Lady Eagles clinch berth with win over Ephrata
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
At mid-season, the Cocalico girls soccer team was at a crossroads.
After winning the Section Two title last Spring, the Lady Eagles were 4-3 at the turn and a trip to the post-season appeared doubtful.
But Cocalico stayed the course and righted the ship at just the right time.
And a 5-1 run, capped by Monday’s 2-0 home victory over Ephrata on Senior Night, proved to be just enough as the Lady Eagles punched their ticket to the L-L League Tournament with the win over the Lady Mounts.
The Lady Eagles clinched the third place spot in Section Two with the victory and will now face the Section One champion in Monday’s first round at either Warwick or Pequea Valley and either 5 or 7:30 p.m.
It’s been quite a turn-around for the Lady Eagles (9-4), and things culminated Monday in avenging a 3-2 loss to the Lady Mounts earlier in the year.
"This game really meant a lot to the players, especially our seniors on Senior Night," Cocalico Coach Dan Hogan said. "We were really disappointed with our focus and work rate in the first match with Ephrata. We were determined to give a better effort this time around and the girls came through."
In Monday’s win, Kat Lawver got Cocalico on the board in the 19th minute off an assist from Nicole Zwiercan. Cocalico then made it 2-0 before the half as Zwiercan tallied off a helper from Taylor Esterly.
That proved to be all the Lady Eagles would need as they held slight advantages in both shots (6-3) and corners (5-3).
"Despite our early disappointing losses, the players have done a great job of trusting in each other, encouraging each other and battling through the tough times," Hogan said.
Emily White earned the shutout win in goal for Cocalico with three saves. Brittany Contres saved four in the loss for Ephrata (7-5-1) which was eliminated from L-L contention but still should qualify for Districts.
Both local teams were also in action last Wednesday and Friday.
Friday afternoon, Cocalico held off visiting Garden Spot by a 2-1 score as Shannon Hoeveler scored the eventual game winner in the 48th minute. Lawver also tallied for Cocalico while Esterly and Emily Zwiercan notched assists.
Ephrata also was on the road at Solanco Friday where the Lady Mounts earned a 4-0 triumph over the Mares.
Sarah Engleman, Aspen Brennan, Amanda Latshaw and Abby Lapp all scored for Ephrata. Assisting on the goals were Brennan, Jenna Yarger and Makenna Sensenig.
Last Wednesday in Denver, Cocalico broke open a tight game with a pair of second-half goals to key a 3-1 victory over second-place E-town.
Lawver scored a pair while Hoeveler’s lone tally proved to be the difference in this one. Nicole Zwiercan assisted on two of the goals for the Lady Eagles.
Ephrata, meanwhile, suffered a 2-0 loss at home to first-place Lampeter-Strasburg as the Pioneers scored both goals in the second half.
Up next, Cocalico will host Lebanon Wednesday afternoon in the regular-season finale while Ephrata travels to Garden Spot for a night game, beginning at 7 p.m. More GIRLS SOCCER, page B-5