The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Todd Stanford

November 16, 2011

Todd Stanford's soccer column: The best rivalry in District 4

Is Warrior Run/Loyalsock the best rivalry in District 4 girls soccer?

Actually, that's not even the question anymore. Nope, there shouldn't be any doubt about that one after Tuesday night's thrilling, physical battle in the PIAA Class A semifinals (won by Warrior Run 2-1 in overtime) at the Balls Mills Soccer Complex.

The question now is, is it the best rivalry in District 4 sports?

What else could it be? Fine, Southern Columbia/Mount Carmel in football is fantastic. But they're in different classifications, so they never meet in districts or states.

Milton vs. Danville in boys basketball? Maybe five years ago, but not now.

No, it says here that the best rivalry in District 4 sports currently happens on the futbol pitch between the Lady Defenders and Lady Lancers.

Tuesday night's game was the latest skirmish in a rivalry that's featured eight games in the last two years, including two in the District 4 final (both won by Loyalsock), and two in the PIAA semifinals (both won by Warrior Run).

"It's intense," Lancers coach Ben Comfort said. "You play each other … eight times in two seasons, you know how each other plays. You try to think as a player and coach, 'What are we going to do differently to get an edge?'"

Tuesday's game was as physical as girls soccer comes. Bodies hit the Field Turf hard; girls were colliding with one another in some corner of the field at just about any moment. When players challenged for the ball, there were more leg locks and arm holds than a jujitsu tournament.

"I think the crowd speaks for the intensity (of the rivalry)," Warrior Run coach Jen Allen said. "I think the whole eastern side of Pennsylvania was here tonight. That brought the level of intensity up for everybody."

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