Central York wasn't quite ready to give up its share of the YAIAA Division I girls' soccer title just yet.
A year after splitting the crown, Central York (12-5, 9-2 YAIAA Division I) and Dallastown (10-4-2, 8-1-2) met Tuesday with the Wildcats a win away from an outright division title. The Panthers denied them that win and kept themselves in title contention with a 3-1 victory.
"We played with a lot of heart," Central York head coach Liz Critchfield said. "They came out as a team tonight. Everyone was playing hard, and the bench was cheering hard."
The Dallastown defense that had not given up a goal to any divisional opponent in 10 games this season couldn't stop sophomore Bre Sgrignoli from recording a hat trick.
Sgrignoli broke through the Wildcats defense midway through the first half with a run down the right side of the field. The sophomore waited for Dallastown's freshman goalkeeper to come out, then fired a shot from the right side to the top left corner of the net, giving Central a 1-0 lead.
Dallastown took advantage of one of the Panthers' only mistakes all night, when Skyler Wilt gained control of a turnover in Central's box and buried a shot past Olivia Johnson, who made seven saves.
The tie was short-lived. Less than two minutes, Sgrignoli struck again.
"She has been playing great lately since she had a neck injury earlier this season," Critchfield said of Sgrignoli. "I think it's safe to say she's comfortable now."
The Wildcats, who aren't used to playing from behind this season, came out more aggressive in the second half, bombarding Johnson with shots but the senior goalkeeper kept them at bay. Her biggest save of the night came as Central was clinging to a 2-1 lead midway through the second. On her back, Johnson reached backward and stretched just enough to stop a trickling loose ball from crossing the line.
"For her to even be back here tonight is great," Critchfield said of Johnson, who left last week's game against Northeastern in an ambulance with a neck injury. "Then to see her making saves on her back was amazing."
A few minutes later, Ally McCabe lofted a ball from midfield to Sgrignoli, who was streaking down the middle of the field. Sgrignoli gained control of the ball, then beat the goalkeeper one-on-one, sealing a 3-1 win for Central, and denying the Wildcats a title, at least for now.
"I would absolutely (say this is the biggest win of the season)," Critchfield said. "Dallastown is always a great team, so this is big."
Central York 3, Dallastown 1
First half — 1. CY, Bre Sgrignoli, 23:25. 2. Dt, Skyler Wilt, 6:18. 3. CY, Sgrignoli, 4:24.
Second half — 4. CY, Sgrignoli (Ally McCabe), 12:55.
Shots on goal — DT 8, CY 8; Corners — DT 0, CY 1; Goalies — DT, Allison Hameier (5 saves), CY, Olivia Johnson (7 saves)