Susquehannock rallies to win district lacrosse title
HERSHEY - Her cool exterior faded once Rachel Marshner deposited the go-ahead goal in the back of the Kennard-Dale net.
Smiling broadly, Marshner skipped behind the net as her Susquehannock teammates mobbed her.
Marshner had helped Susquehannock pull off the improbable. The Warriors pulled out a 13-12 victory against defending champion Kennard-Dale in the District 3 Class 2A title game Wednesday at Hersheypark Stadium. It is the first girls' lacrosse district title in Susquehannock's school history.
Trailing 12-9 late in the second half, Susquehannock cut the deficit to one goal with about 10 minutes to play.
Susquehannock's Riley Roeder picked up a ground ball and fed the ball downfield as Marshner tied the game with about eight minutes to play.
"I know I tied it, but without my team I never could have tied it," Marshner said.
About two minutes later Marshner put Susquehannock on top for the first time in the game, scoring with 6:13 to play.
"This is literally a dream come true," Susquehannock senior Gena Speights said. "I'm literally shaking."
Susquehannock regained possession and attempted to kill off the final minutes in order to secure the victory. Kennard-Dale caused a turnover and had control of the ball with 41 seconds to play, but the Rams couldn't put one last goal by Susquehannock goalie Sam McGuire to force an extra session.
It marked the first time Susquehannock (20-3) had beaten the powerhouse Kennard-Dale program in girls' lacrosse.
"We said, if we're going to do it, let's do it on the biggest stage where we can play them and it worked out that way," Susquehannock coach Steve Marshner said.
Speights had a lot to do with Susquehannock's come-from-behind win. Facing off against one of the YAIAA's and District 3's best draw control players in Megan Halczuk, Susquehannock managed to win 19 draw controls.
Roeder was credited with 10, Marshner with five and Speights with four.
"It's just like facing everyone else, you have to figure out how they are doing their draw in order to beat them," Speights said. "I figured it out, and we just took that into this game.
"Riley Roeder just killed it, and having her and Rachel on the draw was just insane. I could always count on them."
The comeback spoiled another impressive offensive game by Kennard-Dale, led by Morgan Bowings' five goals.
Kennard-Dale built a 4-0 lead, including scoring the game's opening goal just 16 seconds after the start.
Susquehannock tied the game shortly before overtime, but Kennard-Dale regained control of the game in the second half. The Rams held a 12-9 lead late in the second half, but Susquehannock scored the final four goals in the final 13:44 of the game.
And Marshner scored the game's last three goals.
"It feels amazing, it's the best feeling in the whole world," Roeder said of the comeback win.
Susquehannock 13, Kennard-Dale 12
1. KD, Morgan Bowings :16; 2. KD, Bowings 5:05; 3. KD, Maddie Day (Gillian Zimmerman) 6:04; 4. KD, Day (Emmie Dressel) 8:11; 5. S, Kenna Hancock (Kayla Held) 8:34; 6. S, Gena Speights (Hancock) 11:16; 7. KD, Megan Halczuk (Zimmerman) 12:50; 8. KD, Halczuk 13:03; 9. S, Hancock 16:13; 10. S, Rachel Marshner (Held) 16:39; 11. KD, Bowings (Zimmerman) 21:00; 12. S, Speights 23:12; 13. S, Speights (Hancock) 24:13; 14. S, Marshner 24:52.
1. KD, Bowings 25:25; 2. KD, Renee Gering 28:33; 3. S, Emma Stiffler 29:16; 4. KD, Dressel 34:46; 5. KD, Dressel 35:02; 6. S, Hancock 35:38; 7. KD, Bowings 36:16; 8. S, Hancock 38:55; 9. S, Marshner 39:29; 10. S, Marshner 41:58; 11. S, Marshner 43:47.