Costanza OT goal lifts Lady Eagles into L-L finals
Last week it was written that every game was a “must win” for the Cocalico Lady Eagles lacrosse team. Coach Mary Beth Cardin talked about the pressure wins they had already experienced and how that could help them going forward.
Well, that week is over. After the key Section One win, a 13-10 victory over Hempfield, Cocalico took out Penn Manor 15-8 last Thursday followed by a 17-6 domination of Section Two playoff qualifier Cedar Crest on Saturday. The Lady Eagles also won the final regular season game, a 22-10 non-league match Monday night with Wyomissing area.
That set the stage for a second consecutive week of “must win” games. This is the playoffs, Lancaster-Lebanon League version, where Section One Champ Manheim Township took on Section Two runner-up Cedar Crest and the Section One runner-up Lady Eagles battled Section Two winner Lancaster Country Day / Lancaster Catholic. Both games were played last night (Tuesday) at Warwick High School stadium.
“I’m getting too old for this type of game,” said Coach Cardin after Cocalico trailed for more than 47 of the game’s fifty minutes, scoring 1:38 into overtime for the 15-14 win.
Katie Costanza was the hero in overtime, scoring her fourth goal of the game.
“I told them to win the draw, protect the ball, be patient, make the right pass and take the right shot,” Cardin said, when asked what she said to her team before the sudden-victory overtime period.
Tuesday’s latest “must win” puts the Lady Eagles in the L-L League championship game on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. at Penn Manor’s Comet Field against Section One rival Manheim Township, the top rated team in Central Pa. The Blue Streaks had no trouble taking out Cedar Crest 23-2 in the opener on Warwick’s turf field Tuesday.
In addition to Costanza, Cortney Gensemer also scored four goals for Cocalico while Brooke Fritz and Courtney Forry each found the net three times to lead the offense. Sam Marino added a goal to complete the scoring.
For the first 40 minutes of the game, LCD/LCHS seemed to be playing a little better than the Lady Eagles in every aspect of the game. They were a step faster, controlled more of the draws, were first to the loose balls and were the sharper of the two squads. The Cougars, led by Kelly Daggett’s five goals, went up 4-0, just over six minutes into the game. Cocalico fought it’s way back to within one score on three occasions in the first half before giving up a goal with less than two seconds left to trail 8-6 at the half.
The Cougar lead bounced back and forth between one and three goals until there were 10 minutes left in the game. At that point the Lady Eagles seemed to find another gear and as the team yells while breaking every huddle, began to “dominate” the game. Cocalico scored five of the next six goals to take the lead for the first time with 1:24 left in the contest. The Lady Eagles appeared to have the game won when goalie Lauren Marte stopped a Cougar shot with eight seconds left. But, somehow, the ball made its way into the net to send the game into overtime.
“The girls were anxious to get overtime started,” said Cardin. “They didn’t want to wait the five minutes before they could play.”
The patience paid off, as instructed by the coach.
Now comes the highest hurdle of all, the championship game with Manheim Township. This will be the third meeting this year between the Lady Eagles and the Streaks. Township took Game One 22-5 on March 26 and won the second by a 21-9 decision on April 25.
Before the game the Lancaster-Lebanon League All-Stars were announced and five members of the Streaks were named to the first team, including all three MVP’s. (Attacker, Midfielder and Defense) “You can’t double team anyone, because they have so many weapons,” replied Cardin, “But after tonight, the girls know they have the ability to fight. Maybe the third time will be the charm.”
Speaking of the third time, with the most recent power rankings for District Three showing LCD/LCHS as the eight seed and Cocalico the nine seed, it’s possible those two could meet for a third time this year.
As for Cocalico’s All-Stars who were named before the game Tuesday, Costanza, a senior, and junior Natalie Sukanick were named to the L-L League’s first team while juniors Gensemer, Marte and Courtney Forry were second team selections.
As stated above, Cocalico closed out the regular season with a pair of L-L victories this past week, including a 17-6 win over Cedar Crest Saturday at home.
The Lady Eagles paved the way to the victory with a big first half, outscoring the Falcons 13-3 in the opening half.
Forry, Gensemer and Costanza all scored four goals apiece to lead Cocalico. Fritz added three tallies while Marino and Sukanick also scored.
Marte and Courtney Willey both collected three saves in goal for the Lady Eagles.
Last Thursday at Penn Manor, Cocalico broke open a 6-6 tie at the half with a late surge. The Lady Eagles outs-cored the Comets 9-2 in the second half to key a 15-8 victory.
Fritz, Gensemer and Costanza all had three goals apiece for the winners. Marino and Forry each notched a pair of goals while Lyndsay Engle and Alicia Burkholder also got on the scoresheet for Cocalico.
Marte made 13 stops in net to earn the victory.
Cocalico added a 22-10 win over Wyomissing in non-league action Monday. Gensemer had six goals and Costanza five to lead the Lady Eagles.
Ephrata, which saw its season come to a close Saturday, did finished it off in fine fashion in a non-league contest vs. Central York.
The Lady Mounts trailed 2-0 before outscoring the Panthers 14-1 to open up a big 11-goal halftime lead. They cruised from their to earn an eventual 22-6 decision.
Ephrata (5-13) was led by Aubrey Zimmerman’s six goals. Kirsten Ueberroth chipped in with four goals and an assist while Megan Rothweiler and Grace Sensenig each scored three goals apiece in the win.
Brittany Lutz (2G, 6 A) and Brooke Overly (2 G, 5 A) also were big contributors for Ephrata. Katie Hammaker made 17 saves in the goal to earn the victory.
Last Thursday at home, Ephrata dropped a 22-6 decision to Lancaster Country Day. Lutz tallied three times and Zimmerman scored twice for Ephrata in the loss.
About Kevin Frey
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