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Lady Eagles off to impressive start
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
With nine starters back in the mix, the Cocalico girls soccer team has legitimate title hopes this spring.
If the Lady Eagles can avoid injuries and play up to their potential the Section Three prize might indeed be well within their grasp come early May.
"We have the potential to compete with all of the teams in our section," Cocalico Head Coach Dan Hogan said Tuesday. "If we stay healthy and focused we hope to be in the mix for a section title at the end of the season. We also need to find the right mix of reserves to give our starters rest so we are still strong at the end of the season."
They’ve certainly been strong in the early going, knocking off District qualifier Manheim Central, 4-1 in the opener before blanking Lebanon, 3-0 on Monday.
The win in Manheim was especially impressive, as the Lady Eagles broke open a 1-0 lead with three goals in the second half to clinch the victory. Sophomore middie Nicole Zwiercan notched a pair of goals while Brooke Burkholder and Shannon Hoeveler also found the net. Kathleen Lawver, Brittany Simmons, Hoeveler and Lea Dungan added assists for the winners.
Olivia Tuel saved four for Cocalico which was out-shot 11-9 and out-cornered 5-0.
"I was very happy that we are able to work hard and beat a very good Manheim team," Hogan said. "While we definitely played a good game, the score does not indicate how close that game really was. Both teams had a lot of quality opportunities to score. We were fortunate to have a few more go in than them."
Monday afternoon, the Lady Eagles dominated play against the Cedars, out-shooting them, 12-2 while holding a 9-1 advantage in corners.
Lawver led the way with two goals while Simmons notched a pair of helpers. Hoeveler scored the final tally with the other assist going to Burkholder.
Cocalico will be looking for its third straight win Wednesday when the Lady Eagles host Pequea Valley at 4 p.m.
"Our team has been very focused from the beginning," Hogan said. "We have a lot of returning players who have been playing varsity since they were freshman, so they have been able to combine their experience and ability and it has led to some early success. They key will be for us to find a way to continue to be focused."
Ephrata, meanwhile, played its first game at Mountaineer Field Tuesday afternoon, hosting visiting Lampeter-Strasburg.
Things looked good for awhile for the Lady Mounts as starting goalie Olivia Pfautz came out of the net in a scoreless game to notch the go-ahead goal early in the second half. Unfortunately for the home team, the Pioneers struck for the equalizer a minute later then scored the gamewinner with less than four minutes remaining as L-S held on for the 2-1 win.
Pfautz and replacement Steph Bebko each saved six shots in goal for Ephrata, which was outshot 12-6 and out-cornered 3-1.
In addition to Tuesday’s contest, Ephrata also was in action Friday afternoon at CV where the Lady Mounts dropped their season opener by a score of 3-0.
Samara Yurchak and Michaela Horst scored goals in the first half for CV to open up a commanding lead on Ephrata. Lauren Pezzica added the final tally for the Buckskins midway through the second half.
CV out-shot Ephrata 15-3 and held a 6-0 advantage in corners. Pfautz was busy in goal, making 12 saves in the loss. Cocalico’s Kathleen Lawver (4) moves past Manheim Central’s Laura Martin and into the offensive zone Friday afternoon in Manheim. The Lady Eagles passed their first big test of the season with an impressive 4-1 victory over the Barons. (Photo by Michele Walter) More LADY EAGLES, page B-4