PARKVILLE — Right place at the right time.
Cumberland Valley’s Kyra Place certainly was as the junior found the back of the net seven times to lead the Eagles to a 12-11 victory over South Western in the quarterfinals of the District 3 Class 3A tournament Thursday night at the Mustang Corral in Hanover.
The victory sends the Eagles to the district semifinals where they will face top-seeded Manheim Twp., which defeated Central Dauphin 21-5, on Tuesday at a site and time to be announced.
Place netted five of her goals in the first half as the Eagles assumed a 10-3 lead on her last marker of the opening half. South Western scored two goals let to send the game to intermission at 10-5.
“We expected a tough game and our adrenaline was really high at the start,” Place said. “We really wanted to win tonight, because it means we have two chances to qualify for states.”
Three teams qualify from District 3 for the PIAA tournament. A win in Tuesday’s semifinal guarantees a spot; a loss means the Eagles will have to win the third-place game to advance.
Another tally by Place just 29 seconds into the second half appeared to right the ship for the visitors, but the hosts were far from done.
“[Place] is an excellent player and she really hurt us tonight,” South Western head coach Randy Kavanaugh said. “We gave up some transition goals right off of draw controls in the first half that really hurt us. Too many easy goals that we didn’t make them work for.”
South Western (12-4) scored the next three goals to close the gap to 11-8, forcing CV head coach Emily Savani to call for time with 15:21 to go.
Place scored less than a minute later to open the lead back up to four, but it was the final goal of the night for the Eagles as they had to hang on for the win.
“We knew that we needed to score to try to slow their momentum,” Place said. “I tried to go to goal as hard as I could.”
South Western continued to battle, and free-position goals from Elizabeth Antoshak, Caitlyn Coates and Hannah Huff sliced the deficit to 12-11 with 2:03 remaining.
Cumberland Valley's (14-6) Jordan Kulp won the ensuing draw control and the Eagles were able to bleed the clock out with some excellent ball movement.
“We got a little too comfortable in the second half and didn’t take care of the ball well,” Savani said. “We had some sloppy turnovers in the middle of the field that let them get back into the game.”
Of being able to run the clock out to end it, Savani said: “We did a great job of moving the ball and avoiding being trapped. That’s something that we practiced [Wednesday] in anticipation of this being a close game.”
CV had a 20-19 edge in shots on goal and won draw controls 15-5.