HUMMELSTOWN >> For a pair of Lancaster County field hockey teams, turning the corner in the District 3 AA quarterfinals proved more or less kind Saturday afternoon at Lower Dauphin Middle School.
In the day's early contest, the second-seeded Donegal Indians topped familiar district foe Oley Valley, 5-1, behind a pair of goals from Mackenzie Allessie before the fourth-seeded Manheim Central Barons suffered a 2-1 setback in overtime to fifth-seeded Greenwood.
While the Indians (23-0) advance to next Wednesday's semifinals opposite Boiling Springs, the Barons (17-4) must battle through two rounds of play-in games to reach the PIAA playoffs.
"We have to play Bermudian Springs on Wednesday and go from there," said Manheim's head coach Lisa McCoy. "Regroup, take a look. It's not the first time we've been here so we'll come out fighting."
Taylor Wiederrecht's rebound goal in the first half put the Barons ahead before Greenwood (18-2) rallied with 12 penalty corner opportunities in the second half, finally scoring the equalizer on Kelsey Keener's one-timer from the top of the arc with 10:51 to play.
In the 7-on-7 sudden victory period, each team handled a pair of corner opportunities before Paityn Wirth's well-played hesitation shot squirted between the legs of Barons' goalkeeper Emma Beamesderfer (4 saves) for the game-winner.
"They have a couple really strong players there that can handle the ball," McCoy said. "Paityn, I coached her in Futures. She can definitely handle the ball well. That's difficult to defend and they did a job with that in creating corners in the second half."
In the opener, Donegal dominated Oley Valley (15-5) in both penalty corners (19 to 4) and shots (18 to 3) in a rematch of last season's District 3 title game.
"I said to the girls, corner execution today was awesome," said Shellenberger, describing the Indians' package of some 12-plus set plays. "That's what you need, that's an important opportunity and high level you have to put it down."
Allessie and Rachel Robinson executed a give-and-go 12 minutes in for the early lead before Allessie's pass to Kayla Walker one minute later resulted in a power sweep past Oley Valley goalkeeper Caitlin Drobek (12 saves).
Early in the second, a triangle play between all three players resulted in Allessie's second goal of the contest — her 50th goal of the season — and a 3-0 lead.
"I think it's what these kids have been able to do this year," Shellenberger said of spying a hole in the Oley defense on that play. "Kind of on the fly, get what we're presented with and we're able to adjust formation or adjust personnel and just execute."
After Sarah Buzalewski got the Lynx on the board with an advantage-goal with 13:32 to play, Rachael Overlander's unassisted goal and Grace Miller's tap-in on a pass from Lily Saunders completed the final margin.
"We're really excited (about making States)," Shellenberger said. "In my coaching tenure when we've gotten to this game we've only lost it once and that was miserable," added the coach, perhaps foreshadowing Manheim's setback in the second game.
"You have to win those two and you have to come back through two strong teams, that's not fun," Shellenberger added. "It's nice to know you're heading to the big show."
District 3 AA Quarterfinals
First half — 1 DN, M. Allessie (R. Robinson) 11:47. 2 DN, K. Walker (Allessie) 12:49
Second half — 3 DN, Allessie (K. Walker) 2:02. 4 OV, S. Buzalewski (UA) 16:28, 5 DN, R. Overlander (UA) 19:29, 6 DN G. Miller (L. Saunders) 21:07.
Corners — OV 4, DON 19
Shots — OV 3, DON 18
Saves — OV C. Drobek 12, A. Lennon 1. DON K. Jean 2
2 Manheim Central100—
First half — 1 MC, T. Wiederrecht (UA) 17:32
Second half — 2 GW, K. Keener (M. Fortenbaugh) 19:09
Overtime — 3 GW, P. Wirth
Corners — GW 15, MC 4
Shots — GW 6, MC 8
Saves — GW N. Willi 7, MC E. Beamesderfer 4