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Cocalico, Ephrata fall in District first round
By: Staff Reports, Staff Writer
Both Cocalico and Ephrata saw their respective field hockey seasons come to a close Tuesday afternoon in the first round of Districts.
At Governor Mifflin High School Tuesday night, ninth-seeded Cumberland Valley overcame an early 1-0 Cocalico lead with a pair of second-half goals to nip the eighth-seeded Lady Eagles by a 2-1 score.
Cumberland Valley (14-4) scored goals one minute apart early in the second half and held on for the victory. They will now advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round and take on Penn Manor, 1 p.m. at Hershey High School.
Ephrata, which in recent week knocked off the likes of L-L power Warwick and District AA stud Oley Valley, couldn’t find the winning formula Tuesday afternoon vs. Central Dauphin in the first round at Hempfield.
The Rams, who lost 2-0 to Lower Dauphin in the Mid-Penn title game last Thursday, scored early and often on their way to an eventual 6-1 victory over Ephrata.
Gabby Feaser scored three goals and assisted on another while Katie Foran found the cage twice for the victorious Rams. With the win, Central Dauphin (15-4-2) advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals where it will face Hershey– a 1-0 winner over second-seeded Dallastown– at Milton Hershey, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Lady Mounts closed the season at 13-6.
"We were a team and we were together and we bonded well as a team," Ephrata Coach Rhoda Mounts said when asked to sum up the season. "The girls all got along… It was a pleasure, probably one of my most fun years ever. They were committed, dedicated and were fun. They communicated with each other and it was just…It’s tough to end like this."
Cocalico got an early goal Tuesday by Carissa Witmer to go up on top, but the Lady Eagles couldn’t hold on.
Cumberland Valley’s Carly Kissinger tied it less than three minutes into the second half on a penalty stroke.
Then just one minute later, Caitlin Rhoades scored to give CV the lead for good.
Cocalico, which captured its fifth consecutive Section Two title this year, led in shots (9-6) and corners (9-3).
Emily Stauffer made four saves in goal for the Lady Eagles, who closed out the season at 12-6-1.
Prior to deadline, attempts to reach Coach Krista Page for comment on the loss were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile at Hempfield, Central Dauphin came out buzzing, and was rewarded in the game’s ninth minute with the game’s first goal. Off a restart, Foran picked the pocket of an Ephrata defender and drilled a shot past a helpless Lady Mount keeper Katie Hammaker for the 1-0 lead.
Just 59 seconds later, Foran struck again off a rebound of a shot from Feaser and put it into the open cage.
Ephrata then began to muster up some offense and was nearly rewarded after forcing three straight corners. Nicole Wilkerson had two shots from the top of the circle but Ram keeper Halle Frisco (18 saves) was equal to the task.
The Lady Mounts continued to mount the attack but were thwarted each time by Frisco. Then off a rush the other way Feaser poked in a rebound to give her team a 3-0 cushion. Then just before half, Mary Nell Smith put CD up 4-0, carrying around Hammaker (17 saves) and depositing it into the open cage.
"We set them up for a lot of their opportunities," Mountz said. "(The Rams) were extremely on their game today, compared to what we saw in their past play. Dribbling with the ball and they just turned it into great opportunities. We are the ones that set them up."
Any hopes of an Ephrata comeback in the second half quickly evaporated as the Rams struck for two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half to up the lead to 6-0. Feaser scored off a rebound for the fifth goal, and then added the sixth score on a tap in off another rebound.
Ephrata, which generated 12 corners and 19 shots on the night, did finally get on the board with 14:33 to play as Mackenzie Ruth got her own rebound and fed Wilkerson at the top of the circle. Her blast got through traffic and beat Frisco into the left corner of the cage.
Central Dauphin had 23 shots and four corners on the night.
"It just wasn’t clicking for us today," Mountz said. "We didn’t gel as a team until the last 15 minutes of the game. I just told the girls, ‘you don’t want to go out like this. Dig deep and try to make it work together.’ All of them, they just weren’t sharp. But I was very pleased with the last 20 minutes of the game. It’s very difficult to do that when you are down 6-0, and several of the players who were really struggling turned it around completely in the last 20 minutes. It wasn’t meant to be I guess. It’s a tough way to end."D More FIELD HOCKEY, page B-4