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Mounts edge Exeter on late goal by Eberly Advance to face Wilson Sat. in quarterfinals
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Nate Eberly was Johnny-On-The-Spot late Tuesday night as Ephrata was locked in a 1-1 draw with visiting Exeter in the opening round of the District Three boys soccer playoffs.
With just under 10 minutes left in regulation, Kyle Phillips carried down the left side and fed a cross that eluded teammate Andy Moore in front of the Exeter net.
Fortunately, Eberly was flanked on the right side, and the ball found his foot. The Ephrata senior calmly fired a shot under the crossbar to score what turned out to be the game winner in the exciting 2-1 Mount victory.
"At half-time we made a decision that we had to get the ball wide," Ephrata Coach Rob Deininger said. "They were just clogging up the middle, so we wanted to get the ball outside and things opened up. Kyle made a run, took it to the corner and crossed it over. It got a little behind Andy but Nate stayed home, in position, and put it in the back of the net."
With the win, Ephrata (14-5-1) will now advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round where the Mounts will take on top-seeded Wilson (20-1-1)– a 4-1 winner over Red Lion– at Hamburg, beginning at 2 p.m. The semifinals are set for next Tuesday at a site to be determined, with the finals on tap Saturday, Nov. 3 at Hersheypark Stadium.
With the game scoreless at the half, Ephrata broke out on top with a goal three minutes into the second half. Off a corner, Trevor Boyer’s looping insert found the head of Carl Rowits, who knocked it in for the 1-0 lead.
After that, Exeter (10-8-2) found its legs and if not for Ephrata keeper Kole DeHaven, the Eagles may have gotten the equalizer through the next 10-minute stretch. DeHaven, who had 9 saves on the evening, made quite a few of them during that difficult stretch.
Exeter did keep pressing, however, and finally did knot it up at 1-1 off a corner as freshman Cody Hart put in a rebound in the game’s 62nd minute.
"We’ve had some problems with corner kicks, defensively, all year," Deininger said. "If we don’t get that first touch and head it out, it drops and then it’s a melee, and they were there to tuck it home."
It stayed that way until Eberly’s gamewinner which sent the home folks away happy.
"It was a big win for these seniors and for these other guys who have worked so hard," Deininger said. "They deserved it."
For the game, Exeter actually outshot Ephrata, 10-5, but the Mounts held a 4-3 advantage in corners. More MOUNTS, page B-4