Before the trio of senior captains Lexi Reinert, Grace Floreck and Paige Clapsadle took the field for the Gettysburg girls’ soccer team as freshmen, the program was mostly trying to find itself.
Since its inclusion into the York-Adams League back in 2014, the Gettysburg club had never qualified for the York-Adams League playoffs before those three reached the high school.
After three years of qualifying but not advancing into the semifinals, the Warriors, who won the D-2 title this season, took a big step forward this time around.
A pair of victories over two D-I schools in Red Lion and Northeastern presented the Gettysburg girls their first-ever opportunity at a Y-A title Saturday at Northeastern High School against three-time defending league champion Central York.
Standing toe-to-toe with the Panthers throughout the contest, the outcome was decided by two sequences late in the first half.
A goal by Central York’s Anya Schnetzka with 13:32 left in the opening half broke the deadlock. Then just moments later, the Panthers doubled the lead on a tally by Ava Myers.
That five-minute stretch proved to be the difference as Central (15-3-1) claimed its fourth title in a row with a 2-0 triumph.
“We’re obviously upset,” Clapsadle said. “But we’re not going to go home and cry about it. This, for us, was such a big deal to even get here. Sometimes the journey is more important than the winning.”
Winning, though, would have meant a lot for all of the girls on the roster.
“We were all really excited to be here,” Clapsadle said. “We’ve been building confidence and team and spirit and stuff like that.”
The hope for coach Josh Fissel’s squad is to replicate the type of consistency and success that the Panthers have showcased over the same time frame. While Reinert, Floreck and Clapsadle won’t have a chance to help next year’s club, the good news is that the majority of the roster will return next year.
Before that happens, the Warriors (14-4-1) still have more work ahead of them this year. Gettysburg will host Palmyra (9-8-1) in the first-round of the District 3 Class 3A playoffs Monday evening at 7 p.m.
“We’re just going to keep looking forward to districts,” Reinert said. “We play Monday so we have to put (this loss) in the past.”