Entering Monday’s District Three girls lacrosse semifinals, the Lancaster-Lebanon League had four teams competing in four separate games. Only one was left standing. Top-seeded Manheim Township held off No. 5 Wilson in a 13-10 District 3-3A semifinals win while Hempfield, Lampeter-Strasburg and Cocalico all came up short in other district semifinal matchups.
The Lancaster-Lebanon League regular season and tournament champion Blue Streaks (18-3) advanced to Wednesday’s District 3-3A championship game, where it’ll face No.3-seed Exeter (18-3) at 5 p.m. at Central Dauphin Middle School on Landis Field inside Speed Ebersole Stadium.
“We knew this would be a big win for us,” Manheim Township sophomore Campbell Heller said after Monday’s win. “We beat them (Wilson) in the district finals last year. So to play them in the district semifinals we really had to go and play strong.”
Heller entered Monday with 11 goals on the season. She finished with three goals in the district semifinal victory. And each came at a crucial time. Her first score put Manheim Township up 7-5 with 33 seconds remaining before Wilson cut it to 7-6 just before halftime at Penn Manor’s Comet Field.
Wilson (17-6) twice tied the score in the opening moments of the second half, only to see Heller put the Streaks back up 8-7 and 9-8, the latter coming with 14:19 remaining.
“They came back a little bit,” Heller said. “I just knew we really had to go.”
Senior Lucy Svetec (two goals), junior Taylor Kopan (four goals) and sophomore Megan Rice (four goals) also paced the Manheim Township attack, while sophomore keeper Gail Wilkes made eight saves.
Wilson won 18 of the 25 draw controls, which helped the Bulldogs stay close.
Svetec’s final score with 10:26 remaining pushed the Streaks’ advantage to 12-8, its largest lead of the game. Svetec and Ashlyn Campagna are the only two seniors on the roster.
“We have a really young team,” Heller said. “Having only two seniors it’s a fight for everyone out there.”
Still, the young Manheim Township bunch has gotten the program back to the district title game for the 10th time in 11 years.
Exeter 14, Hempfield 10: The second-seeded Black Knights (17-4) led 2-1 and 3-2 in the early going but would never lead again, as Exeter went to the break up 6-5 and widened the gap to 12-7, 13-8 and 14-9 in the second half in the nightcap of the District 3-3A semis at Comet Field. Juniors Lindsey Durkota (three goals) and Lizzie Yurchak (three goals, one assist) and senior Lauren Dague (two goals) paced the Hempfield attack. L-L regular season and tournament runner-up Hempfield will go to Wednesday’s District 3-3A third-place game needing to beat Wilson in order to qualify for the PIAA Class 3A tournament.
“We’re not done yet,” longtime Hempfield coach Elizabeth Erb said. “I feel like walking off the field tonight with the things we coulda, shoulda, woulda done. ...They gave everything they had. They just have to clean it up. It’s do-able. But we have to clean it up.”
Kennard-Dale 12, Cocalico 11: The second-seeded Eagles (15-5) trailed 10-7 at intermission and held the third-seeded Rams (17-4) to just two scores in the second half but came up just short in a District 3-3A semifinals loss at Hershey High School. Junior Claire Eberly (five goals, one assist) and sophomore Hannah Custer (three goals) led the Cocalico offense while sophomore keeper Alayna Trynosky made nine saves. The Eagles will face Lampeter-Strasburg in Wednesday’s District 3-2A third-place game to determine seeding for the state tournament. BOX SCORE
York Catholic 15, Lampeter-Strasburg 8: In its first-ever district semifinals appearance, fourth-seeded Lampeter-Strasburg (13-6) couldn’t dig out from a 9-4 halftime deficit in an eventual District 3-2A semifinals loss at Hershey High School to the top-seeded Irish (20-1). Senior goalie Mary Peticca made 20 saves on the defensive end while seniors Kelsey Kimmel (three goals) and Katelyn Smith (two goals, one assist) and junior McKenna Conklin (two goals, one assist) paced the offensive side. BOX SCORE