On a roll Mounts knock off top team in District

By on April 17, 2013

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Some famous person once said, "tradition never graduates."

Well, eventhough Ephrata is just in its second decade of boys lacrosse, that quote could certainly apply to the Mounts. After winning the L-L League and District Three championships for the first time a year ago, most felt Ephrata would come back to the pack in 2013 with the graduation of 13 seniors.

However, that just hasn’t been the case. It’s been business as usual this year, after Ephrata opened the season with a pair of hiccups against non-league opponents Seneca Valley and Exeter.

Since the Mounts earned their first win of the season March 26 at Hempfield, they’ve reeled off an additional seven-straight victories and find themselves among the top contenders once again in the L-L League.

"One of our goals was to establish a program that was around for the long haul and year in and year out was always in for the fight," Ephrata Coach Kevin Pletz said Tuesday. "And we are proud of what we’ve accomplished."

The Hempfield game was a signature win for the Mounts, and this past Saturday they earned their second of the season with an exciting 14-13 overtime win over Wilson, the top-ranked team in District Three and 11th in the State.

The visiting Bulldogs thought they won it at the end of regulation. However, their apparent score was negated as the ball went into the net a split second after time had expired.

That set the stage for the overtime where the Mounts cashed in on a man-up situation for the game winner. Koty Keefer dished to Colin Cammauf, who beat the Wilson goalie to give the Mounts the big victory.

Pletz, who missed the game due to a work commitment but was kept updated through text messages, said his team stepped up.

"In talking to the coaches, the guys fought really hard for that game," he said. "I know Wilson is a very good team this year but we stepped up to our potential. We didn’t play our best game, but we played a hard game and really worked to earn that game."

Trailing 7-5 at the half, Ephrata outscored Wilson 7-2 in the third to grab the 12-9 lead. But the Bulldogs went on a 4-1 run in the fourth to knot the game, setting up the fantastic finish.

Justin Hoover scored five big goals to lead the Mounts. Keefer chipped in with a pair of goals and three assists while Jeremy Kachel, Scott Gordon and Cammauf (one assist) all had two scores apiece. Austin Sensenig added a goal and an assists while Kyle Phillips had an additional helper.

Ephrata goalie Justin Mease had another solid day in goal, registering 11 saves in the win.

"We still got some things to work on but it’s starting to come together for us," Pletz said. "They are a hard-nosed team and they fight for their wins."

In addition to their big win over Wilson, Ephrata also earned a pair of lopsided victories over Garden Spot and Lancaster Mennonite this past week.

Monday night at home, the Mounts led 3-0 at the half before exploding for seven unanswered goals in the third en route to a 10-1 triumph over Garden Spot.

Hoover scored a team-high four goals while Gordon chipped in with three and Kachel added a pair of tallies. Cammauf also added a goal while Keefer had seven key assists for the winners.

Mease made 10 saves in the victory.

This past Friday, the Mounts upended Lancaster Mennonite in a 14-1 verdict.

Sensenig had three goals and three assists to pace the Ephrata attack. Cammauf and Hoover each added three goals while Brandon Adams chipped in with a pair of tallies.

Keefer (six assists), Kachel and Gordon also found the net for Ephrata, which got three saves by Mease in the easy victory.

Up next, Ephrata is entering the critical part of the schedule which includes a Thursday home game vs. L-S, followed by a road trip to Carlisle Saturday (12:30 p.m.) in a rematch of last year’s District title game.

"The confidence is definitely going up but we have to keep pressing and work hard," Pletz said of the road ahead. "We have to keep putting our foot to the floor and go hard at it each and every game. We need to continually grow each and every practice and each and every game so that come playoff time we are playing at our best."

Like Ephrata, Cocalico played three contests this past week, including a home game vs. Palmyra Tuesday night.

Results of that game weren’t known as of press time, but the Eagles did split their other two games for the week.

Last Thursday in a non-league affair at Conrad Weiser, Cocalico got three goals each from Aaron Longstaff, Dalton Delpiano and Justin Marderness to lead the way in a 12-4 victory over CW.

Tom Koller added two tallies while Dominic Fabiani also found the net. Dan Bucolo made 13 stops to get the victory in goal.

Monday afternoon at home, visiting Elizabethtown took an 11-0 lead at the half and cruised to a 13-1 victory over the host Eagles.

Delpiano scored the lone goal for the Eagles, who were outshot 32-7.

Bucolo made eight saves in the Cocalico loss. More BOYS LAX, page B-2

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