Kachel’s four goals lead Ephrata past Warwick
By: BRUCE MORGAN Review Staff, Staff Writer
The Ephrata boys lacrosse team got a test last Friday night as they tried to remain unbeaten in league play.
In the end, junior midfielder Jeremy Kachel scored a game-high four goals, including the eventual game-winner late in the third quarter, and the host Mounts went on to beat back-yard rival Warwick 9-5.
The game was tied 4-4 through more than 30 minutes, but Ephrata outscored the Warriors 5-1 the rest of the way to prevail.
Besides winning the Ream Cup, which is annually presented to the winner of this rivalry, Ephrata, the defending L-L League and District champions, improved 4-0 in league play. The Mounts’ 9-8 non-league win over Wyomissing Saturday, their fifth win in a row, raised their overall record to 5-2.
"We’ve started to mesh and come together as a team and acclimate to this high level of play," Ephrata Coach Kevin Pletz said of the Mounts’ stellar play as of late. "In the beginning we were a young team without a lot of experience at the varsity level. We needed to get comfortable with each other and playing at this level."
And even in a game that turned tighter than perhaps as expected, the Mounts found a way to pull away late.
"Once the fourth quarter hit, it was still within reach," Warwick coach Wayne Hummer said. "As the fourth quarter progressed, we sorta lost a little bit of technique and we weren’t able to stay out of the penalty box. Obviously, as we know from other games this season, we know can’t play a man down and expect to come away with the ‘W.’ They really pulled away from us in the second half of that fourth quarter and kinda put it out of reach."
The loss dropped Warwick to 1-2 in league play (1-5 overall). The Warriors were hoping to build off of their 8-5 win over Elizabethtown just one day earlier, and they were in good shape when Kobi Biemesderfer beat Ephrata keeper Justin Mease (15 saves) with 7:38 to go in the third quarter, tying things at 3-all.
Colin Cammauf connected for Ephrata at the 6:02 mark, and then just 25 seconds later, Mason Buccilla found the back of the net for Warwick to make it 4-4.
A short time later, Kachel gave the Mounts a lead they never lost, and although Warwick’s Austin Minnich came within inches of getting the equalizer after hitting the post, Ephrata, capitalizing on a quick transition game, took a two-goal lead to the final stanza on a goal with :15.2 on the clock.
"On (Ephrata’s) attack, we were really keying in on (Justin) Hoover, and on midfield, we were really keying in on (Dakota) Keefer, which I’m sure that helped open up Kachel a little bit," Hummer remarked. "That’s the thing with a team that has that many weapons. You can’t just key in on one or two guys and expect the rest just to shut down."
Pletz agreed that balanced scoring has been a key to his team’s success.
"That has been a great sign for us," he said. "We are developing into a complete team which will make it tougher for teams to shut us down because we can lean on someone else when one of our players is shut down or locked off."
It remained a two-goal as Warwick keeper Adam Polett (8 saves) robbed Maxwell Carr from close range in the opening minutes and then the Warriors survived a man-down situation.
But Kachel’s fourth tally of the game with 3:37 remaining stretched the lead to 7-4. Then less than a minute later, the Warriors went two players down, including Polett, and the Mounts capitalized against back-up goalie Cameron Epple to open up a four-goal lead with 2:33 remaining. Dakota Keefer finished with two goals, while Justin Hoover and Scott Gordon also found the back of the net for the Mounts, who outshot Warwick 17-15.
"They play a quick game," Hummer said. "They move the ball with speed and they get a lot of off-ball movement, which generates a lot of offense."
The Mounts added another man-down goal with 1:24 to go, and then Warwick’s Minnich scored the second of his two goals with :52.8 remaining to complete the scoring. Alex Bushong also scored in the game for Warwick.
"Staying disciplined and getting through a whole game is really going to be my number one priority at this point," Hummer said. "Even the games we’ve won, I still don’t feel like we’ve played that perfect game where we play hard the whole way through and we limit our mistakes."
As for his team, Pletz said the Mounts must continue to get better in a year where there are no easy wins on the schedule.
"We need to continue to improve in practice and in each game," he said. "We need to keep our intensity high all the time because the league is balancing out plus we are the target team to beat this year because of last year’s success."
In addition to Friday’s game, the Mounts also were in action last Wednesday where they earned a 13-10 victory at Conestoga Valley.
With the score tied at 5-5 at the half, the Mounts gained the edge in the third, outscoring CV, 6-3 in the quarter.
Hoover led all goal scorers with seven goals and an assist. Keefer added two goals and one assists while Kachel, Gordon, Cammauf and Chris Husson also found the net.
Mease made seven saves on 17 CV shots.
Ephrata also added a 9-8 non-league win over Wyomissing on Saturday.
As for Cocalico, the Eagles went 1-1 on the week, which included a 9-6 victory over Garden Spot Friday afternoon.
With the score tied at 6-6 after three quarters of play, Cocalico out-scored the Spartans 3-0 in the final period to grab the win.
Cocalico also was in action Monday afternoon where the Eagles fell by a 15-3 decision to Manheim Township.
The Eagles got goals from Thomas Koller, Aaron Longstaff and Dalton Delpiano, but it was not enough int he lopsided loss. More BOYS LAX, page B-2