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York Suburban boys, Dallastown girls take home York-Adams soccer championships

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch
York Suburban celebrates a 2-0 win over Kennard-Dale during YAIAA boys’ soccer championship action at Northeastern High School in East Manchester Township, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Champions were crowned Saturday night as the finals of the York-Adams League soccer tournament were contested at Northeastern High School.

In the first match of the night, the York Suburban boys beat their third No. 1 seed of the tournament as they took down Kennard-Dale, 2-0, in the boys' final. In the nightcap, Dallastown took home the girls' title with a 1-0 victory over South Western for their third victory over the Mustangs this season.

Boys: York Suburban 2, Kennard-Dale 0

The last time the York Suburban boys won the York-Adams League tournament title, most of the current players were more worried about learning to crawl than kicking a soccer ball.

It had been 15 years since the Trojans won the league tournament, but on the strength of goals early in each half, they were able to come away with a 2-0 victory over Kennard-Dale on Saturday at Northeastern High School in the tournament finals.

“It’s so awesome for these boys,” York Suburban head coach John Fornadel said. “It had been 15 years since we’ve been to this game and won it all.”

Getting the tournament crown was definitely a team achievement, Fornadel said.

“We have 15 guys who scored goals this year. We had six different guys score in this tournament,” he said. “It was all about team. We were an underdog in every game. It was so much fun for them to come in, playing three No. 1 seeds and beat them all.”

Junior Damien Yepez, who scored one Trojan goal and assisted on the other in the match, said it was amazing to win the league tournament after such a long wait.

“It’s a feeling we all have never experienced,” Yepez said. “It’s been 15 years since we’ve even gotten to the semifinals. It’s just an amazing feeling. It was a team win. It felt great.”

York Suburban vs. Kennard-Dale during YAIAA boys’ soccer championship at Northeastern High School in East Manchester Township, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. York Suburban would win the game 2-0. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Yepez put the Trojans on top at the 33:38 mark of the first half when he maneuvered his way through three Kennard-Dale defenders on his way to putting it past Rams’ goalkeeper Logan Sumner for a 1-0 lead.

“I saw an opening, made it through and just finished,” Yepez said.

He said some extra practice paid off for him.

“I’ve been going through some things with finishing and I’ve been working outside of practice. I just took my opportunity and pushed it through,” Yepez said. “It was everything that I’ve been practicing.”

In the second half, the Trojans put their second goal on the scoreboard with 33:02 left in the match when junior Connor Hayes got a crossing pass from Yepez and rocketed it past Sumner to put York Suburban up 2-0.

“I saw him (Yepez) running down the side, I was like hmm, let go back post and let’s look for him,” Hayes said. “He cut the ball back. I said, ‘Here’s my opportunity. So, I kept running, yelled his name and here he comes, passes the ball, next thing you know I slotted it top right corner and it was a goal.”

Hayes was happy to put the capper on what was special night for the Trojans.

“We’ve been looking for this for a long time,” Hayes said. “Everyone is just so happy. It’s just a great night for everyone.”

Kennard-Dale had its opportunities in the contest. With 17:08 left in the first half, sophomore midfielder Colin Jester had a shot from close range that went up and over the crossbar of the York Suburban goal. With 13:23 left in the first half, sophomore midfield Dom Mannarino had a free kick from 20 yards out that went over the crossbar. Mannarino had another free kick sail over the crossbar from the same distance in the second half with 33:57 left in the contest.

Both teams start the District 3 playoffs on Monday. Kennard-Dale plays host to Lampeter-Strasburg at 7 p.m., while York Suburban travels to play at ELCO High School at 7 p.m.

“They are the higher seed coming in,” Fornadel said of ELCO, “but the way we are playing now, we can take anyone."

Girls: Dallastown 1, South Western 0

Dallastown celebrates a 1-0 win over South Western during YAIAA girls’ soccer championship action at Northeastern High School in East Manchester Township, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

For the third time this season, the Wildcats took down the Mustangs.

But the fourth time will be the charm come Monday night. The two teams will meet again that day at 5 p.m. at Dallastown in the District 3 Class 4A playoffs.

Dallastown coach Scott Austin is a bit apprehensive having to play the Mustangs for a fourth time this season.

"I'm scared. Nervous. Let's be honest," Austin said. "This will be the fourth time, and again, the challenge always is we know what they're going to do and they know what we're going to do. It will be a good game in the end."

South Western coach Chad Marshall doesn't expect anything less than the same tough team the Mustangs have faced three times already.

"I wouldn't expect anything different than the first three matchups," Marshall said. "I think both teams are going to be ready. I think its going to be a physical matchup again. We'll be ready. We just hope the outcome will be a little bit different."

Dallastown vs. South Western during YAIAA girls’ soccer championship action at Northeastern High School in East Manchester Township, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Dallastown would win the game 1-0. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Saturday's tournament final matchup came down to one goal, as did both regular-season meetings. McKenna Kelley had the only goal of the night for either team, as she put Dallastown in front with a goal with 8:09 left in the first half.

"It feels amazing," Kelley said. "I couldn't have done it without all of these girls right. I am so proud of them."

Kelley said getting the goal was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and anticipating where the ball was going.

The Dallastown defense, which wasn't scored upon in the tournament, did the rest.

"Defense wins championships," Austin said. "I've said it my whole career and continue to say it."

Marshall said it has just been tough against the Wildcats all season long.

"They are tough. We've played them now three times and we can't seem to get that ball across the goal line," Marshall said. "Their defense is tough. They shut us down pretty good."