Cocalico drops fourth-straight, falls to Cougars 14-7

By on April 4, 2018

Cocalico’s Ethan Steffey (right) checks a Lancaster Country Day player as they battle for the ball during Tuesday’s game at Cocalico. (Photo by Kirk Neidermyer)

At times this season, the Cocalico boys lacrosse team has resembled the one that made a nice District run a year ago.
Unfortunately, there have been other times the Eagles have struggled to put it together at either end of the field. They’ve also been their own worst enemy, committing key penalties which opponents have taken advantage.
The latter was the case Tuesday on a wet, dreary day at Talon Field. Facing unbeaten Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic, the Eagles not only made their share of miscues but committed a quarter’s worth of penalties (12 minutes) as well.
In the end, it added up to a 14-7 loss for the Eagles, which was their fourth-straight to start the season under first-year head coach Chris Laudenslager.
“It basically comes down to fundamentals…we’re still putting the ball down on the ground and not keeping possession,” Laudenslager said following the loss. “And we get susceptible to ball watching on the defensive end. We had 12 minutes in penalties for the game, and that’s just way too many penalties to have any type of success, especially when you get behind.”
Which is what happened as LCD/Catholic jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead after one quarter and a 7-3 advantage at the half. In the third, the visitors put it away with another 5-1 quarter to up the advantage to 12-4 with just one period to play.
Luke Walling led the way for the Cougars (2-0 L-L League, 4-0 overall) with four goals and two assists. John Paul Jones added three scores while Devon McMahon and Joe Loiseau each chipped in a pair of tallies for the winners, who had 27 shots.
Shawn Kernaghan paced the Eagles with three goals while Owen Zimmerman notched two goals and an assist. Noah Palm (1 G, 1 A) and Tony Rowley scored the other two tallies for the Eagles, who generated just 15 shots and fell to 0-2 in league play.
“The (Cougars) were a tough team but I think when we were playing our game we were actually hanging with them,” Laudenslager said. “They just made opportunities out of our mistakes, and when you are playing a good team you just can’t make the mental mistakes and the fundamental mistakes that we did.”
Two of the three losses Cocalico had coming into Tuesday were tight ones, including last Thursday’s 8-7 setback at home against Lampeter-Strasburg. Laudenslager reiterated that he thinks his team is close, but needs to clean things up moving forward.
“To get a win we just got to buckle down, believe in each other, trust in each other as a team and just start working on executing the fundamentals…passing and catching in the offensive end, communicating and being able to maintain possession to take some of the pressure off the defense. And then defensively, we just need to play a physical, tough, clean game.
“I believe if we truly start doing that and start believing what the coaches are teaching and what the system is, that things will click eventually,” he continued. “We have moments when we do really good things. Then we go through periods where we look like we’ve lost our minds. We just lose focus of the fundamentals, and that’s on me to be able to get the focus on this team and get them driven to play all 48 minute rather than just bits and pieces here and there.”
In that loss to L-S last Thursday, the Pioneers scored the only goal of the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie and secure the win.
Zimmerman paced the Eagles with four goals and a pair of assists while Palm chipped in with two goals and Nick Harbst one in the loss.
Up next, Cocalico is back in action Wednesday when the Eagles host Wyomissing at 4 p.m. Cocalico then hits the road Thursday night for a game at Hempfield.
As for Ephrata, the Mounts improved to 2-0 on the young season last Wednesday with a 14-10 victory on the road at Lampeter-Strasburg in the L-L League opener.
Trailing 2-1 after one quarter, Ephrata out-scored the Pioneers 6-1 in the second stanza to take command.
Kyle Raudenbush led the way for the Mounts, scoring a game-high six goals while Bryson Rhee set up five scores and added a pair of goals.
Freshman Brock Boyer chipped in with three goals for the Mounts while Caden Keefer (1 G, 2 A), Noah Roark (1 G, 1 A) and Mason Sensenig (1 G) also contributed to the Mountaineer attack, which fired 43 shots on goal for the contest.
Ethan Moyer notched 10 saves in net for Ephrata.
Pat McClain paced the Pioneers (1-1 league, 2-1 overall) with four goals while Dawson Albright chipped in with a pair of scores in the loss.
Up next, the Mounts head to New Holland Wednesday for a road game at Garden Spot, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Ephrata will also host Elizabethtown Friday (7 p.m.) and will be at Conrad Weiser Saturday (11:30 a.m.) to close out a busy week.

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