Susquehannock senior Maddie Ellis talks about how the Warriors' teamwork makes them one of the best teams in the YAIAA. Matt Allibone
Susquehannock is currently in third place in the YAIAA but has only lost once this season
Almost a month into the YAIAA girls' lacrosse season, the only teams that remain undefeated are York Catholic and Kennard-Dale.
As good as those two teams are, Susquehannock head coach Steve Marshner believes his squad is right up there with them.
"We consider ourselves at the top," Marshner said. "We feel that we should be up there."
Marshner has a good point. The Warriors are currently 11-1, having only lost to York Catholic, 10-7, on March 29. At this point in the season, the Warriors remain confident that they can compete with any team in the league.
That confidence was boosted on Thursday, when the Warriors easily defeated New Oxford, 20-3, at home. While Marshner said he thinks the Warriors can win any game, he admitted he didn't expect them to dominate a team that entered the contest with a 7-2 record and has star goal scorer Braxtin Reddinger.
"Some of our girls are pretty confident as it is but this is a nice win for our program," Marshner said. "They've got some athletes on that team and we showed we could match our athletes with theirs."
With a star-studded defense led by juniors Rachel Marshner and Haley Martinez and seniors Michella Salvitti and Rachel Miller, Susquehannock doesn't usually have much trouble limiting teams on the scoreboard. But it's the emergence of their offense that Marshner believes makes them especially dangerous.
While some teams rely on one dominant goal scorer to create the bulk of its offense, the Warriors have a number of talented offensive players and run a variety of plays to get them all involved. That was especially evident on Thursday, with seven different players scoring in double digits and eight scoring overall.
"We really try to go through our plays, and we have a really big arsenal of plays right now," said senior Maddie Ellis, who scored two goals and had four assists against New Oxford. "We focus on our feet and where we're going and really learning about how everybody plays together. Just getting the team atmosphere going."
Marshner said that the Warriors have "played really well at times" on offense this season but haven't always been consistent. He added that Thursday's game is hopefully a sign that the Warriors can sustain their attack against good teams.
With a game against Kennard-Dale scheduled for May 5 and a rematch against York Catholic in the league playoffs always possible, Susquehannock will have plenty of opportunities to prove it's the top team in the YAIAA. According to Marshner and Ellis, the Warriors are confident about their chances against any team.
"If I said we couldn't win the league, my team would be upset," Marshner said. "Yes, I think we can."
"We're just as good as any of them out there," Ellis said. "We've got all the same skills."
New Oxford taking lessons from defeat
Thursday was a tough day for New Oxford, which dropped its third straight game after starting the season 7-0. While all three loses came against top teams in York Catholic, Red Lion and Susquehannock, Colonials head coach Jessica McIntyre said she thought her team "could get one or two wins" during the stretch.
Despite the setbacks, McIntyre said her players remain confident they can compete against the best teams in the league. She added that the most important thing for the Colonials to do now is learn from their mistakes.
"Their confidence is still up and we never have the mentality we're going to lose," McIntyre said. "We'll look at video and see what we did right and did wrong and what we can critique moving forward."