FAWN GROVE -- In a stretch that began April 4 and ended last Friday, the Kennard-Dale girls' lacrosse team racked up four wins, including victories against solid teams such as West York, York Catholic and Susquehannock -- all of whom qualified for the District 3 tournament last season.
The Rams had passed just about every York-Adams League test this season, except one -- South Western. The Rams took on that test Monday afternoon in a showdown on the Rams' grass field. K-D and South Western have met in the last two York-Adams League Tournament finals, with the Rams winning each of those encounters.
The first nine minutes of action lived up to the billing. The stretch had seven combined goals, with K-D holding a one-score lead with 16 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first half.
From there, though, the Rams figured out their defensive woes and continued their offensive output, eventually opening up a seven-goal lead by intermission and later winning the contest by a final score of 18-10.
"I will say that our offense is really potent. It doesn't matter who goes to score. But defense is the key," K-D coach Kelly Wetzel said. "We didn't play very good defense the first couple minutes of the game and then we settled down. South Western drew a lot of fouls on us. They played smart."
About the only thing that slowed down the Rams was the halftime intermission, when they held a 12-5 lead, before South Western answered in the next 12 minutes of game action by pulling to within 14-10 with 12:24 remaining.
"The halftime, it slows down our momentum. That's our weakness," Rams' senior attacker Nicole Black said. "Once we pick it up, then we're on top. That halftime always slows us down but we pull through."
Wetzel called a timeout at that point to regroup his squad, which responded by holding the Mustangs scoreless the rest of the way and adding four more goals to seal the win.
Despite the loss, South Western (7-1 league, 8-1 overall) still sits atop the Division I standings. The Rams, meanwhile, improved to 9-0 in league action and 9-1 overall -- the only loss being a 13-11 defeat to District 1 lacrosse power Kennett High School back in March. K-D has achieved the record with a squad that lost four starters to graduation.
"We have girls that can replace them (those lost to graduation)," said Black, a La Salle recruit who notched three goals and a game-high five assists.
Teammates Taylor Davis (five goals, one assist), Morgan Day (four goals, two assists), Maggie Biedermann (three goals) and Lyndsey Duty (goal, four assists) also had impressive outings. And senior goalie Alana Pietra, who is back in goal for K-D after playing for York Catholic the last two seasons, recorded eight saves.
South Western was led by Braxtin Reddinger (three goals, one assist) and Sydney Szparaga (three goals).
OTHER GIRLS' LACROSSE
WEST YORK 21, CEN TRAL YORK 8: At Central, Sara Sweitzer (seven goals), Allee Ilgenfritz (five goals), Amanda Lehman (four goals), Brittany Armpriester (three goals) and Tori Gohn (two goals) powered the West York attack. Alexis Balanda and Jessica Ames each had three goals for Central York. Abby Cox had seven saves for the winners, while Kayla Paluch had seven saves for Central York. West York improved to 6-2 overall and in York-Adams Division II.
RED LION 18, EAST ERN 5: At Red Lion, Raquel Rich scored three goals and Sierra Donovan supplied five assists for the Lions. Jenn Yankowski, Jenny Smith, Maddie Sheridan, Gabby Harrison and Marissa Ness added two goals apiece for the winners.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 16, SPRING GROVE 4: At Glen Rock, Brooke Clasing led the Warriors with five goals and one assist. Abby Hagee (three goals, two assists), Ashley Valway (four goals) and Olivia Bond (three goals) also excelled for Susquehannock.
YORK CATHOLIC 23, DALLASTOWN 5: At Dallastown, Alexis China led the Irish by scoring four goals. Jess Mazzur and Megan Bittner each scored three goals, while Lindsay Givens, Natalie Fiorenza, and Sarah Gabriele each scored two goals. For the Wildcats, Alyssa Layton and Kayla Thomas each scored two goals. York Catholic improved to 6-2 in York-Adams Division II and 6-2 overall.
YORK SUBURBAN 14, NEW OXFORD 3: At New Oxford, Alex Anderson led the Trojans by scoring five goals. Karis Reiter (four goals), Alexandra Cologen (three goals), Karlee Wasilewski (two goals) and Cierra Eckenrode (three assists) also shined for Suburban. For the Colonials, Carley Castle scored two goals.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.