Ephrata, Cocalico suffer first round L-L defeats
By: Staff Reports, Staff Writer
In the end, it was about cashing in on opportunities.
Donegal and Hempfield advanced to the L-L Field Hockey semifinals Saturday at Penn Manor as the Indians knocked off Cocalico, 4-1, while Ephrata suffered a 3-0 shutout loss to Hempfield.
Both the Indians and Black Knights were successful in taking advantage of their scoring chances. Cocalico, with the exception of a goal by Carissa Witmer, and Ephrata, were not.
And because of it, both the Lady Eagles and Lady Mounts will now prepare for the District Three Tournament, which is set to begin Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Cocalico will go in seeded eighth and will play ninth-seeded Cumberland Valley at Governor Mifflin, beginning at 6 p.m. Ephrata is the 10th seed and will battle seventh-seeded Central Dauphin at Hempfield, beginning at 4 p.m.
In Game One Saturday, the Indians converted goals on three of their 14 corners to key the win over Cocalico. Karlee Farr opened the scoring 15 minutes into the game off a corner, taking a pass from Kirsten Gochenauer and firing a shot over the shoulder of Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer (five saves) and into the cage.
Then late in the half, off another corner, Katie Koser ripped a drive off an insert from Olivia Royer for the 2-0 Donegal lead.
But Cocalico did pick up the slack early in the second half, carrying the play for the first 10 minutes. The Lady Eagles were finally rewarded at the 16-minute mark when Allie Stauffer pass to Witmer in the slot. The senior midfielder dribbled to her left to find an open lane before depositing it behind Donegal keeper Kylee Bair to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But just three minutes later the Indians opened up a two-goal lead once again as Farr scored her second goal of the game on a re-direction.
The Indians then put it out of reach with 5:17 left on the clock as Abby Sauder tipped in a shot off a corner.
For the game, Cocalico collected nine corners and five shots but had just the one goal to show for it.
"My wrap-up of today’s game is Donegal absolutely sustained much more offensive pressure but we had many more missed goals. That kind of tells the tale," Cocalico Coach Krista Page said following the loss. "(Donegal) didn’t have balls laying at the front of the keeper at the goal mouth today like we did or the score would have been 10-0 had they had those opportunities. I credit my defense for that. But offensively, we’ve been struggling sustain offensive pressure. And that killed us today."
In Game Two, Ephrata used a more defensive approach against the Black Knights, who are blessed with a lot of speed up front. That strategy worked to a degree, but the Lady Mounts seemed to be hemmed in their defensive zone for most of the contest.
And when Ephrata was able to move the ball in the offensive end, the Lady Mounts couldn’t generate much of an attack in the circle.
After an evenly played first 10 minutes, Hempfield finally got on the board with 13:30 remaining as Sarah Hegelsen took the ball down the left side before throwing it in front where Taylor Nolan tipped it home for the 1-0 Black Knight lead.
Ephrata looked to draw even following the Hempfield score, but it all came crashing down on the Lady Mounts as the Black Knights struck for two quick goals to take a 3-0 lead into the half.
Hegelsen scored off a corner before Nolan tallied her second of the contest off another corner for the huge insurance goal.
"Hempfield scored two of their three goals on corners and they are a team that has every player but one up there on the offensive circle. I knew that, but to their credit they made them count," Ephrata Coach Rhoda Mountz said.
Ephrata did a much better job limiting Hempfield’s chances in the second half. Unfortunately, the Lady Mounts failed to create enough of their own as neither team could find the cage in the second half.
For the game, Hempfield out-shot Ephrata, 9-2, and held a 15-3 advantage in corners. Ephrata keeper Katie Hammaker registered six saves on the afternoon.
"I feel my defense, Katie included, played well, disregarding the score," Mountz said. "We just couldn’t create the corners and make things happen in our offensive circle, and that’s what hurt us. Had we been able to do that I feel it would have been a much different game."
Hempfield and Donegal squared off in one semifinal Tuesday while the other pitted Warwick against Penn Manor.
Both Cocalico and Ephrata wrapped up the regular season last Wednesday afternoon. For the Lady Eagles, they saw their 49-game streak without a loss in section play come to an end as visiting Manheim Central shocked Cocalico, 2-1 in overtime.
With the score tied at 1-1 in overtime, Manheim Central was awarded a penalty stroke. Paige Daniel took it and put it into the cage for the game winner 3:05 into the extra session.
Witmer scored the lone Cocalico goal in the second half off an assist from Janelle High. Cocalico held a 10-5 advantage in corners but was out-shot, 17-9 for the game.
Ephrata also went to overtime at E-town last Wednesday with second place in Section Two on the line.
The teams came into the contest tied for second place, and needed extra time to decide it. With the score tied at 2-2 six and a half minutes into OT, Ephrata’s Nicole Wilkerson ripped a shot from the right side that deflected off a defender and into the cage for the gamewinner and a 3-2 Lady Mounts’ win.
Mackenzie Ruth gave Ephrata a 1-0 lead with her 10th goal of the season at the 13:33 mark of the first half. However, E-town responded with two goals and led 2-1.
But with 12:46 left in regulation, Kirsten Ueberroth got the equalizer for Ephrata off an assist from Hannah Reimel to knot the game and send it to OT.
Brooke Overly added an assist for Ephrata, which was out-shot 13-6 for the game. Hammaker was strong in goal for the Lady Mounts, saving 11. More FIELD HOCKEY, page B2