Ephrata falls to Falcons in District play-in game

By on October 28, 2015

 

In a tangle of feet and bodies, Ephrata’s Kay Liebl (left) is literally run over by Cedar Crest midfielder CeCe Fiorentino late in Friday’s District Three play-in game in Cornwall. (Photo by Mike Shull)

In a tangle of feet and bodies, Ephrata’s Kay Liebl (left) is literally run over by Cedar Crest midfielder CeCe Fiorentino late in Friday’s District Three play-in game in Cornwall. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Back on September 25, Ephrata suffered one of its worst losses of the season in a 4-1 setback at home at the hands of Cedar Crest.

Friday night in Cornwall, those same teams lined up again, this time in the preliminary round of the District Three AAA Girls Soccer Tournament.

And while the Lady Mounts turned in a much better performance against the Falcons this time around, it wasn’t quite enough to propel them to the next round.

Cedar Crest’s Carli Wasson broke a 1-1 tie in the game’s 44th minute off a corner kick, and that proved to be the difference as the Falcons held on for a 2-1 victory. With the win, Cedar Crest (10-6-3) advanced to Tuesday’s first round where they were scheduled to face second-seeded Governor Mifflin.

Ephrata, which had lost just one game in their last 10 prior to Friday, made great strides as the season progressed after advancing to States a year ago, ended its season with a record of 11-7-1).

“As a team we had grown and become much more confident in our style of play,” Ephrata Coach Wes Deininger said of his team’s improvement from their last meeting with Cedar Crest. “The girls had a lot of success in the second part of the season. This confidence helped the team realize they could be competitive with all opponents.”

That was certainly evident Friday.

In fact, Ephrata actually drew first blood Friday when Kay Liebl scored off a free kick with 9:43 remaining in the first half to give the Lady Mounts a 1-0 advantage.

But the lead was short lived.

Just 26 seconds after Liebl’s go-ahead tally, Cedar Crest’s Ariel Jones got behind the Ephrata defense following a long pass by senior defender Olivia May and drilled it past Ephrata keeper Becca Gehman (7 saves) to knot the game at 1-1.

In the second half, Cedar Crest got the game winner off a feed from Alex Burrows on the corner early in the half. Ephrata couldn’t come up with the equalizer and the Falcons advanced.

For the game, both teams registered 14 shots with the Falcons holding a slight 6-4 edge in corners. Cedar Crest’s freshman keeper Desiree Leffler registered five saves to get the win.

“It was a pretty even match,” Deininger said. “Both teams had a few good chances. Cedar Crest is a physical team and they made us earn every single possession we gained. Their pressure on the ball did limit us to only a few quality scoring opportunities.”

While he was sad to see the season end, Deininger said he was proud of the way his team improved throughout the campaign.

“I am very proud of the team we had this year,” he said. “We had a lot of ups and downs early in the season but everyone stayed focused and worked hard at improving daily. This paid off with some great results in the second part of the season. It was tough to lose the first district match knowing how well we were playing. I am very proud of all of the players this year.”

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