The win marked the 600th victory in Dallastown field hockey history
The final score of Thursday's field hockey contest between Dallastown and New Oxford may have surprised some but not Wildcats coach Jeri Myers.
In a matchup between two senior-laden teams with league title aspirations, Dallastown took control early and cruised to a 5-1 road win. While the Wildcats barely edged the Colonials, 1-0, earlier this season at home, Myers was not expecting another close contest.
"First time around we did not play well at all," Myers said. "That was not Dallastown (field hockey) and this time around was Dallastown field hockey, this is what we're capable of. Lots of teamwork, lots of passing, lots of double-teaming, that's the whole idea."
Not only did the game mark the 600th victory in Dallastown field hockey history, it also kept the Wildcats in sole possession of first place in YAIAA Division I. With the league switching to four divisions this season and only one Division I team making the YAIAA tournament, the win was extremely important.
And while rain throughout the day caused some uncertainly about whether the game would be played, the Wildcats were ready. Myers said the team practiced outside on Wednesday to prepare for the weather.
"Everybody is moaning and groaning that we're practicing in the rain, I said, 'Guys, we might have to play in this tomorrow,'" Myers said. "We were all soaking wet last night, but we had a rain practice that helped us out."
Added senior Caroline Doll: "Yesterday we were not a fan (of the rain), we complained the whole time, but it was definitely worth it because that was exactly our conditions today."
The Wildcats dominated possession in the first half, allowing New Oxford just one shot and one corner while taking a 3-0 lead into halftime. Doll scored on a pass from Molly Lohss seven minutes in before Nicole Crumling and Kaylee Frey added back-to-back goals in the final two minutes of the half.
The Colonials had multiple scoring opportunities in the second half but were consistently stymied by Dallastown goalie Syd Terroso, who finished with five saves. Doll and Jen Crumling added goals for Dallastown while Kasey Demi got New Oxford on the board with a minute left to play.
Dallastown was also able to hold arguably the league's best player, Kaelyn Long, to just a single assist. The Wildcats consistently double-teamed the Bucknell commit and had Lohss shadow her for most of the afternoon.
"You've got to dance with her," Lohss said. "She's a good player ... you've got to be able to be smart and know she's going to go for the holes and be prepared for that."
While the loss was disheartening for a New Oxford team determined to make its second straight league tournament, head coach Tonya Lardarello said the Colonials can't act like the season is already over. The Colonials still have two games against Division I opponents next week.
"A lot can happen and there's a lot of hockey left," Lardarello said. "I don't feel like we quit on the field, we just couldn't find that grove."