad Weiser, the 13th-seeded Warriors were eliminated from the District 3 Class 3-A playoffs by the fourth-seeded Scouts. Autumn Oaster scored Gettysburg’s goal off an assist from Ella Santoyo. Gettysburg finished at 10-8. Conrad Weiser improved to 13-3-3.
Berks Catholic 1, Kennard-Dale 0: At Berks Catholic, the 12th-seeded Rams saw their season end with a District 3 Class 3-A first-round loss to the No. 5 seed. K-D finished at 10-5-1. Berks Catholic improved to 14-3-2.
Fleetwood 4, York Suburban 0: At Suburban, the eighth-seeded Trojans fell to the No. 9 seed in a District 3 Class 3-A first-round battle. Suburban finished the season at 12-6-2. Fleetwood improved to 14-6-1.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot t firstname.lastname@example.org.