York, PA - The York Catholic girls' lacrosse team rallied back to beat South Western in Thursday's YAIAA tournament semifinals to get exactly what it wanted: ne final chance to beat rival Kennard-Dale.
The Rams got ahead early and held on to beat Red Lion, and they'll play the Irish for a third time this season in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Susquehannock.
Irish rally back, top Mustangs
It was hard to tell what the York Catholic girl's lacrosse team was more excited about Thursday night.
The Irish earned their way to the YAIAA tournament championship game by beating South Western, 10-7, at Susquehannock.
By doing so, they earned another opportunity to play Kennard-Dale, the team responsible for both of York Catholic's losses, with the YAIAA championship on the line.
"This is what we wanted," York Catholic coach Rob Linthicum said. "This is what we were playing for is to get another shot at them and play for a county championship."
Before the Irish (15-2) could even think of Kennard-Dale, they had to get past South Western first, which wasn't easy. The Mustangs, the Division I champion, dominated the draw control, 12-5, which led to scoring bunches.
After falling behind 3-1 early, the Mustangs (15-3) scored four consecutive goals, two by Katie Wherley, to take a 5-3 lead before the Irish slowed the pace, settled into the offense and controlled the rest of the game.
"It was a little iffy at one point," York Catholic senior Lindsay Ingram said. "We are great as a team at keeping our composure and keeping a level head on the field. We just stayed with it and played our game."
Ingram led the way with three goals. Alexis China and Meaghan Bilyeu each had two goals for the Irish. Natalie Fiorenza, Sarah Gabriele and Dana Amalfitano each scored as well.
It was the second time the Irish, the runner-up in Division II, had beaten the Mustangs this season, beating them by one goal previously. Each of the losses to Kennard-Dale were one-goal games.
"Last time we played them I really thought we played them well enough to win, just a couple breaks didn't go our way," Linthicum said.
Wherley finished with three goals for the Mustangs. Callie Kavanaugh and Sydney Szparaga each had two goals.
Rams pounce early, beat Lions
A wrist injury sidelined Kennard-Dale's Katie Fonte for the better part of four months.
The Rams lacrosse player made up for lost time in Thursday's YAIAA tournament semifinal game against Red Lion.
Fonte scored a quarter of Kennard-Dale's goals in the 16-7 Rams win at Central York High School.
"It's healing pretty well. It's still a little sore when I play on it," Fonte said of her right wrist. She finished with four goals and two assists.
Kennard-Dale (17-1) will play York Catholic (15-2) in the championship.
On Thursday, Fonte scored the Rams' third goal and assisted on its fourth of the first half. The Rams led 5-0, before Red Lion (8-10) got on the board.
"We did well with the draw," Rams head coach Kelly Wetzel said. "The possessions in the first half, we dominated them. They only had a few opportunities in the first half and we had a lot more. That worked out in our favor."
Kennard-Dale had five different goal scorers in the first half and led 13-3 at halftime.
The Rams led 16-4 before the Lions scored the final three goals of the contest.
Lyndsey Duty scored four goals and Nicole Black scored three goals and assisted on three others for the Rams.
"Lyndsey (Duty) has come on at the right time and we're pretty balanced in terms of our goal scorers," Wetzel said. "We have four or five girls around 30-40 goals each."
Alley Storke and Emily Deaver each had five saves for the Rams.
For Red Lion, Raquel Rich tallied three goals and an assist. Desi Martin added two goals and Amanda Dashler finished with 13 saves.
at Central York H.S.
KENNARD-DALE 16, RED LION 7
Red Lion 3 4 -- 7
K-Dale 13 3 -- 16
Red Lion goals -- Raquel Rich 3, Desi Martin 2, Jenn Yankowsky, Alyssa Dehoff.
Red Lion assists -- Alyssa Dehoff, Sierra Donovan, Raquel Rich.
Kennard-Dale goals -- Katie Fonte 4, Lyndsey Duty 4, Nicole Black 3, Carlie Schmitt 2, Haley Romoser 2, Morgan Day.
Kennard-Dale assists -- Nicole Black 3, Katie Fonte 2, Morgan Day, Abbey Pietra.
Groundballs -- Red Lion 13, Kennard-Dale 18.
Goalies -- Red Lion, Amanda Dashler (13 saves); Kennard-Dale, Alley Storke (6 saves) and Emily Deaver (5 saves).
at Susquehannock H.S.
YORK CATHOLIC 10, SO. WESTERN 7
York Catholic 7 3 -- 10
So. Western 5 2 -- 7
York Catholic goals -- Lindsay Ingram 3, Alexis China 2, Meaghan Bilyeu 2, Dana Amalfitano, Sarah Gabriele, Natalie Fiorenza.
York Catholic assists -- Shannon Moore, Alexis China.
South Western goals -- Katie Wherley 3, Sydney Szparaga 2, Callie Kavanaugh 2.
South Western assists -- Jessica Kopenhaver, Sydney Szparaga.
Shots on goal -- YC 15, SW 21.
Goalies -- York Catholic, Alana Pietra (10 saves); South Western, Becca Silver (10 saves).