Mounts pull away late to take down Cocalico

By on September 23, 2015
 Ephrata players celebrate after Tim Moore (14) scored the go-ahead goal in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Cocalico. (Photo by Steve Heydt)

Ephrata players celebrate after Tim Moore (14) scored the go-ahead goal in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Cocalico. (Photo by Steve Heydt)

Cocalico turned into a pesky out Tuesday night at Mountaineer Field in Ephrata.

Despite their 2-4 record coming in, the Eagles gave the favored Mounts all they could handle in a key Section Two match between rivals.

Even with the field being heavily tilted toward the Eagle goal in the first 40 minutes, and surviving two posts hit by Ephrata attackers, the Eagles and Mounts were tied 1-1 heading into the final 20 minutes of the contest.

In the end though, Ephrata’s offensive talent rose to the top as the Mounts finished a pair of beautiful plays in the final 17 minutes to come away with a hard-earned 3-1 victory.

Tim Moore’s shot from outside the box settled under the cross bar and into the right corner of the net with 17:21 remaining to give Ephrata the lead for good. Then 10 minutes later, Ephrata got some insurance when Gabe Sensenig finished an end-to-end run by Andrey Patrushev to put the game away for the Mounts.

“It was a little frustrating on our end,” Ephrata Coach Rob Deininger said. “It’s kind of frustrating because you knew it was coming unless we put them away early and we didn’t. We left them room to get back in, but we finally got it back together and got it done. We hit the post a few times…I think we picked up our work-ethic in the second half.”

Ephrata took a 1-0 lead 11:30 into the first half off a set piece when Andrey Patrushev bent a left foot around the Cocalico wall and into the right corner of the net.

The Mounts had several chances to increase the lead, including at the 30-minute mark when Chris Hershberger’s shot from the top of the box rang off the crossbar, Gabe Sensenig tried to head the rebound but was denied as Cocalico cleared the ball from harm’s way.

Then earlier in the second half with the Mounts still up just 1-0, Cocalico’s Nick Stauffer finished a scramble in front of the Ephrata net and the game was suddenly it was a new ballgame knotted at 1-1.

“To get one back that quickly should lift spirits and give you a lot of willingness to play hard and attack,” Cocalico Coach Derek Sipe said. “I think we had that for a bit. We had some good stints afterwards in the second half and it was much more back and forth. We just lack the quality a bit in the final third to finish a ball. That’s really all we need. We had some opportunities and created some chances and needed someone to step up and get us another one but it didn’t come.”

As Sipe said, the next 15 minutes or so was evenly played with both teams enjoying some attack time. But Ephrata had the finishers in Moore and Sensenig.

First, Moore collected a ball outside the top corner of the box and sent a laser on net to give Ephrata the lead. Then, after a nice clear from defender Keller Martin found the foot of Andrey Patrushev, the sophomore carried all the way up the field and into the box, where he found Sensenig, who turned with it and deposited it into the left corner to put it away.

“We have some skilled guys who can move the ball, and as long as we are working with our work-ethic along with our skills we’ll be fine in every game,” Deininger said. “We just have to keep that composure and keep gong at it, and we did a good job with that late in the game.”

The win gives the Mounts an overall record of 7-2 and they improved to 5-1 in Section Two play, which puts them in second place behind Elizabethtown in the Section Two race.

“We are kind of where we need to be, right behind E-town in the section,” Deininger said. “We’ve been successful, they’ve all worked hard and they really get along. It’s been good.”

It’s also been good for Sipe and his troops, despite a 1-5 mark in section play (2-5 overall). His squad has been in a lot of close games but needs to find the back of the net to turn the tides.

“We battle,” he said. “Every game is a battle and it doesn’t seem to matter who the opponent is. Every game is close and tough and I think it’s because we really work hard and they positionally have an idea where they need to be, and we defend hard. The final third is where we are just lacking that creativity to get the goals. If we add that part to it, close games turn into close games the other direction.”

Cocalico goalie Val Reisig made 13 saves in the loss Tuesday while Ephrata’s Jimmy Hickey turned back four Eagle shots.

In addition to Tuesday’s match, both Ephrata and Cocalico were also in action Monday night in Section play.

In Ephrata Monday, the host Mounts got a hat trick from Andrey Patrushev to key a 5-2 victory over Solanco.

Nick Auker and Aaron Cummings also added goals for the Mounts. Nikita Patrushev collected two assists while Moore and Sensenig also had helpers.

Hickey made three saves in goal for the winners.

Cocalico was on the road Monday at Garden Spot where the host Spartans posted a 2-0 shutout over the Eagles.

Reisig did make nine stops in goal for the Eagles in the loss.

Both local squads also were in section action last Thursday as Ephrata knocked off host Lampeter-Strasburg, 2-0 while Cocalico dropped a 1-0 decision at Elizabethtown.

In Ephrata’s win, Nikita Patrushev and Sensenig both scored in the first half as the Mounts made those two tallies stand.

Hickey made four saves en route to the shutout win.

In Cocalico’s loss, Reisig turned in another strong day in goal, making five saves in the loss.

Ephrata’s lone blemish of the week came Saturday in a non-league contest at Warwick.

Warwick scored twice in the second half to break a 1-1 deadlock and earn the victory.

Andrey Patrushev scored the lone Ephrata goal as the Mounts suffered just their second loss of the season.

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