Lady Mounts ousted by Hershey in Districts
TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com
, Staff Writer
Hershey got off to a smoking hot start Tuesday vs. Ephrata in the District Three Round of 16.
The host Trojans scored on their first two shots, on their way to five first-half goals. Ephrata recovered, playing a solid second half. However, the damage was done as the Trojans sent the Lady Mounts home with a 5-0 victory.
Junior midfielder Kayla Hughes scored three goals to pace Hershey (17-2) while Riley Curtin and Dahlia Chroscinski each added the other Trojan goals. With the win, fourth-seeded Hershey will advance to play the winner of Tuesday’s first-round match-up between Dover and Northeastern.
"It was tough," Ephrata Coach Wes Deininger said of the first-half explosion by the Trojans. "We showed a little energy in the beginning and then we gave up that first one which most times we wouldn’t have given it up. But even after that we were still right there but then they got the second one, and it kind of snowballed from there."
The Lady Mounts (11-9) actually carried the play in the opening three minutes or so before the Trojans worked the ball up the field to Hughes, who was stationed about 35 yards out. The junior measured it up and fired a high arcing shot that snuck over Ephrata keeper Becca Gehman’s hands and under the cross bar for the game’s first goal in the fourth minute.
Ephrata, which was outshot by a slim 11-10 margin on the night, then looked for the equalizer. In the ninth minute, Kay Liebl went down the left side and hit a shot ticketed for the right corner. However, Hershey keeper Grace Donaghue gobbled it up.
Then in the 14th minute, Hershey’s Grace Miller fed Curtin in the slot. Curtin turned and eluded the Ephrata defender and drilled it past Gehman for the 2-0 advantage.
Four minutes after that, in a carbon copy of her first goal, Hughes ripped a shot from way out into the top left corner of the net. Chroscinski added the fourth Hershey goal with 13:17 to play in the half before Hughes completed her hat trick with 1:52 left when Michaela Prescott fed her in the slot, and the junior drilled it into the low right corner of the net.
"They had a couple really nice girls," Deininger said of Hershey. "They had a very good team, but I thought we’d be able to defend a little bit better."
Ephrata played a much better game in the second half, and actually out-shot Hershey, 6-2 over the final 40 minutes. Perhaps the Lady mounts’ best chance to score came in the 50th minute when Jordan Welsh’s shot off a restart caromed off Donaghue’s hands and right to the foot of Kay Liebl, who was also denied by the Hershey goalie on her follow-up shot.
"It was good to see them play it out, and we had a couple chances to score in the second half but we didn’t quite get it," Deininger said of his team. "Hershey was a good team but I thought we’d give them a little bit more of a challenge. To win at Districts, you need a little bit of luck and a little bit of skill, but it didn’t quite happen tonight."
Despite the loss, Deininger was still very pleased with his team’s season, which included a 3-0 play-in round upset of Cocalico.
"The overall season was great," he said. "The girls worked really hard. We played well in the majority of the games. We had a couple that should have maybe gone this way but overall we worked really hard. Overall I was very pleased with the way they worked and how we improved."
Friday afternoon at Cocalico, the Lady Mounts scored three second-half goals to stun the Lady Eagles, 3-0.
Freshman Taylor Moore broke the scoreless tie with a goal in the 57th minute, and added an insurance tally eight-minutes later before Kelly Liebl put it away with a score with less than two minutes to play.
Kay Liebl, Kelly Liebl and Maddie Labrecque assisted on the Ephrata goals. For the game, Ephrata out-shot Cocalico, 10-4 and held a 3-1 advantage in corners.
"It was a great win," Deininger said. "We played really well and had some nice goals. The girls were super excited and it was good to see a win in a playoff situation. Hopefully, the ones that aren’t graduating can use that next year and realize what it takes to come into a game like this."
As for Cocalico, which lost a 1-0 heartbreaker in the L-L semifinals to Cedar Crest, the Lady Eagles closed out another fine season at 14-6-1.
"We played a pretty good first half," Cocalico Coach Dan Hogan said of Friday’s loss. "We were winning a lot of 50-50 balls and generating some chances, but were not able to finish our chances. In the second half, Ephrata did a nice job pressuring us and we couldn’t generate any rhythm and they put away the chances they created."
"(As for the year), it was a fun season with a great group of players," he continued. "I was really impressed with how, after the success of 2012, the players believed in themselves and made this season their own."
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