By Paul Jones
Going into Friday’s game, the Red Lion field hockey team was riding a train of momentum. The Lady Lions were on a seven game winning streak and looked to make the streak go to eight against cross town rival Dallastown who. This would be the first meeting between the 7-2 Wildcats and the 7-1 Lady Lions.
The Red Lion had beaten Central York in a close game on Wednesday and would look to use that confidence going into Friday’s matchup. “I think we are having a great season,” head coach Carol Gillmen. “Our confidence is high and we have good leadership from our seniors.”
While getting a win against Central was good for the team, going up against Dallastown was a whole different story. The game was mainly a defensive battle with neither side letting up. Dallastown got up early with a goal in the first half, but then the Lady Lions responded with a goal by Hailey Taylor.
“Obviously scoring in the first half was big against Dallastown,” Coach Gillmen said. “No one in the county has really been able to score on them, so it was huge to be able to score.”
In the second half there were even fewer chances to score with each team locking up defensively. Both teams clogged up all the passing lanes and had some very timely clears to send the offense back from where they came.
With around four minutes to go, Dallastown put the ball in the goal off of a corner play to give them a 2-1 lead. Red Lion tried to score a late goal to tie, but time ran out and the Lady Lions received their second loss of the season.
“I felt like we were moving the ball well at times but we just need to have the composure and skill to be able to do that consistently,” Coach Gillmen said. Coach Gillmen also explained that could be improved were getting better through balls to create more opportunities.
Despite the loss, Coach Gillmen saw plenty of positives. The Lady Lions had scored four or more goals five times this year, so their usual goal scoring was not necessarily there. The defense still held the best team on paper to two goals and kept the Lady Lions in the game. The emphasis is on “best team on paper,” as Red Lion definitely showed some of Dallastown’s holes and that Red Lion has the potential to take down the reigning YAIAA champs.
“Skill wise we out played them at times and I was pleased, but just at critical moments they made plays and were hitting really big through hits at the end of the game,” Coach Gillmen said. The team will have four more league games until their rematch against Dallastown on Oct. 7. That is the only scheduled rematch as of right now, but an encounter in the postseason is entirely possible.
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