SELINSGROVE — Lily Stroko was quickly surrounded by her teammates as soon as the final whistle sounded.
It was only fitting that Ella McGlaughlin and Alyssa Latsha were among the first to greet their goalie with a district championship berth in hand.
Selinsgrove held off a late Lewisburg charge for a 13-11 win in the District 4-6 girls lacrosse semifinals at Harold L. Bolig Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
Stroko had earned the admiration of her teammates during a first half in which Lewisburg peppered the Selinsgrove senior with a plethora of shots from all angles. Lewisburg had topped Selinsgrove in each of the teams’ regular season meetings and built an early 4-2 lead as Callie Hoffman found a way past Stroko’s defenses for two of her eventual five goals.
However, the Seals started a comeback late in the first half with help from McLaughlin and Latsha. Selinsgrove watched as Lewisburg built its lead with three straight goals before Latsha calmly waited at the top of the offensive zone. Sensing her cue, McGlaughlin found a pocket in the middle of the Lewisburg defense, collected a pass and quickly scored. A goal from Abbey Gearhart with 1:22 left in the half allowed the Seals tie the game at 4-4 at halftime.
Latsha and McGlaughlin helped the Seals build an early second-half lead, trading goals along with one from Allison Bucher in what amounted to a five-goal run to move from a 4-2 deficit to a 7-4 lead.
“We came off a fantastic two weeks of practice, and we really just felt ready,” McGlaughlin said. “We’re all trusting in each other, really confident in each other, and I think everyone just worked together spectacularly.”
But Lewisburg prevented Selinsgrove from finding a sense of comfort as the Green Dragons continually clawed back in the second half to within a two-goal deficit, none more important than Hoffman’s contribution in the closing minutes.
Down 11-7 after a pair of Selinsgrove goals, Hoffman’s willingness to repeatedly attack the heart of the Selinsgrove defense paid off with a pair of yellow cards. Seizing both chances, Hoffman scored to halve the Selinsgrove advantage to 11-9 with 4:09 to play.
With the game on the line late, Stroko continued to keep Lewisburg at bay as she finished with 12 saves.
“This was definitely (Stroko’s) best game of the season, she was just on top of it,” McGlaughlin said. “I’m so proud of her.”
Selinsgrove coach Andy Howell echoed his standout attack’s thoughts, praising his team’s effort.
“I trusted in the girls that they can do what needs to be done and they did tonight,” Howell said. “They settled down, they took care of it and they got the win.”
Maddy Van Buskirk and Ava Motto added late goals for Lewisburg, the last coming with 1:31 to play but the Green Dragons were unable to pull closer.
“Our girls came out with a lot of intensity, and knew what they wanted to do,” Lewisburg coach Ali Steibe said. “We were able to capitalize on a lot of things and just couldn’t come out on top at the end.”
Selinsgrove will travel to Danville for the District 4-6 championship on June 2.
Selinsgrove improved to 9-9 and Lewisburg fell to 9-8.
District 4-6 girls lacrosse
at Harold L. Bolig Memorial Field
SELINSGROVE 13, LEWISBURG 11
Selinsgrove;4;9 — 13
Lewisburg;4;7 — 11
Selinsgrove scorers: Ella McGlaughlin: 5G, 2A; Quinn Smith: 3G; Abbey Gearhart: 2G; Allison Bucher, 2G, Alyssa Latsha: G, 5A.
Lewisburg scorers: Callie Hoffman, 5G; Ella Koontz, 2G; Elsa Fellon, G; Faridah Aboueid, G; Maddy Van Buskirk, G; Ava Motto, G.
Saves: Selinsgrove: Lily Stroko, 12. Lewisburg: Izzy Wood, 6.
Records: Selinsgrove: 9-9. Lewisburg 9-8.