While there was jubilation for one York County team on Tuesday, there was heartbreak for another.
No. 1 York Catholic surrendered a three-goal lead in the final 12 minutes and fell to No. 5 Exeter Township, 10-9, in double-overtime.
After both teams missed opportunities to win the game in the first seven-plus minutes of overtime, Exeter’s Lexi Einsig found the back of the net, sending the blue and white faithful into a frenzy.
“For a playoff game, you can’t ask for anything better than triple (double) overtime,” York Catholic head coach Rob Linthicum said. “I just wish we would’ve come out on the other end of it.”
Six different players scored in the first half as the Irish took a 6-4 lead into the intermission. They pushed the lead to 8-5 with 12 minutes left but allowed Exeter to go on a 3-0 run. Lindsey China scored late to put the Irish back on top, but Exeter answered again and forced overtime.
“We just didn’t play smart,” Linthicum said. “We took too many shots that we shouldn’t have taken. We had a lead, we should’ve just milked the clock. It was just mental errors.”
The biggest difference on Tuesday was Exeter Township’s speed, Linthicum added.
“That’s always our biggest struggle when we get to this point is the speed,” Linthicum said. “These big schools have so many kids to pull from…We just don’t have the speed to run with them. We feel like we have the sticks to play with any of them, we just get beat on the speed and that was the key tonight.”
Despite the loss, York Catholic can still reach the state playoffs for the first time in team history. They’ll play No. 6 Manheim Township, who fell to Kennard-Dale, in the consolation game on Thursday at Lower Dauphin Middle School. The winner gets the third and final District 3 slot in states.
“I told them to pick their heads up,” Linthicum said. “Let’s get back to work, get ready for Manheim Township on Thursday and try to play our way into states the hard way.”