West York lacrosse defeats York Catholic in OT
West York only had one shot and one possession in overtime, but that's all the Bulldogs needed.
After helplessly watching West York's defense hold off a York Catholic flurry while playing a man down for two minutes in overtime, Cody Richter took a clearing pass from goalie Owen Piro and went to work.
He didn't know how exactly he got open, but he knew what he had to do.
"I just knew my guy was trailing me and there was one guy in front of me so just do what I always do, make a move past him," Richter said. "He bodied me up, I bounced back ... I got open somehow. I don't know where the two guys went but I was one-on-one with the goalie so I took my shot."
Richter's left-handed shot found the back of the net, sending the West York bench into a frenzy and sealing a 12-11 win to remain the only undefeated team in the YAIAA at 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play.
Bulldogs head coach Rodney Tamblin's celebration was mild, more relieved than excited. He had just seen his team blow an 11-7 lead in the final three-plus minutes, then go a man-down in a stressful overtime period. But he had complete confidence once the ball reached Richter's stick.
"I knew I had a timeout but I believe in Cody (Richter)," Tamblin said. "I've seen him for three years and I wanted to see what he could do."
Cody Richter's sixth goal of the day was the one that sent the Bulldogs home with a win over York Catholic. Brandon Stoneburg
After the shot, Richter, who finished with six goals, raised his stick and ran toward the West York fans on the sideline where he was mobbed by his teammates.
"I didn't want to lose after that lead we put up against them," Richter said. "I wouldn't have gotten over that for a while if we lost...That's a really good team we just beat. It puts a statement on our record."
Tuesday marked the second consecutive time York Catholic fell to West York in heartbreaking, overtime fashion. This time they had clawed back from two four-goal deficits, including one in the final three minutes after head coach Shane Harper rallied his team during a timeout.
"For our kids, it's just telling them to finish," Harper said of his message to the team late in the game. "We probably had 45 or 50 shots today and 10 to 15 of them should've gone in and they didn't. We called them in to settle them down. We're down four to one of the best teams in the league, we're still within reach, calm yourselves down and play our game. And they did."
Tommy Bowser scored three of the final four goals, including one with 17 seconds left to send it to overtime.
"We have a lot of ability, but just because we're York Catholic people have discounted us and discounted our play," Harper said. "I think we're starting to show people York Catholic is a smaller school but they mean business. ... Hopefully people won't underestimate us as much as they have in the past."
Both coaches agreed that Tuesday's thriller is just a preview for an inevitable rematch in the YAIAA playoffs.
"We'll see them again," Harper said. "Mark my words: In the playoffs, we'll see them again."