Manheim Township headed to 7th District 3 girls' lacrosse final, denies Kennard-Dale
HERSHEY >> Everything went Kennard-Dale's way for the first 10 minutes.
A penalty, and the player disadvantage that came with it, changed the Rams' fortunes Tuesday evening in their District 3 girls' lacrosse loss to Manheim Township. The Blue Streaks will play for their seventh straight district title after a 16-9 victory against the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Rams.
Kennard-Dale (20-1) will now play YAIAA-rival Susquehannock (18-2) for a state playoff spot with a 5 p.m. consolation match Thursday at Lower Dauphin High School. The YAIAA is guaranteed its second PIAA qualifier in the seven years girls' lacrosse has been a Pennsylvania-wide varsity sport.
Yes, that means Manheim Township (16-5) has yet to fail in a District 3 title pursuit. The Blue Streaks denied the Rams for the third straight season, beating them last year on the same field in the district semifinals.
Kennard-Dale appeared it could change that with a 4-1 advantage Tuesday. Freshman goalie Clare Boone denied the efficient Blue Streaks offense with a save on their first possession, and sophomore Emmie Dressel supplied the opening goal. By the 14-minute mark, three of Kennard-Dale's four goals were from a freshman and sophomore.
A situation that looked to only get better for a team anchored by a couple of seniors quickly turned awry when Morgan Bowings was sent to the penalty box for two minutes. When the freshman returned, Township amassed a five-goal run. The defending champs took a two-goal lead and built it from there.
"It's like they saw blood in the water," Kennard-Dale coach Kelly Wetzel said.
University of Virginia recruit Emily McBride directed the onslaught. She scored two of her game-high six goals during the Streaks' player advantage.
"We didn't run any set plays," Township coach Mark Pinkerton said. "I think Emily kind of picked the pace up a little bit."
McBride assisted on the first goal during Township's defining run — five straight goals with an advantage, six in a row all together. She dictated each face-off that followed a score without being the one stepping to the midfield line for a draw control.
If this was a boys' game, Wetzel said, pushing or body contact could have slowed the 5-foot-10 McBride. Instead, the tallest player on the field pulled in each loose ball with her long reach and stick extended farther than anyone else.
"There's not much you can do," Wetzel said. "You either get it or you don't. When she got it, she was gone."
Pinkerton agreed the two-minute stretch was vital in awakening his offense, which he characterized as "out of sync" until then. If that wasn't enough, McBride added two more goals in the final 32 seconds of the first half for good measure.
A 10-2 Township run ended the first 25 minutes, courtesy of McBride.
"She's great on the circle, she's great on defense, great on offense and good in the open field," Pinkerton said. "She's really the most versatile player we've had."
The coach has seen many of them. When Township played Kennard-Dale two years ago for a district title, McBride already verbally committed to Virginia. He also had Molly Hendrick, who now plays at the University North Carolina.
Coincidentally, Hendrick scored a Township record 432 goals in high school.
Kennard-Dale senior Morgan Day passed her late this season to take Pennsylvania's career lead. Day scored three times Tuesday, tying the national record of 459 recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Day will look Thursday to pass Megan Shortt, who set the record last year in North Carolina. The Rams hope to make their second state tournament appearance with it, which is why Wetzel wouldn't let his girls dwell on their first loss of the season.
"There's no time for it," he said. "You have to turn around (today) and go."
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
Manheim Township 16, Kennard-Dale 9
Manheim Township goals — Emily McBride 6, Elizabeth Petrosky 3, Maryn Bernhardt 2, Sarah Svetec 2, Hannah Wertz 2, Sadye Walker.
Manheim Township assists — Bernhardt 3, McBride 2, Carolyn Mann 2, Sarah Elias 2, Svetec.
Kennard-Dale goals — Morgan Day 3, Emmie Dressel 2, Morgan Bowings 2, Lyndsey Duty, Hannah Bracey.
Kennard-Dale assists — Duty 3, Day 2, Bracey 2.
Shots on goal — MT 33, KD 17.
Goalies — MT, Mimi Curtis (8 saves). KD, Clare Boone (17 saves).