Mounts ousted from Districts by Central York
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Central York had several golden opportunities to score Monday night in the preliminary round of the District Three Tournament vs. Ephrata.
But it was the one that did find the net that took everyone by surprise.
Perched 35 yards out on the left side of the field, Panther sophomore Erik Rishel sent a perfectly-placed, high-bending shot to the right post. The ball came down just under the crossbar and inside the post, over the out-stretched arms of Ephrata keeper Kole DeHaven.
The goal in the game’s 25th minute turned out to be the only goal the host Panthers would need as they advanced to Thursday’s first round opposite Hempfield with the 1-0 victory over the Mounts.
"The first 15 or 20 minutes they were a little more skilled, a little more technical than we were," Ephrata Coach Rob Deininger said. "We hadn’t played on grass in a while and maybe that led to our slow start. I don’t know. They had a couple opportunities that didn’t go in so we thought we weathered a storm and we’d be OK. And then all of a sudden their guy takes a 35-yard shot and puts it right in the corner. It was a great shot, not much you could do about it, and that ended up being the game."
The 13th-seeded Panthers (15-3-1), who outshot Ephrata 11-3 and held a 6-2 advantage in corners, controlled the play early on and if not for the play of DeHaven, who registered 10 saves on the night, this one could have been worse.
But the Mounts finally got their feet going late in the first half and created several opportunities of their own in the final 10 minutes of the half. Kyle Phillips probably had the best chance as he swooped in from the right side. Central York keeper Kenny Gross (3 saves) came out to challenge and Phillips sent a shot that went just wide left. Gabo Murcia was also denied in the 34th minute by a nice save by Gross, who deflected the shot over the crossbar.
Perhaps Ephrata’s best chance to score came midway through the second half when Phillips came down the slot and drilled a shot that deflected off the left post. That was the only real scoring opportunity for the Mounts in the second half, although senior Kyle Smith did get taken down by a Panther defender in or around the box but did not get the call with 6:40 to play.
"We had chances," Deininger said. "We were scrapping the whole time to get back in it, and then Kyle hit the post. We had a couple real opportunities but we hit the post and it wouldn’t go in. But this has been this team’s M.O. all year. We’ve been down and fought back. We keep trying to grind it out but unfortunately tonight we came up a little short."
With the loss, Ephrata closed out the season at .500 with a final mark of 9-9-2.
"We got in the league playoffs and the district playoffs and that’s always our goal," Deininger said. "A couple more wins would have been nice but it is what it is and we worked hard to get here. No complaints."
The good news is the Mounts graduate just two seniors from Monday’s starting lineup (captain Kyle Smith and Jeremick Agudelo) so this latest post-season experience can only help going forward Deininger said.
"Actually most of these guys have been through this before so they know what we have to do," he said. "Central York was just maybe a little bit more stronger physically than we were so next year when we are a little older, we’ll be ready to rock."
DISTRICT 3 AAA
Preliminary Round Scores: Garden Spot 1, Penn Manor 0; Central York 1, Ephrata 0; Muhlenberg 2, Mechanicsburg 1 (2 OT); Red Land 5, Manheim Central 2.
First Round Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 27
Garden Spot @ Cumberland Valley, 7 p.m.; Chambersburg @ Warwick, 7 p.m.; Central York @ Hempfield, 7 p.m.; Manheim Twp. @ Conestoga Valley, 4 p.m.; Muhlenberg @ Central Dauphin, 7 p.m.; Dallastown @ West York, 4 p.m.; Red Land @ Exeter, 7 p.m.; Wilson @ Lower Dauphin, 7 p.m. More MOUNTS, page B-6