Entering this week, just about every Lancaster-Lebanon League boys and girls lacrosse team has reached the midpoint of their regular season league schedule. With that said, it’s time to take a quick look at what we’ve learned to this point, in an effort to get a better idea on how the second half might play out. We’ll start on the girls side.
The PIAA Class 3A runner-up in 2018 and 2019, Manheim Township is again playing arguably the toughest non-conference schedule of any L-L squad in its effort to be prepared for the postseason. For instance, this Wednesday the Blue Streaks (6-0 league, 8-2 overall) will host 2019 state qualifier Cardinal O’Hara. In league play, Manheim Township enters this week with an 89-game L-L regular season win streak. We’ll have to wait until May 6 for rival Hempfield (6-0, 7-2) to travel to Neffsville. ...The lone league loss thus far for Cocalico (5-1, 6-2) is a 14-9 defeat at Manheim Township, where the Eagles cut their deficit to 9-7 in the second half before the Streaks pulled away. Cocalico will host Hempfield on April 29. And the Eagles could give either the Streaks or Black Knights, or both, a battle again in the league tourney. Beyond that, the Eagles appear to have the strength to contend for the District 3-2A crown, in part thanks to senior phenom Hannah Custer, whose 52 goals leads all league individual scorers. ...Conestoga Valley (3-2, 6-2), Warwick (3-2, 5-4) and Lampeter-Strasburg (4-3, 5-4) will likely battle it out for the fourth and final L-L playoff spot, which means the May 4 meeting of L-S at Warwick could have playoff implications.
Hempfield (4-0, 6-0) sits atop the Section One standings after last week’s 11-9 win at Manheim Township (4-1, 6-1), which snapped the Streaks’ league regular season win streak at 110 games. The rivals are scheduled to meet again in Landisville on April 29. Keep an eye on Penn Manor (4-1, 6-1) this week, as the Comets travel to Hempfield on Monday night and host Manheim Township on Thursday, needing to pull off the upset in at least one of those matchups if they hope to nab one of the two league playoff spots out of Section One. ...Lampeter-Strasburg (3-1, 6-2) and Ephrata (3-1, 5-2) enter the week in a two-way, first-place tie atop Section Two, trailed closely by Conestoga Valley (4-2, 7-3) and Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic (2-2, 4-3). There are a combined six games involving those four teams over the next three weeks. If CV and LCD/LCHS fall short of contending for the section crown, then the May 4 meeting of Ephrata at L-S could decide the Section Two title.
Key dates to keep an eye on:
*Author's note, these dates are subject to change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic having already caused multiple games to be postponed or moved. For instance, to this point in the season, at least six boys teams and two girls teams have had games moved due to coronavirus quarantines or contact-tracing.
Monday, April 19: Boys lacrosse, Penn Manor at Hempfield
Tuesday, April 20: Boys lacrosse, Ephrata at CV
Thursday, April 22: Boys lacrosse, Manheim Township at Penn Manor
Saturday, April 24: Boys lacrosse, LCD/LCHS at Ephrata
April 27: Boys lacrosse, L-S at LCD/LCHS
April 29: Girls lacrosse, Hempfield at Cocalico; Boys lacrosse: Manheim Township at Hempfield
April 30: Boys lacrosse, Penn Manor at Lampeter-Strasburg
May 4: Boys lacrosse, Ephrata at L-S; Girls lacrosse: L-S at Warwick
May 5: Boys lacrosse, LCD/LCHS at L-S
May 6: Girls lacrosse: Hempfield at Manheim Township; Boys lacrosse, LCD/LCHS at CV
The girls and boys L-L League semifinals are scheduled for May 11 and the league championship games May 13, followed by district and state playoffs. League playoff games do not count towards the District Three power ratings.
Speaking of which, April 29 will be the last day teams can add a match to their regular-season schedules that will count toward their power ranking, and the deadline to compile power points is May 13. The boys tourney will begin May 17, the girls tourney will get started May 18, with the higher seeds in the brackets hosting through the semifinals. The championship matches will be contested at Landis Field in Harrisburg.