GLEN ROCK - Ian Desenberg doesn't really understand why he did it.
Perhaps a feeling or instinct led Desenberg, a junior attack for the Central York boys' lacrosse team, to position teammate Shereif Sutton in a certain spot on the field - a spot where Sutton hadn't lined up all game.
Desenberg had just scored the game-tying goal in the York-Adams League Tournament championship game at Susquehannock High School against West York with 19.7 seconds left. As he and Sutton, a long-pole midfielder who scored one goal all season, stepped onto the field, Desenberg pulled Sutton aside.
"Right before we came on, he (Sutton) stepped on this (near) side (of the field) and I told him to go to the other side," Desenberg said.
The following face-off led to the ball rolling right to Sutton, who scooped it up, ran past the midfield line toward the West York goal. He then did something he had done only once before this season, against New Oxford.
"Everything went slow-mo," Sutton said. "I poked it (the ball) and I picked it up and I saw no one was (open) to get the ball, so I ripped it."
From roughly 20 yards out, Sutton fired a shot past West York goalie Cole Rinehart and into the back of the net to give the Panthers their first lead of the game with 13 seconds remaining on the clock.
The goal wound up being the game-winner and capped off a stretch of 3:33 that saw Central overcome a four-goal deficit to win, 13-12.
"It means the world," Desenberg said. "We worked so hard in the offseason for this. It paid off. It's incredible. I don't know what just happened. This is crazy."
Desenberg jokingly took credit for Sutton's goal, but even Sutton was quick to give praise to his teammate.
"Ian Desenberg, I have to give him credit," Sutton said. "He was like 'Hey, go to the other side (of the field),' which I never ever do. So the fact he said that, I gotta give him credit for setting it up."
Both teams were competing for their first-ever league tournament championship. West York head coach Rodney Tamblin, who led the Bulldogs (17-2) to the York-Adams Division II title in his first year as the West York coach, said his team was hurt by losing defenders and team captains Austin Groft and Steven Wilson in the final minutes.
Play was halted with 4:50 left when Wilson was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. It was then that trainers ran to midfield to examine Groft, who was motionless on his stomach. Groft fell to the ground during play, when his helmet made contact with an opponent's leg. He walked off the field a few minutes later but did not return to the game.
"We were in complete control until the last four minutes," Tamblin said. "We ended losing two of our best defenders. It's tough when you have one guy who gets hit in the head. And then Steven Wilson is the emotional spark plug on our team. He gets worked up and sometimes emotions get the best of you."
Central (16-2), the York-Adams Division I champion, took the momentum when play resumed. Max Haldeman scored to make it a three-goal game with 3:33 left.
"We didn't quit," Central coach Wade Noonan said. "We were down at one point by four or five (goals) and we just decided ... it scares the heck out of me. They came back and they played their butts off."
Desenberg (three goals, assist), Haldeman (four goals, assist) and C.J. Belker (three goals) led Central's offense. Panthers' goalie Shane Walker made 13 saves.
West York was paced by Devyn Roehm (four goals, one assist), Tanner Gerace (three goals) and Hunter Betz (seven assists).
Bulldogs' goalies Jordan Lombardo (four saves) and Rinehart (one save) combined for five stops.
- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.