EHS girls rolling on

By on September 27, 2017
Ephrata’s Annie Slovak (right) fends off a Garden Spot defender during Tuesday’s Lady Mount victory. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Annie Slovak (right) fends off a Garden Spot defender during Tuesday’s Lady Mount victory. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Lady Mounts knock off GS to remain unbeaten in section play

The Ephrata girls soccer team continues to roll on.

Five different Ephrata players scored goals in Tuesday night’s 5-0 win over Garden Spot on WellSpan Field in Ephrata as the Lady Mounts (8-0 League, 10-1 overall) maintain a one game lead in first place of Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

While only leading the Spartans (2-6, 3-8) by a 1-0 score at the half, Ephrata threw the switch on early in the second half with a barrage of goals to put the game out of reach.

“In the second half, we widened the field out,” explained Lady Mounts’ Coach Wes Deininger. “We started using our wings. All of a sudden, space becomes available everywhere. I think that first goal of the second half completely changed the game.”

Goal number one came just short of 17 minutes into the first half, an unassisted shot in traffic from sophomore Abbie Wiest, her third league goal of the season. The next four goals were scored in less than 11 minutes, beginning when junior co-captain Madison Root set up sophomore Reagan McCarty on the right wing just 2:18 into the second half.

Six minutes later, senior co-captain Hayley Sheehan finished a stretch of continual pressure with an unassisted goal of her own. Just 51 seconds later, Root converted a penalty kick after being fouled in the goal box. And the final tally featured the creative footwork of sophomore Annie Slovak, who beat two Garden Spot defenders single-handedly for her ninth league goal of the season.

“I wonder how many times that happens?” mused Deininger, when asked about the five different goal scorers. “It can’t be too often.”

Although pleased with the second half outburst, he admitted that was not the case after half one.

“I’m a very direct person, so I just told them what the expectation is,” Deininger said. “If we’re not reaching it, which was the case in the first half, we made sure it was discussed at halftime. Some of the discussion was about what we’re looking for in possessions. But basically, the focus and the attitude.”

Tuesday night’s match was the first of the second half games against Section Two opponents, a new challenge for the undefeated Lady Mounts.

“I think there’s a few parts we haven’t tapped into yet fully,” added Deininger. “Especially with possession with the ball. I think we can be that much more creative. We have to change it up the second time around. Soccer is a pretty free-flowing sport. It’s more about ideas than designed plays. We give every position different ideas on how they can work together.”

Much of that creativity and scoring prowess has come from underclassmen, but Deininger sees leadership from the upperclassmen in the team’s success.

“They’re (the seniors and juniors) very supportive of the underclassmen,” he said. “They don’t let anyone get too high or too low. I think that speaks to the work ethic the team has. More by example than necessarily having to say anything.”

The Lady Mounts outshot the Spartans by a 12-2 margin and out-cornered them 7-0. Ephrata goalie, sophomore Jocelyn Umana wasn’t tested often, but stopped both shots on goal that she faced in turning in her third league shutout.

The win moves Ephrata from 9th to 8th seed in the District Three AAAA power rankings that will become clearer in another two weeks, but there is unfinished Section Two business before that tournament.

Up next for the Lady Mounts is this Thursday evening’s backyard brawl with the Cocalico Eagles in Denver (5:30 p.m.). A Saturday afternoon home tilt with fellow AAAA non-league foe Exeter Township (2 p.m.) could also help with the statistical rankings.

This past Saturday, Ephrata hit the road and knocked off Elizabethtown by a 3-1 decision.

Slovak scored all three Ephrata goals off a pair of assists by Root and one by Sheehan.

Ephrata out-shot the Bears 9-3 as Umana made one save for the Lady Mounts in goal.

The Lady Mounts also were in goal last Wednesday at home where they earned an easy 9-1 victory over visiting Lebanon.

Root scored a hat trick and added an assist to pace the Lady Mounts. Abigail White, Carly Holochuck, Mya Mahlandt, Sheehan, Olivia Myer and Ariana Shue also scored goals for the winners, who out-shot the Cedars 13-3.

Jaslexis Morales made a pair of saves in the Ephrata win.

The Cocalico girls claimed a dominant 6-1 victory on the road at Lebanon Tuesday as Paxton Steffy and Saige Musser each notched a pair of goals to lead the way.

Megan Weir and Kaia Martz also tallied for Cocalico, which got assists from Allysa Hirneisen (2), Alexyss Cobb, Natalee Boronow and Musser.

The Lady Eagles (3-3-1 Section Two (3-4-2 overall) out-shot the Cedars, 14-5. Adrienne McGallicher made three saves in net in the victory.

In addition to Tuesday, Cocalico also was in action Saturday at Manheim Central where the hosts pulled out a 1-0 victory over the Lady Eagles.

Central got the game winner in the final minute of regulation as Erin Greiner scored off an assist from Maddie Carper.

The Lady Eagles also dropped a 2-1 decision at home to Lampeter-Strasburg last Wednesday.

In that one, the Pioneers broke a 1-1 tie with six minutes remaining.

Martz scored the goal for Cocalico off an assist from Steffy.

In addition to Thursday’s clash with Ephrata, Cocalico will also travel to Exeter Friday (4 p.m.) and will hit the road Monday to face Garden Spot (7 p.m.).

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