Ephrata girls shutout Manheim Central
TODD RUTH Record Staff email@example.com
, Staff Writer
Ephrata had a golden opportunity to get back in the Section Two girls soccer race Monday night vs. Manheim Central at Mountaineer Field.
And the Lady Mounts siezed it.
Ephrata took advantage of a depleted Manheim Central lineup and carried the play for most of the evening. In the end, the Lady Mounts secured a 2-0 victory which puts them squarely in the thick of things heading into the final week of the regular season.
Kelly Liebl scored in the game’s seventh minute before Mackenzie Lagaza’s second-half tally gave the Lady Mounts some much needed breathing room en route to the victory.
The win was Ephrata’s fourth in-a-row in league play, and vaulted the Lady Mounts (7-3-0) over the Barons (5-2-3) and into a tie with Cocalico (7-3-0) for second place behind section leader Elizabethtown.
"We’ve been playing well," Ephrata Coach Wes Deininger said following the win. "We’ve been very competitive with everyone. We have been creating a lot of chances, and our defense has stepped up. One through 25, it is have been great. The girls are really dedicated which is great to see."
And it didn’t hurt that the Lady Barons were without four starters, including three defenders as well as playmaker Jenna West.
Ephrata carried play for nearly the entire game, but it was Liebl who put them ahead to stay early, taking a through ball from teammate Jenna Yarger just inside the 18 and drilling it past Lady Baron keeper Emily Good for the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Mounts, who out-shot Central 12-2 and held a 6-0 advantage in corners, kept pressing. However, Good nullified a Maddie Labrecque shot with 13:26 to go in the half, and then later stopped a Jordan Welsh attempt.
The Lady Barons’ best chance to score came midway through the period when Emily Doerschuk made an end to end run through several Ephrata defenders. Fortunately for the Lady Mounts, defender Mason Hornberger was there to nullify the attempt without a shot.
Ephrata then made it 2-0 about midway through the second half off a corner. Kay Liebl sent it in, and the loose ball found the foot of Lagaza, who ripped it into the back of the net.
The Lady Mounts almost made it 3-0 with 14:08 to play when Jenny Yarger was awarded a penalty kick. Unfortunately for her, the ball clanked off the crossbar.
But the two goals were more than enough for Yarger and the Lady Mounts.
"We had a fair amount of space to play in and we took it," Deininger said. "I would have liked for us to finish a few more…We created the opportunities, which is obviously the first thing you need to get to. But we played a good match and it was nice to see."
Manheim Central Coach John Shetromph also was pleased with his team’s effort, considering the situation.
"Overall I’m actually very pleased," he said. "Our girls did well, but they do depend on Jenna as far as being the leader on the field. No doubt about it. Jenna is a world class player."
But even in defeat, Shetromph said the experience some of the girls who got quality playing time Monday could pay off for his team down the road.
"You can’t just play for the day," he said. "You have to play for what the future can be, and we do believe we have a very good future with this group. I have one senior, Lauren Herr, and that senior has a torn ACL, and she’s been playing with it. We just told her, because it swelled up, that she was not going to play tonight. It’s like, do you win the battle and lose the war, or do you lose the battle today and still have a chance today? That’s what we are looking at."
And MC, along with Ephrata, are still very much in the thick of things heading down the all important stretch.
"Every game is as important as it could be," Deininger said. "Everyone is right there. You can’t think past the next one obviously, and that’s the mentality the girls have taken on recently. I think that is what really has change outcomes in some of our games. They’ve really started to focus."
In addition to Monday’s contest, Ephrata also was in action last Thursday at home where the Lady Mounts rolled to a 9-1 victory over Lebanon.
Yarger collected a hat trick while Natalie Flaim and Keelie Landis each notched a pair of goals while Taylor Moore and Kennedy Root each added scores as well.
Becca Gehman made four saves in goal for the winners.
As for Cocalico, the Lady Eagles split a pair of games this past week in Section Two play. Monday afternoon in Quarryville, Cocalico got goals from five different players in a 5-0 shutout win over Solanco.
Taylor Garman, Ashley Zemeskie, Aliyah Maxson, Lexi Palm and Jasa Lorah all netted goals for Cocalico, which held a 10-2 shot advantage.
Cocalico did drop a 2-0 decision late last week on the road at Lampeter-Strasburg.
Both Cocalico and Ephrata each have four games remaining, and those two will meet Monday in Ephrata (5:30 p.m.) in what could amount to a huge game in the standings.
More SHUTOUT, page B-2