Red Lion's 3-2 victory capped a successful regular season for the Lions, who finished second in Division I and are preparing for the YAIAA tournament.
The loss leaves Central hoping for a District 3 playoff berth.
On Thursday, Red Lion was led by Morgan Kuehne and Paige Taylor, who each had a goal and an assist.
"It was a great game," Red Lion head coach Carol Gillmen said. "Central has some really skilled players. It was very much a back and forth game."
Indeed it was as the Lions (15-2) led 1-0 at halftime on Taylor's goal at 20:20 of the first half.
Red Lion opened up a 2-0 lead following Ali Posey's goal at 28:37 before the Panthers (8-10) got on the board.
Central's Paige Harrold cut into the Red Lion lead with her goal at 14:27 in the second half. Harrold scored off a corner as she elevated the ball from the right side, and it got past Lions keeper Gabi Uberti.
But, Kuehne answered back 3:14 later, with her goal from the left side. Kuehne finished off a pass from Taylor, making it the second time in the game the two combined on a goal.
Lauren Moyer continued the back-and-forth theme as the Central star scored off a deflection at 8:01.
"Moyer is really good," Gillmen said. "She's a lot like Ali (Posey) on our team. They can really carry the ball and be the difference maker. As we look to the postseason we need to do a better job against strong, dynamic girls that have speed like Moyer does."
Before the District 3 tournament begins for Red Lion, who entered Thursday's play as the No. 6 seed in the Class AAA rankings, the Lions face Bermudian Springs on Wednesday in a semifinal game of the YAIAA tournament.
That game is scheduled for 5:30 at Spring Grove. Red Lion is aiming for its third straight league championship.
"The three-peat would be super special," Gillmen said. "We want to give it our best shot to be there. We have to go there and earn it."
Red Lion lost just twice in the regular season -- both times to Dallastown.
"We had a fantastic regular season," Gillmen said. "Our goals were to finish in the top two and get to the county championship. We're still gunning to get to the championship game in counties. I'm really proud of my team, we have 10 seniors, and they have really stepped up and been leaders."
Meanwhile Central is in waiting mode following Thursday's loss.
"We had some chances, and we didn't take advantage of them," Panthers head coach Lori Livingston said. "But, they put a good effort into it."
The Panthers who qualified for last year's district tournament as the No. 20 seed with an 8-10 record, currently sit as the 21st seed.
"We have a shot," Livingston said. "We are going to have to wait and see. Because of the strength of schedule, we have one of the highest opponents winning percentage. That's what got us in last year."
Kelsie Newman finished with seven saves for Central.
RED LION 3, CENTRAL YORK 2
Red Lion -- 1 2 -- 3
Central -- 0 2 -- 2
First Half -- 1. RL, Paige Taylor (Morgan Kuehne), 20:20.
Second Half -- 2. RL, Ali Posey, 28:37; 3. CY, Paige Harrold, 14:27; 4. RL, Kuehne (Taylor), 11:13; 5. CY, Lauren Moyer, 8:01.
Shots On Goal -- RL 10, CY 7.
Corners -- RL 9, CY 8.
Goalies -- Red Lion, Gabi Uberti (5 saves); Central York, Kelsie Newman (7 saves).