Ephrata girls rally past GS for first win
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
That 200-pound gorilla the Ephrata girls lacrosse team was lugging around for nearly two full seasons is finally gone.
Monday night, on Senior Night, the Lady Mounts tasted victory for the first time this year when they knocked off visiting Garden Spot, 11-10 at Mountaineer Field.
With the game knotted at 10-10, Ephrata scored the go-ahead goal with just 1:30 left on the clock and then held off the Spartans for the monumental victory.
The win, which ended a losing streak of more than 30 games dating back to the 2011 season, was just what the Dr. ordered according to first-year Coach Kirstin Schneider.
"The hard work the girls put in finally paid off…" Schneider said Tuesday. "When watching the games you can see that their skills have drastically improved. I have coached many different levels prior to moving to Ephrata. There is nothing more gratifying as a coach than seeing your athletes work though their hardships and come out strong. They were extremely excited to achieve their first win in a few years and I hope they don’t lose the feeling. They now know what a real win feels like. I think that their excitement and faces after the game, spoke drastically to how they felt about finally achieving what they have set out to do. I can honestly say that I am proud to lead this group of mentally strong athletes."
After a back and forth first half, the Lady Mounts broke a 4-4 tie in the final minute to take a 5-4 advantage into the half. While they would eventually fall behind by two goals, having the lead at the midway point was crucial from a mental standpoint Schneider said.
"Not only was this our first win, but it was the first time we were leading at the half," she said. "I think that with the lead, the girls saw they could be on top of their game. Their momentum was up and the girls were willing to fight hard to keep that lead. Now, it is not always easy to come into the second half with the lead. The other team could come out strong and at one point in the second half Garden Spot was up by two. Thank goodness the girls did not let that defeat them. They played through until the end, which allowed us to take the lead (for good)."
Ephrata senior Emily Bonomo and junior Kirsten Ueberroth led the way with three goals each. Paige Hammaker, Makenna Sensenig, Kelsey Peterson, Megan Rothweiler and Rachel Anderson also produced goals while Brooke Overly had an assist. Star Runkles-Ramos (7) and Katie Hammaker (5) combined for 12 saves on the evening.
"I can honestly say that it was a total team effort," Schneider said of the win. "We had goals from multiple players, not just from one athlete. The midfield worked hard to maintain possession at the draw, and our defense worked hard to markup, doubled when needed and watched their cutters. Our goalies stayed strong and we saw some amazing interceptions by them. The attack saw opportunities and took advantage of them at the correct times. They also settled the ball, having learned that possession is key. All over the field the girls maintained their confidence and composure. It was nice to see a game where we have no red cards."
With the win, Ephrata not only improved to 1-12 but could have gained some much-needed momentum heading into the final five games of the season. It’s up to the team, according to Schneider.
"I cannot speak for my team, but my hope is that they have learned a few keys to succeeding on the field," she said. "I think that breaking habits takes time, and really taking advice from a coach can be difficult, especially when you have had three different coaches in four years. The girls needed to regain each other’s trust, needed to believe in themselves again and needed to trust that a coach has their best interests at heart. I think that this win has allowed them to see that they have the support they need to be successful. We can only move forward from here."
While Ephrata gained its first win of the season, Cocalico had a successful week, going 2-1 in three games.
That included Tuesday night’s exciting 11-10 triumph over Warwick at home. Cocalico led 6-3 at the half and held off a late charge by the Warriors to secure the win.
Courtney Forry scored four goals in the game to pace the Lady Eagles while Cortney Gensemer chipped in with two goals and a pair of assists.
Katelyn Costanza also notched two goals and added an assist while Brooke Fritz, Kayli Lescoe and Sam Marino also found the net for Cocalico.
Lauren Marte and Courtney Willey combined for 13 stops in goal for the Lady Eagles.
Friday night, Cocalico added a convincing 20-5 non-league victory over Wyomissing. Constanza and Gensemer had big nights for the Lady Eagles, scoring six and five goals respectively to lead the charge. Fritz and Lescoe both added hat tricks while Forry contributed a pair of tallies in the lopsided win.
The lone blemish of the week for Cocalico came last Thursday in a 17-13 loss to Lancaster Country Day. LCD took control early, jumping out to a 10-5 half-time lead before holding off the Lady Eagles.
Forry led Cocalico with four goals while Costanza notched three scores. More GIRLS LAX, page B-3