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Lacrosse teams brave cold for Play Day

Snow, rain, sleet and lacrosse. Saturday's Play Day in York County saw it all.

Eight YAIAA teams, and several more from the Harrisburg and Lancaster areas, braved the wintry weather and took to the fields at Central York and Susquehannock for a round-robin style series of scrimmages that provided one last chance to prep against another team before the season starts next week.

Here are a few takeaways from the day:

Susquehannock's shutout: As expected, the Warriors' defense is back and looked to be in midseason form as they shut out Carlisle, 8-0, in the first scrimmage of the day. What makes that more impressive is that Susquehannock will be trying out a trio of inexperienced goalies this season, so an early shutout is a nice boost of confidence. It helps to have Haley Martinez and Rachel Miller on the defensive line, making every shot difficult for the opponent's offense.

The early results are positive on moving all-league defender Rachel Marshner up to the midfield, too. Marshner, who scored 16 goals from defense last season, tallied two early ones in Susquehannock's scrimmage against Lower Dauphin. As a whole, the offense looked more patient, poised and balanced than the other teams on Saturday. Keep an eye on the Warriors early in the season.

New Oxford's offensive punch: The Colonials' dynamic duo of Braxtin Reddinger and Raleigh Bateman, who easily surpassed 100 goals combined last season, shook off some early rust Saturday and finished with three goals combined against Northern York. Both Reddinger and Bateman scored on drives right down the middle of the field, and Reddinger's second came after a stoppage when the senior sprinted the length of the field with the ball and scored.

It's a practice for the referees, too: The referees took Saturday's Play Day as a teaching opportunity. Veteran referees at both fields walked less-experienced referees through the motions throughout the day. Many of the referees were pulled aside after different calls and assessed on what they saw. Better officiating makes everyone happy, and Saturday was a solid step in that direction.

Central and Spring Grove improved: Two teams that had their share of struggles last season showed they could be improved squads this season. Central's offense was clicking against Northern and had runs of 4-0 and 5-1 Saturday. The Panthers spent the majority of the game against Northern in the Polar Bears' zone. That's a good sign for Central.

Spring Grove managed just one win in 2015 but played with more aggression and confidence at times Saturday. The Rockets are a younger squad than most, but they won't be a pushover this season.

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