Ephrata boys cruise past Spot for first league win

By on April 5, 2017
Ephrata’s Tucker Parmer (right) defends the Garden Spot attacker during Monday contest. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Tucker Parmer (right) defends the Garden Spot attacker during Monday contest. Photo by Missi Mortimer

It took a while for them to get started, but once they did, the Ephrata boys’ lacrosse team put it into high gear, defeating visiting Garden Spot 18-7 on Wellspan Field in Ephrata Monday evening.

The Mounts (1-1 league, 2-3 overall) actually found themselves down 1-0 to the Spartans (0-3, 0-4) after 2:44 of the first quarter. An unassisted goal by Ephrata sophomore Bryson Rhee just 1:08 later knotted the score at 1-1, but that’s how it remained at the end of the period.

“We just told them we needed a better effort,” explained Mounts’ first-year head coach Mike O’Donnell. “They came out flat. We just asked them to lock it in mentally a little bit, pick up the intensity on ground balls. Just have a better focus in the second quarter. It showed on the scoreboard.”

That scoreboard did change quickly in the second period, as Ephrata found the net four times in less than three minutes early in the stanza. They also beat Spartan goalkeeper Seth Strausser three times in 2:06 late in the quarter to take an 8-1 lead into halftime.

“We try to get a fourth midfielder on when we’re clearing the ball,” added O’Donnell, when asked about the substitution pattern and the quick strike offense. “To have one less long pole on there, when we’re getting the ball from our defensive end to our offensive end. There’s a lot of moving parts. A lot of things on the fly and we try to get four ‘shorties’ on whenever we can, to clear the ball.”

The run continued after the break, as the Mounts scored the first four goals of the third quarter, bumping the lead to 12-1. One more goal by Ephrata would prompt the automatic running clock, shortening the game. Spot would have none of that, scoring three of the last four goals of the period, which ended at 13-4.

There were eight goals in the final quarter and the Mounts (five goals) did prompt the mercy rule with 4:27 left. Much of the period found Ephrata playing keep-away to keep the clock running. The Spartans pressed while scoring the last two goals to make the final verdict 18-7.

“We were a little bit better in our face-off game,” continued O’Donnell.

Those duties were shared by sophomore Cody Mountz (six controls), junior Noah Roark (five) and senior Duncan Welch (four) for a total of 15, while limiting Garden Spot to nine.

“It’s development,” said O’Donnell. “It’s kids who have worked hard during the season and it’s strong senior leadership.

One thing the coach can also look forward to is a depth of scoring talent.

On this night junior Dylan Lindberg and freshman Caden Keefer each had four goals. Roark and Rhee each had three. Senior Dustin Fisher netted two while senior Carter Cammauf and freshman Kyle Raudenbush chipped in a goal apiece. Assists came from Fisher (two), Rhee and junior Mason Sensenig.

The backbone of the defense for the Mounts was senior keeper Bradley Horst, with 11 saves during the Ephrata run. Sophomore Ethan Moyer relieved Horst in the fourth quarter, standing tall for four additional saves.

“We’re better than we were in the beginning of the year,” noted O’Donnell. “We’re going to work hard every day in practice on face-offs, ground balls, clearing and trying to eliminate the mistakes and not shooting ourselves in the foot quite as much.”

That improvement will be tested this afternoon (Wednesday) at Elizabethtown, hosting Cocalico Friday and a quick turnaround match Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when non-league opponent Conrad Weiser comes to town.

In addition to Monday’s win, the Mounts also were in action last Wednesday at home vs. Lampeter-Strasburg, and Saturday at home vs. Trinity.

Both of those games resulted in losses for the Mounts.

In Wednesday’s L-L clash with the Pioneers, L-S overcame a 5-3 half-time deficit, outscoring the Mounts 7-2 in the third quarter to earn an eventual 15-13 victory.

Roark collected four goals to pace the Mounts while Fisher chipped in with a hat trick. Keefer, Rhee and Cammauf also were multiple goal scorers for Ephrata with two apiece.

Horst made 13 stops in goal in the Mounts’ loss.

In Saturday’s non-league contest vs. Trinity, the visitors out-scored Ephrata 9-2 in the second half to earn an eventual 16-6 victory.

Roark and Cammauf each had two goals apiece for Ephrata, while Rhee and Fisher (2 assists) also scored for Ephrata.

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