District champs! Lady Barons win title with 3-1 win over Northern York

By on November 9, 2016
Manheim Central’s girls soccer players celebrate with their first-ever District Three championship trophy after defeating Northern York 3-1 in the finals last Thursday night at Hersheypark Stadium. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central’s girls soccer players celebrate with their first-ever District Three championship trophy after defeating Northern York 3-1 in the finals last Thursday night at Hersheypark Stadium. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central needed some convincing that it was capable of doing great things heading into the post-season.

“For the longest time, I was believing in them more than they believed in themselves,” Lady Baron Coach John Shetromph said. “I said, ‘Hey, you’re a district champion team.’ Then they started (believing).”

And the Lady Barons carried that belief all the way to a District title.

Last Thursday at Hersheypark Stadium, fourth-seeded MC completed its District run with an exciting 3-1 victory over second-seeded Northern in the Class AAA girls title game. The Lady Barons used first-half goals from Kiera Wells and Taylor Noll to build a lead, and then relied on some big saves from freshman keeper Mia Reed in the second half to hold off a late Polar Bear charge to capture the program’s first-ever District crown.

“I don’t know what to say. This is pretty cool,” Shetromph said after presenting his players with their gold medals. “I’m not going to go to sleep tonight.”

The Lady Barons (18-4) entered the PIAA State playoffs Tuesday as the number one seed out of District Three, thanks to their victory. They were scheduled to face District One two seed Penncrest Tuesday at Manheim Township.

As for the District title, Wells said her team started believing it was possible to win a title as the victories began to pile up late in the season.

The Lady Barons defeated L-S (2-1), Elco (1-0) and Fleetwood (6-0) to reach Thursday’s championship.

“It feels great,” she said. “We worked so hard this year and really started believing that we could do this. And to be able to win our program’s first District title is just a great, great feeling. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Manheim Central, a normally slow-starting team, got the jump early in this one as Kayla Herr hit Wells out in front, and the senior tucked it in the right corner of the net for the 1-0 advantage.

“I saw the corner so I just kind of hit it in,” said Wells of the goal. “I think the goalie was kind of stuck in her place, she couldn’t get to the ball.”

The Lady Barons, who out-shot Northern 3-1 and out-cornered them 2-0 through the first 40 minutes, carried the momentum for most of the first half. They finally were rewarded with about nine minutes to play in the half when Herr spotted Noll down the right side and the senior ripped a shot past Polar Bear keeper Kaley Wallace just inside the left post from about 10 yards out for the big insurance tally.

“That was the worst half of soccer we played all year,” Polar Bear Coach Seth Lehman said of his Northern team, which was making its fourth finals appearance in five years. “The careless mistakes in the first half cost us, and by girls who would not normally make those mistakes.”

As rough a start as the Polar Bears had, they came out a different team in the second half.

Northern (21-2), which would finish with nine shots and six corners after it’s rough first half, had its first real scoring chance erased by Reed (4 saves) on a nice one-handed punch off the post eight minutes into the half.

The corners and chances kept piling up before the Polar Bears finally cut the Lady Barons’ lead to 2-1 with 12:42 remaining.

Northern’s Abby Monko sent a perfectly-placed through ball, which Emily Weaver ran down and drilled it past Reed.

But the Lady Barons would regain the two-goal advantage just 50 seconds later when MaKenna Copley picked up a loose ball in front of Wallace and deposited it in for the game clincher.

“That’s a very good team and we were kind of just holding on,” Shetromph said. “But to answer less than a minute later was huge for us.”

Lehman said the second half was about his team’s lack of finishing.

“We couldn’t finish,” he said. “Credit them. They had one shot on goal in the second half and they scored.”

Northern had three corner opportunities over the final 10 minutes but nothing came of them, and the Lady Barons walked away with their biggest win in program history.

“This was a special tonight,” Shetromph said. “We came out well in the first half even though we don’t normally. We had several freshmen out there and goalkeeper Mia Reed came up huge. We had some bumps and bruises and we had to hang on in the second half. We just weren’t sure how the group was going to come together with our youngsters early but our upperclassmen really have led this team.”

All the way to a District crown.



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