New Oxford girls' lacrosse off to best start
Beat South Western for the first time in team history? Check.
First ever win against West York? Got it.
Start 3-0 for the first time ever? New Oxford has that box checked, too.
Just two years removed from a stretch that saw the girls' lacrosse program win eight games in six years, the Colonials are off to their best start in team history at 3-0 with victories against Chambersburg and South Western, then Thursday's 8-4 win at West York.
"Nobody knows who we are and what we have," New Oxford head coach Jess McIntyre said. "I'm so proud of this team. ... It's been one heck of a ride. We have a new youth program, so these girls have already played coming up and they believe in themselves."
If the rest of the league doesn't know who the Colonials are, they should take notice. They've outscored their first three opponents by a combined score of 51-19. A lot of the credit for such a strong start goes to Braxtin Reddinger, the UMBC commit who has racked up a league-high 27 goals on the young season and notched her 200th career goal earlier this week.
Reddinger joined the team last year after spending her first two seasons at South Western. Since then, she has led the Colonials to their best season in program history (9-7 in 2015) and established New Oxford as a legitimate contender in the YAIAA. A winning season was a great first step, she said, but now the Colonials want more.
"I want to get to districts one more time before I leave," Reddinger said. "That's all we want."
And if there's a way to slow down Reddinger — or "Killer B" as her coaches and teammates call her — no one else has figured out that riddle yet. After seeing Reddinger score four of New Oxford's five first-half goals, West York tried face-guarding her, putting their best player, Ally Williams, on her. It barely slowed the senior down. Reddinger still scored three times and had a fourth waved off after a penalty was called.
"Maybe if we had face-guarded her from the beginning of the game, maybe you take away those goals and it changes the momentum of the game," West York head coach Rachel Klado said. "But she's a great player and she comes out hard every day. If she wants it (scoring), she's going to get it."
While Reddinger garners the most attention as arguably the best player in the league, the other 11 Colonials on the field are strong, too. Junior Raleigh Bateman, who plays more of a Robin role to Reddinger's Batman lead, scored 50-plus goals last year and had seven in the first two games this season. Six other Colonials have multiple goals this season, and Gracie Ernst, who wasn't a goalie until two weeks ago, has 19 saves through three games.
"We've come together more as a team and we're more of a family than we were last year," Reddinger said. "That's what really has helped us. We have more intensity and we're so well-balanced. We're just hoping for districts right now, we're so excited."