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LANCASTER >> Taking the field against a perennial district power is a tough task. Doing so without your full arsenal is another challenge entirely.

Down multiple starters due to injury, including senior captain Alex Rich, the Cedar Crest girls lacrosse team fell 21-3 at Manheim Township on Tuesday afternoon. The Falcons trailed by 15 at halftime, hounded by a blitz of transition scores and difficulties with draw controls. Senior Nikki Wagner posted a pair of second-half goals, while Kayla Sanger got Cedar Crest on the board nearly seven minutes in.

But it was all Blue Streaks from there, as Emily McBride, Maryn Bernhardt and Elizabeth Brown went on to collect hat tricks.

"They're very skilled, very fast. They're definitely one of the top teams, if not the top team, in our district," Falcons coach Emma Lebo said. "We showed up to play and I definitely think our girls were motivated ... but we knew it was going to be a tough one."

Following Sanger's early score that cut Cedar Crest's deficit to 4-1, Township added a free-position goal and then tallied four times within a 68-second span. Down eight, Lebo called for a timeout, which was followed up by a pair of another Blue Streak scores.

Falcons goalie Serena Rodriguez (eight saves) next responded with consecutive stops, until Township's Elizabeth McBride broke through for her second score. Armed with a rare possession at the other end, Cedar Crest looked to isolate Wagner for a scoring chance, but it was to no avail with little veteran help around her.

However, Lebo expects Rich, who suffered a concussion last week against Warwick, and her training-room companions to return soon for an easier upcoming stretch of games.

"We thought she was ready, but the extra hit to the head set her back," Lebo said. "But she'll be back full-swing next week. I think they're just working diligently to make sure she's healthy this time."

A denied Madison Barron shot closed the half for Cedar Crest and led to a shortened intermission. Wagner then netted her first with 18:26 to play racing out from free position, losing her defender on a brief hesitation move and depositing the ball inside the far post. Her final goal snuck under the crossbar at 1:35 left.

"She's a leader on the field and I know when the ball is in her hands, players know to make a lane available to goal," Lebo said of her senior midfielder. "And I think all together they definitely didn't stop fighting."

Moving forward, the focus for Cedar Crest is two-fold.

"Getting healthy, and focusing on the fundamentals," Lebo said. "Just taking care of the basics."

C. Crest12—3
M. Township165—21

Goals — MT: Em.McBride 5, Berhardt 4, Brown 3, Elias 2, El.McBride 2, Walker 2, Dorenkamp, Large, Petrosky. CC: Wagner 2, Sanger.

Assists — MT: Svetec 3, Petrosky 2, Elias 2, Dorenkamp, Mann. CC: None.

Goalies — MT: Curtis (5 saves). CC: Rodriguez (8)

Shots — MT: 29, CC: 8

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