Feite sends Northern past Susquehannock into district title game
For much of the first half in Monday's District 3 Class AA semifinal, the match was going as planned for Susquehannock. The Northern York offense had a handful of chances to break the game open, but couldn't get past the Warriors defense and goalie Ashley Stone.
"(Northern York's) team speed, they're technical ability and the way they go to the ball is about as good as we've seen all year," Susquehannock head coach Pat Brubaker said. "We just tried to stay tight and organized on defense and defend and defend."
Northern York head coach Seth Lehman said he was prepared to give his team a stern talk at halftime.
"I was ready to go off on the girls at halftime. It just wasn't the effort we were looking for," he said. "It was maybe one of the worst games we played all year."
But with 1:04 left in the half, senior midfielder Toni Feite made sure Lehman's speech was a little calmer. She got a pass from junior forward Abby Searfoss and blasted a shot to the upper left corner to break a scoreless tie and make up for the Polar Bears' frustrating half.
"We were moving the ball across the top of the [18-yard line] and Abby Searfoss knocked it back to me," Feite said. "No one was there, and I just finished it. I just see it going into the top of the net, and it was the best feeling ever."
Feite's goal was all first-seeded Northern York (19-2) needed to close out fifth-seeded Susquehannock (14-4-2) and advance to its third District 3 Class AA championship game in four years. It wasn't the game Lehman wanted from his team, but Feite's goal salvaged the win.
"Some games, you win ugly," Lehman said. "That goal was huge for us. That was a big-time moment for us and a big-time player like her stepped up, and that's what we needed as a team."
Feite had four of the Polar Bears' 11 shot. Stone had eight saves to help keep the Warriors in the game. Susquehannock posted four shots.
Northern York almost added a second goal in the second half when junior forward Emily Munkittrick knocked in an outlet pass, but she was called offsides, negating the play.
With the win, Northern qualifies for the state tournament and will face Fleetwood in the championship game on Saturday. Susquehannock will play ELCO in the third-place game. A win would give the Warriors their first state tournament berth in school history.
Brubaker said he wasn't sure how his team would react to Feite's goal, but he was pleased with what he saw.
"A half like that is tough to get through," he said. "You're getting shelled, you're absorbing a lot of pressure, it's frantic and then we let up that late goal. I wasn't sure how we were going to respond. I thought they did a phenomenal job. The captains brought them together and people picked their heads up."
Northern York 1, Susquehannock 0
Susquehannock_ 0_ 0_ - _0
Northern York_ 1_ 0_ - _1
First Half - 1. NY, Toni Feite (Abby Searfoss), 1:04.
Shots on goal - Sus 4, NY 8. Corners - Sus 4, NY 5. Goalies - Sus, Ashley Stone (8 saves). NY, Alyssa Swartz (3 saves).