Mounts sink Eagles in double overtime

By on October 4, 2017
Ephrata’s AJ Morales (left) carries past Cocalico’s Kjell Mugge during the first meeting between the two teams on Sept. 7. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s AJ Morales (left) carries past Cocalico’s Kjell Mugge during the first meeting between the two teams on Sept. 7. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Maintain two-game cushion over Elizabethtown

With the sun down and the lights on at Talon Field in Denver Thursday, Cocalico and Ephrata found themselves locked in a defensive slog, tightly called and tightly contested, as their Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two clash pushed well into the evening Thursday.

The visiting Mountaineers, with an unblemished record on the line, outlasted their rivals, 1-0, clinching the game on an Andrey Patrushev penalty kick with 6:16 remaining in the second overtime period.

“We’re a pretty resilient group,” said Ephrata coach Rob Deininger. “We’ve found ways to get it done.”

Monday night, the Mounts continued their winning ways with a 6-2 victory over host Solanco. Ephrata upped its record to a perfect 10-0-0 in Section Two play (13-0-0 overall) as Patrushev and Aaron Cummings both scored a pair of goals while JT Truskey and AJ Morales also found the back of the net for the winners.

Ephrata maintained its two-game lead over second-place Elizabethtown (7-2) while Cocalico (6-3, 9-4), which dropped a 1-0 decision to Garden Spot at home, fell to three games behind the Mounts.

In the Eagles’ critical loss to the Spartans, Garden Spot’s Cade Weaver scored the game’s only goal in the 88th minute of overtime to give his team the win.

Cocalico outshot the Spartans 10-3 and held a 7-1 advantage in corners, but GS prevailed with Weaver’s Golden Goal.

Back to last Thursday’s game where the turning point came when Patrushev, a senior forward, lined up for the game-winning kick opposite Cocalico goalkeeper Peyton Stetter (13 saves) and planned his attack.

“Usually, I go to the right,” Patrushev said. “Since last game against Cocalico, I scored on a PK and also went right, I thought the goalie was going to go there. So I just went left, and it worked.”

Patrushev stutter-stepped toward the ball and sent it low to the left, rippling the netting and giving extending a season-long win streak for the Mounts.

Cummings set up the game-winning goal by drawing the decisive penalty. The senior forward pestered the Cocalico backfield throughout the cool, blustery evening.

“Aaron was just a man among boys,” Deininger said. “He’s decided to take people on and use his body and go. He just has the ability and has just made us so much more powerful lately.”

Meanwhile, the Eagles gained confidence from their defense. Junior midfielder Joe Zimmerman shadowed Patrushev throughout the game, limiting the opportunities of the section’s top goal-scorer.

“I’m definitely proud of our defense,” said Derek Sipe, Cocalico’s coach, “and our team as a whole.”

“We’ve been playing really well lately,” Sipe added, “and they’ve been dominant all year long. These are the games you want to see this time of year.”

Four of Ephrata’s games have been decided in overtime, including a 3-2 decision over Cocalico Sept. 7. Patrushev netted the game-winning goal in all four games.

Ephrata goalkeeper Cole Hummel recorded five saves for his fifth shutout of the season.

In addition to the above-mentioned games, Cocalico also was in action Saturday at home where the Eagles earned a 3-2 victory over Governor Mifflin in non-league play.

Aaron Weitzel scored all three Cocalico goals, including the gamewinner in the 96th minute of play.

Nick Stauffer and Grant Mellinger both collected assists for the Eagles while Stetter collected five saves in the win.

Up next, Cocalico hosts Elizabethtown Wednesday in a battle for second place in Section Two. That game gets underway at 4 p.m. The Eagles also will hit the road Friday at Solanco (4 p.m.) before returning home to face Lampeter-Strasburg next Monday night at 7 p.m.

Ephrata will look to extend its unbeaten string Wednesday night at home vs. L-S (7 p.m.) The Mounts then travel to Manheim Central Saturday (10 a.m.) before hosting Cedar Crest next Monday at 7 p.m.

NOTE: LNP Staff Writer Tim Gross contributed to this article.

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