Youth is served.
Dover High freshman Brooke Firestone found the back of the net three times to lead the Lady Eagles to a 4-0 win over South Western in the semifinals of the YAIAA girls' soccer tournament Tuesday night at Papermakers Stadium in Spring Grove.
The young midfielder started the scoring, then scored both of her team's second-half goals to put the match away.
With the win, Dover advances to the championship match, in which it will take on Dallastown, a 3-0 winner over Susquehannock, on Thursday at Susquehannock.
"All three of our strikers (Firestone, Maxine Herman and Kayla Miller) play well together," Dover head coach Bret Altimore said. "Teams can't pay too much attention to any single one of them or it opens things up for the other two."
Firestone got the scoring going early when she scored with 36:58 to go in the opening half. Her goal came as she cleaned up a rebound of a shot by Herman. Herman's shot from the left forced South Western keeper Jacey Shipley to make a diving deflection, but before Shipley could recover, Firestone was there to finish it off.
Herman then got into the scoring act off an assist from Paige Hartman with 21:29 to play until halftime off a cross from the left to center.
Dover (12-4) had to withstand the loss of its starting keeper when a South Western attacker collided with Lady Eagle keeper Marcie Gerrick with 13:46 to play in the first half. The junior netminder left the match with an undisclosed injury and didn't return. She was replaced by sophomore Alexis Swartz, who saved all four shots that came her way.
"I'm not sure of Marcie's status going forward because I'm not sure what exactly happened to her," Altimore said. "At the same time, Alexis did a great job of stepping into a match of this magnitude cold and handling everything that came her way."
South Western (10-8-1) had a chance to slice the lead in half with 27 seconds to play until intermission, but Amy Spigelmyer's penalty kick was wide to the left.
Firestone upped the advantage to three goals when she redirected Herman's corner kick into the right side of the net with 28:27 to play, then put the capper on the scoring with a header on a loose ball with 21:33 remaining.
"We beat them by the same score earlier in the season," Altimore said, "but they are a much-improved team. They played hard tonight. Our girls were up for the challenge and met it head-on."
The Lady Mustangs were outshot 10-4 and had one corner to Dover's four.
"The fact that we made it this far this season is very good," South Western head coach Dwaine Briggs said. "To beat Central and beat West York twice this year is excellent.
"We're very young. We had seven freshmen on the field at times tonight and I couldn't be prouder of the girls for the season they've had."
The loss wraps up the season for the Lady Mustangs as they failed to qualify for the District 3 Class AAA tournament.
"The seniors are disappointed that the season ended tonight," Briggs said. "At the same time, they understand how good of a season that we had. It's tough right now, but they'll remember this year well."
at Spring Grove H.S.
DOVER 4, SOUTH WESTERN 0
So. Western -- 0 0 -- 0
Dover -- 2 2 -- 4
First Half -- 1. Do, Brooke Firestone (Maxine Herman), 36:58; 2. Do, Herman (Paige Hartman), 21:29.
Second Half -- 3. Do, Firestone (Herman), 28:27; 4. D, Firestone, 21:33.
Shots On Goal -- SW 4, Do 10.
Corners -- SW 1, Do 4.
Goalies -- SW, Jacey Shipley (2 saves), Carlie Suarez (4 saves); Do, Marcie Gerrick (0 saves), Alexis Swartz (4 saves).