A win away: Mounts clinch tie, can claim section outright with victory over E-town Thursday

By on October 12, 2016
Ephrata’s Andrey Patrushev (9) carries past Manheim Central’s Bryce Kready during Saturday’s contest. Photo by Stan Hall

Ephrata’s Andrey Patrushev (9) carries past Manheim Central’s Bryce Kready during Saturday’s contest. Photo by Stan Hall

Section Two has been a dogfight for the Ephrata boys soccer team.

Despite owning a sparkling 11-1-1 league record (14-2-1), the Mounts haven’t been able to pull away from the rest of the pack, although they did clinch at least a share of the title with a 2-0 win over Cedar Crest Tuesday.

But heading into Thursday’s huge season finale showdown at home vs. Elizabethtown, there is still a little bit of work to do.

A Mounts’ tie or win and the title is solely theirs. However, should the Bears (10-2-1) knock off Ephrata and L-S (9-2-1) defeats Manheim Central, the Mounts would be looking at sharing the section title with both other teams.

Regardless, Ephrata has already qualified for the L-L playoffs, which begin Saturday, and will be part of the 16-team District field when that is announced later next week.

First things first, Ephrata is looking at claiming the Section Two title, its first since 2012, outright with a win over E-town on Thursday.

“The guys have always been of the mindset that we are the best team and they should be on top at the end,” Ephrata Coach Rob Deininger said Tuesday. “They are happy they got there. Now they just want to see if they can complete the job before we go into the playoffs. They are of the mindset that they are going to come out and have a good game. It’s at home, everybody is healthy so we should be set.”

Ephrata has won two straight games since losing its first section match of the season last Wednesday in a 3-0 result at Lampeter-Strasburg.

“We just had one bad game down at L-S on their Senior Night, played on a small field, and it came back to haunt us,” Deininger said. “It wasn’t one of our better nights and they played pretty well.”

While each team had six shots apiece, it was the Pioneers who found the net three times on goals by Peyton Denlinger, Logan Heister and Ethan Bare.

Ephrata rebounded with a solid 3-2 victory over Manheim Central Saturday morning at home.

With the score tied 2-2 late, Aaron Cummings scored the game winner with about two minutes to go to lift the Mounts to victory.

Ryan Sheaffer and Ellis Vogt scored the other two Ephrata goals in the first half while Sheaffer, Cummings and Raine Slovak all picked up assists in the win as Ephrata out-shot the Barons, 14-8.

The Mounts then followed up that win with a solid 2-0 victory on the road at Cedar Crest Monday.

In that one, Andrey Patrushev and Gabe Sensenig both scored and assisted on each other’s tally.

Dave Patrushev turned away five shots in net to earn the shutout win, setting the stakes high heading into Thursday’s big game.

“We are in good shape,” Deininger said. “We’re healthy, the wheels are back on the bus and we’re ready to go.”

Cocalico, meanwhile, continued to endure tough losses this week. the Eagles ran their string of one-goal losses to six-straight games with three more defeats.

Monday at L-S, the Pioneers got a goal early in the second half and made it stand en route to a 1-0 victory over the Eagles.

Friday afternoon, visiting Solanco scored a second-half goal to blank the Eagles by a 1-0 score. And last Wednesday at E-town, the Eagles hung right with the Bears but the host team held on for a 2-1 decision.

Tommy Denlinger scored the lone Cocalico goal as the Eagles were out-shot, 16-5.

Cocalico (2-9-2 section, 3-11-2 overall) will look to close out the season on a winning note Wednesday when they host Manheim Central at 7 p.m. at Talon Field.

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