Susquehannock wins season-opening test
Here are some of the top returning players to watch in YAIAA girls' lacrosse for the 2017 season.
It doesn't matter whether it's the first game of the season or a game in the postseason: Whenever the York Catholic and Susquehannock girls' lacrosse teams meet, the contest is most always a tight affair.
Friday night in the season opener for both squads, that again proved to be true.
In a game that featured seven ties, the Warriors grabbed the final lead with 3:45 to play and then played excellent keep-away with the ball to come away with the 12-11 victory.
"It was a battle," Warriors head coach Steve Marshner said. "York Catholic kept coming at us and we fought back. It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of talent on the field."
Riley Roeder scored the final goal of the game for the Warriors with 3:45 to go. The junior scored three goals and added an assist from her midfield position.
"She's awesome. She has a fantastic shot and is really good with the ground balls," Marshner said of Roeder. "She brings a great attitude to practice everyday. Our middie unit is a strong unit, and they know where each other is at all the time."
The Warriors dug out of an early 3-0 deficit to grab a 6-5 lead at halftime. They also found themselves trailing, 11-9, with less than nine minutes to play in the game.
"We talked about the mental toughness factor, and we showed tonight we are a lot more mentally tough than we were last year," Marshner said. "I'm really proud of my team."
The Warriors lost just four players from last year's team that went 17-4, and expectations are again high in Glen Rock.
"We are a deep team on our offensive side this year," Marshner said. "We are looking to correct our mistakes from last year and bring up our mental toughness. When you start correcting those things, the other stuff will happen."
Gena Speights scored three goals and Rachel Marshner and Kenna Hancock each added two goals for Susquehannock.
Last year's YAIAA regular-season champion, York Catholic, is coming off a 19-3 season, but the Fighting Irish face a brutal early-season schedule. They take on Manheim Township today and then defending District 3 champion Kennard-Dale on Tuesday.
"It ain't getting any easier," Catholic head coach Rob Linthicum said. "It's a rough start."
The Irish got two goals apiece from Lauren China, Jamie Mullen, Sarah Mazzur, Kayleigh Pokrivka and Anna Linthicum.
Turnovers plagued the visitors as they committed 19 to Susquehannock's nine.
"When its a one goal game and you're playing a good team, you can't turn the ball over twice as many times," Linthicum said. "You need to have possessions when it's going to come down to one goal. And we kind of felt it would come down to one goal before the game started."
The Irish reached the district semifinals for the first time in program history last season, and they're aiming to get back there this year — if not further.
"It will be interesting to see how it plays out with the new class structure," Linthicum said, referring to the PIAA's expansion of the lacrosse playoffs from a single classification to two classes.