Opportunistic Blazers take down Cocalico
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Judging by the play in Tuesday’s Section Three-Four showdown with Lancaster Mennonite, Cocalico passed one of its stiffest tests of the year.
However, despite dominating play for most of the 80 minutes, the Blazers won on the scoreboard, capitalizing on a pair of corners to take this battle of section leaders by a 2-0 decision.
Abby Basom’s header in the four-minute mark of the first period turned out to be the gamewinner. Mennonite later got a goal off a similar play by Eileen Barker with 9:14 to go to clinch the win and hand Cocalico its first loss of the season.
"We are not very good on corners I guess," Cocalico Coach Dan Hogan said. "I don’t know if they do it on purpose but they play that nice high ball that lands right on the back post…We had some people there to head it but nobody wanted to go to the ball. Give them credit. They took advantage of the opportunities that they had and that’s why they get to go home the winners today."
Mennonite (7-1-1 league, 7-1-2 overall) maintained first place in Section Four with the win and now stand one point ahead of second place Elco (7-2, 7-3). As for Cocalico, the Lady Eagles are now tied for first place with Donegal (8-2, 8-2) with one less game played.
In between Mennonite’s two goals, Cocalico was very good Tuesday. The Lady Eagles out-shot LMH, 11-4 and held a 5-4 advantage in corners.
The Lady Eagles also had the better of chances if your not counting corners. Kathleen Lawver had several opportunities but could not solve Blazer keeper Jess Rheinheimer, who registered nine saves. Perhaps Cocalico’s best chance came just before the half when a Brittany Simmons’ blast was denied with a diving stop by Rheinheimer.
"I am encouraged by the way we played in the run of play," Hogan said. "I thought we were able to do some nice combinations through the first 60 minutes and then we tried to put a little more offense in. We tried to move some players around for the last 20 minutes trying to push some players up and they were able to possess in the midfield a little better. But I really liked what we did through the first 60 minutes of the game. We were able to possess the ball. I thought we almost possessed it to a fault in front of the goal. We had some great opportunities, especially in the first half."
Basom gave her team the 1-0 lead early when Kaitlin Sauder inserted a high ball into the box that found the head of Basom and trickled into the right corner of the net.
The second goal late in the game was almost a carbon copy of the first as Sauder lofted it into Barker, who drilled a header past Cocalico keeper Kristen Boyer (two saves) for the big insurance tally.
"I thought through the run of play we were very good," Hogan said. "We just had some set piece issues. We’ve had five goals scored against us this year and three of them are off corners."
Things won’t get any easier for the Lady Eagles, who will battle Elco Friday night in Myerstown, beginning at 7 p.m. That will be the first game they will play after suffering a loss.
How does Hogan think they’ll respond?
"I told the girls after the game there are lots of teams that would be real happy to be 9-1 right now," Hogan said. "We still have some good opportunities ahead of us. We just need to learn from this and come back and play a little harder on Friday with Elco.
"We have a pretty mature and experienced group. With our experience in the junior and senior classes I think these girls come back hard and ready to play. We got to learn what we can from today and move forward."
In addition to Monday’s contest, Cocalico also was in action late last week where the Lady Eagles captured a pair of league wins.
Friday afternoon in Annville, Cocalico dominated from start to finish in a one-sided 7-0 victory.
Lawver tallied twice and had a pair of assists to lead the Lady Eagles, who peppered the net three times in the first half and four times in the second. In addition to Lawver, Simmons, Megan Caiazzo, Shannon Hoeveler, Ashley Zemeski and Jen Newman also scored goals for the Lady Eagles. Hoeveler also added a pair of assists while Caiazzo and Brooke Burkholder chipped in with helpers as well.
Cocalico overwhelmed A-C in shots, leading 28-1 for the game.
In addition to Friday’s contest, the Lady Eagles were 3-2 overtime winners last Wednesday at Garden Spot.
Lawver scored a pair of tallies, including the golden goal four minutes into overtime. Nicole Zwiercan added the third CHS score and assisted on both Lawver goals. Taylor Garman also had an assist for the winners, who outshot GS 15-14 and held a slight 3-2 advantage in corners.
Boyer saved four shots in the Cocalico victory.
Ephrata was in action Tuesday night at Hempfield where the host Black Knights earned a 3-0 victory.
Hempfield led 1-0 at the half before breaking it open with a pair of insurance tallies in the second half.
The Lady Mounts (2-7) were outshot 17-1 and outcornered 12-1. Ephrata keeper Olivia Pfautz registered 10 saves.
This past Friday, Ephrata notched its second win of the season in a 3-0 victory over visiting McCaskey.
Mackenzie Lagaza gave the Lady Mounts the 1-0 lead with a score 28 minutes into the first half. Then in the second half, goals by Sarah Engleman and Madison Walmer sealed the victory for the Lady Mounts, who outshot McCaskey, 20-5.
Pfautz saved five for the win in goal.
Ephrata also was in action last Wednesday at Warwick where the Warriors scored two goals in each half for a 4-0 victory.
Pfautz made nine saves in the Ephrata loss. More GIRLS SOCCER, page B-4