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Cocalico girls knock off Hempfield, keep L-L hopes alive
by KEVIN FREY
“Every game this week is a must win.”
Those were the words of Cocalico Girls Lacrosse Coach Mary Beth Cardin before Monday night’s Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One match-up with Hempfield.
The Lady Eagles had a first-half run of four goals and a second string of three-unanswered tallies to close out the half with a 10-5 lead. Cocalico held off a frenzied effort by the Black Knights in the second half while managing both the clock and positioning on the field on its way to a 13-10 victory in Denver.
And so the playoffs have begun.
No, the regular season is not over. Nothing has been clinched, and one loss could even end the first step in the playoff process. Monday’s win puts the Lady Eagles’ season mark at 9-3 in Section One and 9-5 overall. Hempfield drops to 10-3 in the section and is 11-5 overall. The two squads have the same number of losses in the battle for the second and final L-L playoff spot from Section One.
The two squads are also neck and neck in the top 16 power rankings for the District Three playoffs. The Lancaster-Lebanon playoffs begin next Tuesday, while Districts kick off the following week.
After Monday night’s first goal by the Knights, the Lady Eagles ran off four straight and never gave up the lead. Senior Cortney Gensemer led the offense with five goals. She had plenty of firepower support from fellow senior Katelyn Costanza and junior Courtney Forry, who each found the net three times. These three have led the scoring sheet all year, and certainly came through in this critical contest.
Junior goalkeeper Lauren Marte had several spectacular point-blank saves while the Lady Eagles built their first half lead. She ended up with 13 stops for the night.
“She played incredibly for us tonight,” added Cardin. “Lauren has very quick feet and great reactions.Her communication and field vision brings the whole team together.”
“The key for our success is to get contributions from everyone,” Cardin continued. “We’ve had our share of pressure, winning an overtime game and another in double overtime.”
This experience in tight games will be crucial this week and beyond (if there is a beyond). The “must-wins” continue with Penn Manor on Thursday and Cedar Crest on Saturday.
Hempfield finishes up section play Wednesday vs. Manheim Township.
In last week’s action, Friday night’s 21-9 loss at the hands of first place Manheim Township placed the Lady Eagles with their collective backs against the wall going into Monday. Forry, Gensemer and Costanza had two goals each in the losing effort. Marte had 12 saves in goal.
Monday night was Senior Night in Denver as the seven young ladies playing their last high school season were introduced along with their parents. This second season since moving from Section Two to Section One in the Lancaster-Lebanon League is also proving to be a “must see” for Cocalico.
Cocalico also was in action last Wednesday at Warwick where the Lady Eagles secured a hard-fought 10-7 victory over the Warriors.
Brooke Fritz scored four times while Gensemer added three tallies and two assists to pace Cocalico in this one. Constanza, Sam Marino and Alicia Burkholder also got on the score sheet for the Lady Eagles.
Courtney Willey (7 saves) and Marte (5 saves) combined for the win in goal.
As for Ephrata, the Lady Mounts picked up their fourth victory of the season this past Saturday with a 10-5 win over Conestoga Valley.
Ephrata had a big first half, building a 7-3 lead at the break before holding off the Buckskins in the second half.
Kirsten Ueberroth had four goals while Brittany Lutz added two scores in the victory. Others to score goals for Ephrata included: Makenna Sensenig, Aubrey Zimmerman, Megan Rothweiler and Brooke Overly.
Overly also added four assists while Johanna Hoffer made 17 saves in goal to record the victory.
In addition to Saturday’s contest, Ephrata also was in action last Thursday evening when visiting Cedar Crest opened up a 10-3 halftime advantage before cruising to a 17-7 decision.
Lutz scored three times to lead Ephrata while Zimmerman also contributed with a pair of goals on the night. Overly added a goal and three assists while Katie Hammaker made 13 saves in net in the loss.
Ephrata was also in action Tuesday night at home where visiting Lampeter-Strasburg captured a 16-7 victory.
Zimmerman scored three goals while Lutz added two goals and an assist to pace Ephrata in the loss.
Overly and Ueberroth also found the net for the Lady Mounts, who got 10 saves from Hammaker in goal.