The switch of girls' soccer from a spring sport to the fall this school year was going to affect different schools in different ways.
Case in point, Fairfield High and Gettysburg.
Last year, both teams set school records for wins in a season, finished second in their respective divisions and won District 3 tournament games.
What a difference a year makes.
Fairfield graduated three starters, but returned all eight with eligibility remaining. On the other hand, Gettysburg graduated five starters and lost an additional four as those athletes chose to play other sports in the fall.
That difference in experience was on full display when the teams met Saturday as the Lady Knights took down the Lady Warriors, 6-1, at Gettysburg.
"The transition from spring to fall was good for us," Fairfield co-captain Erin Donaldson said. "It kept us in condition instead of having to wait until the spring to get going again. We just kept onplaying through the summer. We stayed in shape and were ready to goright away when practice started."
After a furious start of end-to-end action from both squads that saw six combined shots in the first three minutes of the match, Fairfield cracked the scoreboard first when Katelyn McDonald scored an unassisted goal with 35:58 left in the opening half. She tried a cros sthat was rejected, but pursued the ball and was able to slip a shot past Gettysburg keeper Cheyenne Grim to start the scoring for the Lady Knights.
The goal came in transition following a shot by Gettysburg's Rachel Lyon that was denied by Fairfield keeper Amelia Ford just 15 seconds prior to McDonald's goal.
Fairfield (3-0) kept applying the pressure to the Gettysburg defense and managed to pocket three goals in a three-minute span midway through the first half.
Lexy Junker scored the first two, first on a breakaway with 22:06 left, then off an assist from Toni Harbaugh with 21:25 to go. Thefirst one came when she beat Grim with a nifty move as the sophomore netminder came off her line to challenge. The second, a cross fromHarbaugh, came on a shot just inside the right post.
Harbaugh upped the lead to 4-0 off an assist from McDonald at the 19:11 mark.
"Katelyn's goal really got us going," Fairfield head coach JackieSuchanek said. "Once we get a goal, it usually gets us started."
Gettysburg (1-2) got on the board when Lyon, one of two returning starters for the Lady Warriors, scored unassisted with 16:09 to go until intermission. Lyon outran a defender and ripped a shot to the lower left corner. Ford got a hand on it, but it had just enough to reach the goal.
"She's the whole package. She's got speed, she reads the field well, and just watching her makes me want to get on the field and play,"Gettysburg head coach Elise Tebbetts said of Lyon. "What we need to figure out now is who we can play with her to give us the best chance of winning.
"We're a young team and we all have to get on the same page. We need 80 minutes of strong heart and strong effort."
Junker completed her hat trick with a goal at the 14:09 mark of the first half. She has scored 10 goals on the young season.
A high-scoring group a year ago, the Lady Knights have piled up 16 tallies in their first three contests.
"We've picked up where we left off last spring," Suchanek said. "We've got eight starters back and that has kept us from slowing down at all."
A new addition to the team, freshman Sammie Schlak, scored the first goal of her high school career with 20:59 left in the match.
Though that was Fairfield's only goal of the second half, the LadyKnights continued to pile up shots on goal and finished with a 20-9 advantage.
Both squads return to division action on Tuesday. Fairfield plays at 4 p.m. at Bermudian Springs and Gettysburg hosts Shippensburg at 6:30 p.m.
FAIRFIELD 6, GETTYSBURG 1
Fairfield -- 5 1 -- 6
Gettysburg -- 1 0 -- 1
First Half -- 1. F, Katelyn McDonald, 35:58; 2. F, Alexis Junker, 22:06; 3. F, Junker (Toni Harbaugh), 21:25; 4. F, Harbaugh (McDonald), 19:11; 5. Get, Rachel Lyon, 16:09; 6. F, Junker, 14:04.
Second Half -- 7. F. Sammie Schlak, 20:59.
Shots On Goal -- F 20, Get 9.
Corners -- F 2, Get 1.
Goalies -- F, Amelia Ford (8 saves); Get, Cheyenne Grim (14 saves).
JV Score -- No game.