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Ephrata finally has the answer for Cocalico
TODD RUTH Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
, Staff Writer
Fresh off its first victory over Cocalico since 2008, Ephrata continued its hot stretch Monday in a Section Two match-up vs. visiting Solanco at Mountaineer Field.
The Lady Mounts improved to 2-0 in Section Two play (3-1 overall) behind six different goal scorers in a 6-0 victory over the Mares.
Nicole Wilkerson, Brooke Overly, Kiersten Ueberroth, Haley Lintner, Alexa Kurtz and Meredith Fagan all scored goals for Ephrata Monday in a game the Lady Mounts were in total control from start to finish.
Ephrata held a 16-12 advantage in shots and out-cornered Solanco, 14-7. Goalie Katie Hammaker made 11 stops and defender Alyssa Sadorf added a defensive save to complete the shutout.
Cocalico also was in action Monday as the Lady Eagles rebounded from their loss to Ephrata with a 2-0 victory at home over Garden Spot.
With the game scoreless at the half, the Lady Eagles (1-1 section, 2-3 overall) took control in the final 25 minutes on goals from Janelle Gomez and Carrie Sensenig, who found the cage on a stroke. Marissa Gingrich assisted on the Gomez goal for Cocalico, which out-shot GS, 7-2 and held a 10-5 advantage in corners.
Goalie Emily Stauffer turned away both shots she faced to claim the shutout.
As mentioned above, the balance in Section Two may have shifted, if ever so slightly, with Ephrata’s big win over Cocalico last Thursday in Denver.
The Lady Eagles, winners of five straight Section Two titles, appeared to be well on their way to another win over Ephrata after Carrie Sensenig connected twice in the first half to give Cocalico a 2-0 half-time lead.
However, Ephrata flipped the switch at the break, grabbed the momentum and seized the opportunity. The Lady Mounts went on to score four-unanswered goals in the second half to key the big 4-2 victory, which snapped a nine-game losing streak to Cocalico.
Overly and Morgan Weaver had a goal and an assist each while Meredith Michel and Alexa Kurtz also scored for the winners. Ueberroth added two big helpers for Ephrata in the win.
"At half-time we sat down and talked about it," Overly said. "(Beating Cocalico) has been a goal of ours for such a long time. It’s something we really wanted and Coach basically told us that if we really believe we are going to go out there and turn things around, we would. We wanted it, and it came with teamwork. Everything kind of fell into place in the second half."
Ephrata began to force play late in the first, and kept the pressure up early in the second half. Finally, at the 9:15 mark, Michel re-directed a pass and put it behind Cocalico keeper Emily Stauffer to get Ephrata on the board.
"That was a huge goal," Ephrata’s Nicole Wilkerson said. "That definitely gave us that boost of confidence that we needed. We all just kind of re-grouped at half-time and talked about what we needed to do. The last 10 minutes of the half we really stepped it up. We were communicating, passing well and it was just really up to us to continue doing that (in the second half). I think that’s what turned it around."
Kurtz then knotted things up at 2-2 just seven minutes later and the Lady Mounts had seized the momentum. They kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Overly put the Lady Mounts ahead to stay with a goal in the 21st minute. Weaver then capped an incredible second half turn-around by Ephrata with her tally in the final minute to seal the victory.
"Everybody just picked it up in the second half," Ephrata Coach Rhoda Mountz said. "All of my players believed that they could do it. At half-time I said, ‘let’s not focus on the outcome of this game. Let’s focus on one pass at a time, one play at a time, one tackle at a time… Win those and we’ll win the game.’ And the girls did it. Hats off to them."
Cocalico Coach Krista Page said inexperience played a role in her team’s inability to hold the lead.
"We played a very good first half," she said. "Ephrata’s first goal distracted us from our game plan which showed our inexperience in places. That is mental, and we need to find a way to push through that. We need to focus on what we did in the first half. We are capable of playing at a high level but need to do so for 60 minutes and through adversity."
In addition to Thursday’s and Monday’s action, Cocalico also was in action last Friday in a non-league contest at Downingtown West.
Leading 1-0 at the half, Downingtown West out-scored Cocalico 4-1 in the second half to earn an eventual 5-1 victory.
Cocalico’s lone goal of the game came early in the second half off the stick of Cortney Gensemer. Gomez assisted on the Cocalico goal.
Stauffer made four saves in goal for Cocalico in the loss.
More FIELD HOCKEY, page B-8