York, PA - The York Catholic girls' lacrosse team didn't seem like itself heading into halftime of a District 3 first-round tournament game against Susquehannock on Tuesday night at York Suburban.
There were sloppy passes and silly turnovers.
The players seemed stuck in a haze as dense as the ominous storm clouds circling the field, threatening a delay with every silent, subtle burst of lightning in the distance.
But the storms never became a real threat, and the Irish never lost control of the game in a 13-6 victory over the Warriors.
All they needed was a little motivational talk at halftime, coach Rob Linthicum said.
It's the first time York Catholic has advanced past the first round of the district tournament and it was certainly on the team's list of goals this season after losing in the opening round a year ago.
The Irish (16-3) will play Penn Manor (12-7) -- the Comets beat Hershey, 12-9 -- at 7 p.m. Thursday at Susquehannock.
"This was a big deal to us, we talked about it all week," Linthicum said. "We talked about it. Maybe too much."
It didn't help York Catholic that Susquehannock was more than capable, too.
Offensively, the Warriors (12-7) controlled the draw in the first half, which helped lead to five goals.
Defensively, they double- and triple-teamed York Catholic senior Lindsay Ingram every time she touched the ball, limiting the St. Francis recruit to two goals, which were York Catholic's first two of the game.
But, if anything was going to hold the Warriors back from a first-round win, it was their lack of depth.
With 13 players on the roster, there was barely any of it to speak of.
It all amounted to just one lead for Susquehannock, the first goal of the game a minute in by junior attacker Brooke Clasing, and a 6-5 halftime lead for York Catholic.
Clasing, the team's leading scorer, did not score again and was forced to leave the game at the 16-minute mark with what appeared to be a serious right knee injury.
"When someone gets hurt, your (team) morale goes down," Susquehannock coach Danielle Seling said.
Adding to the Warriors' problems were two penalties that created short-handed defensive problems.
A slash with three seconds left in the first half led to a goal for York Catholic's Lindsay Givens 28 seconds into the second half. Seven minutes later, Meaghan Bilyeu scored another goal for the Irish with the Warriors down a defender.
Givens and Bilyeu each finished with two goals, all in the second half.
With morale lowered, energy levels depleted, and the Irish playing a more focused style of lacrosse in the second half, the Warriors were limited to one goal as the Irish piled up seven by four different players.
Shannon Moore also scored her second goal of the game in the second half. She finished with three assists.
Dana Amalfitano finished with a first-half goal and Megan Bittner had four assists.
"I thought they played a great second half. I thought they played an awful first half. It was just like night and day," Linthicum said of his team. "Going further in this tournament, we are not going to be able to do that. We would be out of it pretty quick. We need to figure out how to put a whole game together."
Bri Boyer had two goals and two assists for the Warriors. Lauren Tennant and Olivia Bond and Ashley Valway each had goals as well.
Susquehannock 5 1 --6
York Catholic 6 7-- 13
First half -- 1. (SU) Brooke Clasing, 23.59, 2. (YC) Lindsay Ingram (Alexis China) 22:55, 3. (YC) Lindsay Ingram, 21.34, 4. (YC) Dana Amalfitano, 19:33, 5. (SU) Bri Boyer (Brit Boyer) 18.00, 6. (YC) Alexis China (Megan Bittner) 16.06, 7. (SU) Olivia Bond (Bri Boyer) 13:28, 8. (YC) Shannon Moore (Megan Bittner) 12:17, 9. (YC) Alexis China (Shannon Moore) 11:05, 10. (SU) Lauren Tennant, 5:03. 11. (SU) Bri Boyer, 4:31.
Second half -- 12. (YC) Lindsay Givens (Shannon Moore) 24:32, 13. (YC) Alexis China (Shannon Moore) 20:24, 14. (YC) Meaghan Bilyeu (Megan Bittner) 17:30, 15. (SU) Ashley Valway (Bri Boyer) 16:41, 16. (YC) Alexis China (Jess Mazzur) 15:27, 17. (YC) Lindsay Givens (Alexis China) 5:31, 18. (YC) Meaghan Bilyeu, 3:50, 19. (YC) Shannon Moore (Megan Bittner) 1:19.
Shots on goal -- York Catholic 32, Susquehannock 18.
Goalies -- Ashton Alban (SU) 10 saves, Alana Pietra (YC) 7 saves, Amber Orner (SU) 2 saves .