Dallastown Girls Earn County Championship

York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association High School Championships Concluded This WeeK

What an exciting moment for Dallastown Area High School! The Wildcats' Emma Beach scored a sudden-death overtime goal to secure a 10-9 victory over York Catholic, earning the team's first-ever lacrosse league championship on their home turf.

LockedIN Magazine photographer Rick "Beetle" Bailey of bbphotographer58 and MyMidAtlantic was there to keep our fans #LockedIn

There was one thing the dozen or so juniors on the Dallastown girls' lacrosse team immediately recognized when they joined the program as freshmen. With athletic banners adorning the rafters in the high school's gymnasium, the one for girls' lacrosse was a blank.

"Our group needs to get something up there," recalled Emma Beach, one of those juniors.

The Wildcats achieved just that on Tuesday night, as Beach's sudden-death overtime goal lifted Dallastown to a 10-9 victory over York Catholic in the York-Adams League final. On home turf, the Wildcats secured the first league championship in program history.

Beach's goal quickly set off a mob of Wildcats, whose historic victory will be commemorated with a 2024 insertion on that previously-empty banner inside the gym. And the score capped off an unforgettable week for Beach, who also delivered the winning goal in triple-overtime against Susquehannock in last Thursday's York-Adams semifinal.

For the Wildcats, the league tournament was something of a redemption tour.

Just under two weeks ago, Beach and her mates had a chance to claim a share of the Y-A's regular-season championship with a win at York Catholic in the May 2 regular-season finale. On that night, however, it was the Fighting Irish taking the victory on Katie Bullen's goal in overtime to dash the Wildcats' championship dreams.

Well, temporarily.

After a full week of rest, Dallastown exacted its revenge on Susquehannock, winning 8-7 on Beach's triple-OT winner. The final score was the same as it was when the Warriors handed the Wildcats their first loss on April 25 after a 13-0 start. Last Thursday's win was also Dallastown's first as a program in the Y-A tournament.

Much like the initial showdown between Dallastown and the York Catholic girls — who were seeking a third straight league tourney title — Tuesday's final found its way down to the wire. The Wildcats led 5-4 at halftime and 8-6 through three quarters, only for Delaney Staples to score the tying goal for the Irish with 7:34 remaining. Dallastown's Brynn Terry found the net at the 6:25 mark, then Bullen leveled the score right back with 5:56 to play.

"This has just been crazy," Beach said. "But I've been confident in school. I was like, 'We got this.' I knew we could do it. We only lost by one and we played really good in those games."

Beach's game-winner was her only goal of the contest. Jordan Markey and Emma Alex led the Wildcats (16-2) with two goals apiece, with six teammates scoring once. Bullen scored five times and Staples found the net twice for York Catholic (16-3).

"I have confidence in every single girl out there," he said. "We try to tell everyone that every single goal we score is the product of every girl that is out there on the field. It's an entire team-first mentality with all of these girls. They play for each other and they play hard."

Alex said after the regular-season loss to York Catholic that he wouldn't do anything different in a rematch. True to his word, the Wildcats didn't throw any new wrinkles at the Irish. All they did was execute more effectively in the clutch.

"We just learned to stay calm," Beach said. "Usually when we get close, we get frantic, so we all just learned to stay calm."

Joe Alex reinforced that by calling for "Cowboy" — a set that requires patience on the offensive end — in the extra session.

"Settle down," the coach implored his team in overtime.

The Wildcats' poise proved to be a difference-maker after Reed initially shut the door on a shot by Lexi Federline. After the clear, the Wildcats forced a turnover and finally cashed in. The ball eventually found Beach, who beat the Georgetown pledge for the goal that will live on in Dallastown history.

"I wasn't going to run out," Beach said of the final possession. "(I was going to) just stay in the center and I reached my stick out. Somehow got it and then my face kind of dropped. I was like, 'Oh my gosh! I got it, I got it!'"

Both finalists will have opening-round byes in the District 3 playoffs, with Dallastown earning the No. 3 seed in Class 3A and York Catholic grabbing the Class 2A fourth seed. The York-Adams League sent seven girls' teams and seven boys' squads to districts, which begin Friday with quarterfinals next Tuesday, May 21.

As orginially reported in the York Dispatch

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