Dallastown head coach Jeri Myers knows all too well the pressure of being the top team in the area. It's something that her team has dealt with for the past two years.
After finishing the 2014 regular season undefeated and winning the Division I title, the Wildcats were one of the favorites to win the YAIAA championship. However, Gettysburg ended Dallastown's season a game early.
"Everything clicked for (Gettysburg)," Myers said. "That's the game of hockey, too. One pass, one shot, one score. That makes all the difference."
The loss gave Myers and her team another source of motivation coming into the 2015 season — to meet Gettysburg again.
Along that road, though, the Wildcats know they'll get the best shot from their opponents in 2015.
"I told my team we have a target on our back," Myers said. "Every game, we have a target, because everyone wants to beat Dallastown. We were undefeated last year, so the people we're playing have never beaten us. It's like their championship game."
Dallastown moved closer to its goal on Tuesday, cruising to a 6-0 win over an undefeated New Oxford. It's another win and, more importantly, a 4-0 start. But Myers said there's still much to be done before the Wildcats can avenge last year's defeat.
"Anybody that's 4-0 is going to be happy about it. But we still have a lot of work to do," Myers said. "We have to keep working every game, making sure we get in that win column so we get that opportunity to play Gettysburg."
New Oxford came into the matchup with a 1-0-1 record and hope of an upset. It hung with Dallastown for much of the first half, but couldn't hold the Wildcats' fast-paced offense for long.
Colonials' head coach Cheryl Mowery said Dallastown's turf field, in comparison to New Oxford's grass surface, created problems for her team.
"We need to find a way to be able to adjust from grass to turf play. This team has not played together ever on turf," Mowery said. "(At Dallastown), a drive goes too fast for what we can run, so we need to push and flick and keep it a little slower."
Dallastown's offensive momentum culminated with an 8:34 first-half run that featured four goals. Junior Molly Lohss highlighted the spurt with two goals, including a lift shot from the left side that hit the top-right corner of the goal.
Lohss said the goal, which came off a penalty corner, was a matter of her being in the right place at the right time.
"When I'm on a corner, I run in on a goalie and I'm just supposed to tip it in," she said. "But that shot was a little slow, so whenever that happens, I just stop it and go for a lift. I kind of do it blind because I can't look back and it's off my reverse side, so I just got under it, lifted it, and it went in."
Lohss had tried it in practice, but it was the first time she had converted the lift in a game. She capped the run with her second goal with 7:54 left in the first half.
Dallastown controlled the second half, tallying five shots and five penalty corners apiece while holding New Oxford to none of either.
Colonials goalkeeper Sydney Leete recorded nine saves, most of which helped keep her team in the game in the first half.
"[Dallastown] is talented and they have some girls that are strong stick players," Mowery said. "They had two goals that were very beautiful in the first half that you'd have to have an extremely talented goalie to stop them."
Dallastown 6, New Oxford 0
Dallastown goals — Molly Lohss (2), Lydia Trout, Olivia Talley, Katie Doherty, Abby Kuhn
Corners — D 8, NO 3
Shots — D 17, NO 3
Goalies — D, Phoebe Glattacker (2 saves) Syd Terroso (0 saves). NO, Sydney Leete (9 saves).