Cocalico keeps playoff hopes alive with win over Garden Spot

By on October 5, 2016
Photo by Stan Hall Cocalico’s Sam Klumpp (20) dishes off to a teammate during Monday’s win over Garden Spot.

Photo by Stan Hall
Cocalico’s Sam Klumpp (20) dishes off to a teammate during Monday’s win over Garden Spot.

Cocalico was in a must-win situation Monday afternoon at home vs. Garden Spot.

If the Lady Eagles wanted any shot at a post-season appearance, they needed to find a way against a pesky Spartan team that had already defeated them earlier this season and knocked off Ephrata twice.

Mission accomplished.

Cocalico dominated play throughout the 80 minute contest, and made the one ball they got past Garden Spot keeper Elizabeth King count as the Lady Eagles scored a big 1-0 victory over the Spartans.

In the first minute of the second half, Cocalico’s Rowan Lapi scored off a feed from Aly Richwine for what turned out to be the game winner. There were some anxious moments for the Lady Eagles in the final minute when Camryn Horst of Garden Spot went down the slot and got off the Spartans’ lone shot of the game. But Cocalico keeper Adi Landis was there to gobble it up and preserve the all-important victory.

“I was really happy with our effort and ability to win 50-50 balls right from the start,” Cocalico coach Dan Hogan said. “The girls set the tone of the game from the opening whistle and never stopped. The players realize that we need to play well down the stretch to have a shot at Districts, and this was a great start to the last couple games of the regular season.”

After a scoreless first half, the Lady Eagles (5-5 Section Two, 7-6 overall) had the kickoff and sent a long ball down the right side. Richwine caught up to it as King came out of her net to try to secure it. Richwine fed Lapi, who was positioned beyond the 18 in the center of the field, and she fired a shot into the open net to put her team in front to stay.

“It wasn’t a set play off of the kickoff, but we always try to pressure the other team right away off of the kickoff,” Hogan said. “I think that really paid off on the goal. Garden Spot didn’t seem ready for that high pressure and I think there were a few moments of confusion that we were able to take advantage of.”

The field was tilted Cocalico’s way the rest of the contest as they held huge advantages in both shots (10-1) and corners (13-0).

With four league games remaining, Cocalico is sitting in a three-way tie for fourth place in Section Two with L-S and Garden Spot as they all sit at 5-5. Unbeaten Elizabethtown (10-0) is in control with a three-game lead over Manheim Central (7-3) and four ahead of Ephrata (6-4), which occupies third place.

As of this writing, Cocalico remains as the last team in as far as the District Three playoffs are concerned. The Lady Eagles are rated 16th in AAA.

“It has certainly been an up and down season for us,” Hogan said. “We have been in a lot of tight games that we seem to come up just short at the end. When we play with passion like we did today, we give ourselves a great chance to win.”

As for the keys to grabbing a playoff berth, Hogan said his squad must find a way to put the ball in the back of the net more consistently.

“(We need to) continue to play hard and find a way to score goals,” he said. “Take today’s game, we played great in nearly all aspects but struggled to score goals. That has been an issue throughout the season. Hopefully we get a little better down the stretch on the offensive end and win some more of the close games.”

Friday afternoon at Exeter in a non-league tilt, Cocalico did find the back of the net as the Lady Eagles cruised to a 3-0 victory.

Megan Weir scored a pair of goals for Cocalico while Alison Grobengieser also tallied for the winners. Allysa Hirneisen, Sam Klumpp and Sam Donmoyer all earned assists while Landis preserved the shutout with six saves.

Last Thursday in Ephrata, the host Lady Mounts handed Cocalico a 4-1 defeat.

It was the Taylor Moore show for Ephrata as the senior scored all four Ephrata goals to key the victory. Maddie Root assisted on three of the four Moore tallies while Hayley Sheehan had the other Ephrata helper.

Richwine scored the lone Cocalico goal in the game’s 48th minute.

In addition to Thursday, Ephrata also added a 2-0 victory over Exeter Saturday and scored a 6-0 shutout on the road at Solanco Monday.

Moore and Annie Slovak had the goals in the Exeter win off assists from Root and Abbie White.

And Moore tallied four more times Monday in the win over Solanco. White and Abbie Wiest also scored for the Lady Mounts in the lopsided win.

Up next, Ephrata hosts L-S Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and will hit the road Friday (3:30 p.m.) to face Manheim Central.

Cocalico gets Elizabethtown at home Wednesday (7 p.m.) before traveling to Solanco Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.


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