High’s OT goal lifts Cocalico over Ephrata
By: Staff Reports, Staff Writer
Janelle High put herself in the right place at the right time Tuesday afternoon in Denver.
And when the senior midfielder was staring at a wide-open cage with the ball on her stick, her placement paid off.
High’s goal about 11 minutes into overtime not only gave Cocalico a 3-2 victory over Ephrata. It also put the Lady Eagles on the inside track to their fifth-straight Section Two championship.
The Lady Eagles (7-0 section, 9-2 overall) now own a two-game lead over second-place Ephrata (5-2 section, 8-3 overall), with five section games to go.
"When Carrie (Sensenig) got to the ball, I just kind of sprinted to the spot," High said of her game-winning play. "Carrie shot it and I got there just in time to put it in."
Most of the overtime was played in Cocalico’s defensive end, thanks in part to a pair of red cards handed out to Cocalico’s Carissa Witmer and Coach Krista Page which left the Lady Eagles down two players.
But despite forcing six corners and having several golden opportunities to score, the Lady Mounts couldn’t come up with the game winner.
That set the stage for a Cocalico rush, which started down the right side and eventually carried down near the endline. Sensenig secured the ball and fired a shot that ricocheted off the far post, past a diving Ephrata keeper Katie Hammaker, and deflected right to High.
The Cocalico senior, who scored the game winner for the Lady Eagles in a 4-3 victory at Ephrata Sept. 6, calmly deposited it into the cage for the win.
"It’s a really good feeling," High said of her game-winning tally. "And just to win it for the team meant a lot to me."
The first 20 minutes of this game was dominated by the two defenses, but Ephrata finally drew first blood with less than five minutes to play in the half. Off a re-start, Nicole Wilkerson sent it into Moriah Pfautz in the circle. Pfautz drew the defense and then fed Kirsten Ueberroth, who knocked it into the cage inside the left post.
But early in the second half, Cocalico began to take control. Sensenig got the equalizer eight minutes into the half when she picked off an errant pass, carried into the circle and blasted it past Hammaker to knot the game at 1-1.
The Lady Eagles then grabbed the lead just eight minutes later when Witmer took possession off a re-start, carried into the slot and beat Hammaker for the 2-1 advantage.
But Ephrata showed some resilience, and it paid off at the 14:45 mark. After forcing a corner, Pfautz got a shot off that was stopped by a defender’s hand, which prevented the ball from going into the cage.
Pfautz was awarded a penalty stroke, and beat Cocalico keeper Emily Stauffer to the low right side of the cage to tie the game at 2-2, and set up the exciting finish.
For the game, Ephrata held a 14-4 advantage in corners and had 13 shots to Cocalico’s 12.
In addition to Tuesday’s game, both local squads were also in action last week.
Last Friday in Ephrata, the host Lady Mounts got a goal late in the first half from Pfautz and added two more scores in the second half to clinch a 3-0 verdict against Elizabethtown.
Pfautz ended up with a pair of goals while Brooke Overly notched the third Lady Mount tally.
Wilkerson added an assist for Ephrata as Hammaker made five saves for her first shutout victory of the season.
Things were a lot tougher for Ephrata last Wednesday in Manheim as the Lady Mounts needed extra time to down the Barons, 3-2 in overtime.
Pfautz completed her hat trick two and a half minutes into the extra session to give Ephrata the win. Hammaker made six stops in goal for the Lady Mounts, who led in both corners (10-5) and shots (11-8).
Ephrata also competed in the Palmyra Tournament this past Saturday where the Lady Mounts went 1-1 on the day.
In the first game against defending District AA champ Palmyra, the host Cougars made a pair of first half goals stand in a 2-0 shutout victory.
Ephrata did rebound with a strong effort in the consolation game, earning a 4-0 victory over Fleetwood.
Pfautz had three goals while Ueberroth added the final Ephrata tally. Mackenzie Ruth, Hannah Reimel and Ueberroth all added assists on the goals while Hammaker made seven saves for the shutout win.
Cocalico, meanwhile added a pair of section wins late last week.
Friday afternoon in Manheim, the Lady Eagles dominated play en route to a 5-0 shutout victory over the host Barons.
Witmer scored a pair of goals while Taylor Keeney, Sensenig and High also found the net for the winners.
Emily Stauffer had a rather easy day in goal, saving the only shot she faced for the shutout victory.
Things were tougher for Cocalico last Wednesday at Elizabethtown as they needed extra time to break a 0-0 tie. Cocalico got the gamewinner as Witmer scored at the 12:17 mark of overtime to clinch the 1-0 victory for the Lady Eagles.
Stauffer turned back three shots to get the win in goal for Cocalico, which led in both corners (11-9) and shots (12-3). More FIELD HOCKEY, page B-4