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Kennard-Dale girls down Susquehannock in semis

Susquehannock kept it closer than a week ago, but not close enough.

The third-seeded Warriors squared off against second-seed Kennard-Dale in a YAIAA girls' lacrosse tournament semifinal on Tuesday afternoon at Red Lion High School. The matchup came five days after the Rams had beaten Susquehannock by 11 goals, handing the Warriors only their second loss of the season.

This time around, Kennard-Dale emerged with a 13-8 win and a berth in the league title game.

"Susquehannock changed up their draw (Tuesday) so they could prevent the fast break," Kennard-Dale coach Kelly Wetzel said. "They did a good job of slowing us down in that aspect. We also made quite a few fundamental errors. We were able to score when we had to, but it was not our best game."

Kennard-Dale will meet top-seeded York Catholic for the championship after the Irish beat Red Lion, 16-4, in the other semifinal Tuesday. The Irish are the only other team than the Rams to have won a playoff title, that coming in 2014. Kennard-Dale has won every other playoff championship since its inception in 2009.

"We want to win and so does Catholic," Wetzel said. He added the Rams want some redemption for their 9-8, overtime loss to York Catholic on April 26, and the Irish "want to prove that wasn't a fluke. We want to prove that we are a better team. It's going to be a good game."

Kennard-Dale (16-1) struck quickly to open the game. Sophomore Morgan Bowings scored twice in the first 97 seconds.

"We definitely always try to come out strong," Bowings said. "If we come out strong, I think it affects our intensity for the rest of the game."

Susquehannock (16-3) twice closed the gap to a goal in the first half, only to have the Rams answer back. Kennard-Dale closed out the first half with five straight goals.

The Rams got another goal from Bowings 94 seconds into the second half to forge a seven-goal lead, but Susquehannock answered with a three-goal flurry by Gena Speights, Kayla Held and Rachel Marshner in a 3:03 span.

Susquehannock closed to within four goals with 4:55 remaining after a Riley Roeder score, but two Gillian Zimmerman goals 22 seconds apart in the closing minutes iced it for the Rams.

"(Kennard-Dale is) very fast in the middle," said Susquehannock coach Steve Marshner. "We did some different things to slow them down and I think we were successful at that. The turnovers hurt us though."

YAIAA girls' lacrosse championship

Who: Kennard-Dale vs. York Catholic 

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday 

Where: Susquehannock High School