MILLERSVILLE - Though some may dispute the notion, even in the postseason there is such a thing as a good loss.
It looks much like the one the Annville-Cleona field hockey team absorbed on Saturday.
An A-C team with little postseason experience and tradition fell to a Warwick squad loaded with it in the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs at Comet Field, dropping a 4-0 decision to the perennial Section One power from Lititz.
Fresh off its first section title in 44 years, A-C was beaten handily but not outclassed, showing enough competitive fire and skill to leave head coach Sue Felty optimistic that her squad could stick around the upcoming District 3 1A tourney for a while with some more performances like Saturday's.
A-C (17-2) was never really in the game after the Warriors (11-7) got a pair of goals off penalty corners from Maddie Lutz and Haley Miller in the first 10 minutes, but it never looked like it didn't belong in it, either.
"I felt really good about it," Felty said of her team's performance. "They came off disappointed, which is good because they care enough to be disappointed. But I told them they have nothing to hang their heads about. They played really well. I'm really proud of them. I think they proved themselves today, and I was glad to see that."
But anything other than a moral victory was pretty much out of the question after the early goals from Lutz - 4:34 into the game - and Miller -with 21:22 left in the half - sent the Section One third seed on its way.
During that span, A-C struggled noticeably with Warwick's foot speed and sheer speed of play, as it often took full advantage of quick restarts to produce optimum scoring chances.
"I think that's why the first half looked the way it did," Felty said. "In the second half we were able to pick up our speed and were competitive then. In the first half they kinda surprised us. We knew they would be fast coming in, but when you're out on the field and face that you find out what that really looks like,"
Biz Van Scoten tallied the first of her two goals with 4:19 left in the half to make it a 3-0 game, but from there A-C played Warwick, bound for Tuesday's semifinals against Penn Manor, to a near draw until Van Scoten provided the game's final goal with 7:47 left.
In between, A-C put two shots on goal, including a solid try by Lauren Schrader that was kicked away by Warwick goalie Caite Brubaker, and played respectably defensively with the help of six saves from Haley Zimmerman.
"I think it's one of those character-builders," Felty said of the benefits of Saturday's game. "You learn from it and know what you have to do. Playing a top-notch team is only going to make you better. And the fact that we didn't give up. I told them I wanted them to go out and play with heart,and I think that's what they did."
Warwick 4, Annville-Cleona 0
Warwick 3 1 - 4
Annville-Cleona 0 0 - 0
Goals: W - Biz Van Scoten 2, Maddie Lutz, Haley Miller
Assists: W - Mia Fucci, Miller, Lutz, Leah Graybill, Kate Dickow, Katie Pyle
Shots: Warwick 10, Annville-Cleona 2
Saves: W - Caite Brubaker (2), AC - Haley Zimmerman (6 saves)
Corners: Warwick 10, Annville-Cleona 2