Mounts survive Barons scare

By on September 20, 2017
Ephrata’s J.T. Truskey (right) and Carson Brenize of Manheim Central battle for the ball in the open field Monday. Photo by Dick Wanner

Ephrata’s J.T. Truskey (right) and Carson Brenize of Manheim Central battle for the ball in the open field Monday. Photo by Dick Wanner

Two goals in five-minute span keys Ephrata win

As the current top-ranked AAAA boys soccer team in the District and one of the few unbeaten squads remaining, Ephrata is going to get the other team’s best shot on most nights.

Thus far, the Mounts have been able to overcome that but Monday night at home, they were truly tested by Manheim Central. In a battle for first place in Section Two, the Barons took an early lead and had Ephrata on its heels for most of the first half.

However, as Ephrata has shown it can do, the Mounts struck quickly for a pair of goals in a span of five minutes in the latter stages of the half to grab the lead for good. The teams played evenly the rest of the way, but with no more scoring, the Mounts survived with a 2-1 result.

L-L League scoring leader Andrey Patrushev knotted the game at 1-1 when he put one in the net off an MC defender on a free kick. Aaron Cummings put Ephrata in the lead to stay when he finished a breakaway minutes later as the Mounts moved to a perfect 5-0 in Section Two play (7-0 overall).

“After seven games and you are undefeated, you are going to have a game like this where another team plays very well against you, and hopefully you got enough to get by and move on,” Ephrata Coach rob Deininger said following the win. “That’s just soccer, and tonight we had enough to get by and move on.”

It certainly didn’t come easy, especially in the early going as the Barons (3-2, 5-2-1) came out gunning. A run by MC’s Gareth Kemp resulted in a Baron throw in, and that set up the first score of the game just 5:27 into the contest. Carson Brenize took the throw to the center of the box, and the ball found its way to the foot of Kemp, who was stationed just inside the 18. His ensuing blast beat Ephrata keeper Cole Hummel (6 saves) just inside the left post to give Manheim a 1-0 lead.

Central continued to carry play, forcing a pair of corners and generating several scoring opportunities over the next 15 minutes of play. Fortunately for Ephrata, the Mounts were able to hold the deficit to 1-0 during that stretch.

“I thought we came to play tonight,” Manheim Central Coach Rod Brenize said. “I was proud of our guys. I thought we did some good work tonight. We just didn’t quite have the better of the play on the scoreboard, that’s all.”

Deininger agreed.

“Every time we play Manheim Central it’s a war,” Deininger said. “They are very physical and are extremely aggressive and go to the ball. They have a really good work ethic to offset anything else they got going on, and created some major problems for us. It was probably the first problems we’ve had all year, even though we have had a few close games. This game they did very well against us.

“They just won balls and we just weren’t quite up to the speed of play at the beginning,” he continued. “But the last 20 minutes of that half we got our legs and executed a few things and got the lead.”

First, they tied it with some skill and a little bit of luck at the 15:29 mark when a foul on Cummings resulted in a free kick. Patrushev took it from about 25 yards out, and his shot deflected off a Baron defender who was stationed in front, and the ball caromed into the left corner for the equalizer.

“That’s the way the ball bounces, isn’t it?” Brenize said. “Sometimes you are on the receiving end, and sometimes you are on the giving end. We were on the receiving end tonight.”

Then with 10:50 left in the half, Ephrata would score the go-ahead goal and what turned out to be the game winner. Ben Kamide sent the fleet-footed Cummings on a breakaway, and he didn’t miss, beating MC keeper Mason Nissley (1 save) inside the left post.

“Aaron and Andrey are both very gifted, skilled players and very quick,” Deininger said. “All year long they’ve been our focus as far as goal scoring is concerned. We just need to keep working on that.”

Neither team would find the net in the second half as Ephrata, despite being out-shot (7-3) and out-cornered (5-3), survived.

“We had a pretty good game plan tonight, but credit Ephrata…they put the ball in the back of the net,” Brenize said.

The Mounts came into Monday’s clash fresh off their most impressive win of the season Saturday in a non-league match at Warwick.

Ephrata scored two goals in the first and added three more in the second to run away with a 5-0 victory over the host Warriors. Patrushev had two goals and two assists while Cummings added a pair of tallies and J.T. Truskey also found the back of the net.

Ephrata blistered the Warwick net, out-shooting the Warriors 15-4. Each team had two corners each.

Hummel made four saves in the victory.

Last Thursday at L-S, Ephrata needed double overtime to keep its win streak alive. But with the score tied at 1-1, Patrushev scored the golden goal in the 92nd minute to send the Mounts home with the 2-1 victory.

AJ Morales scored the other Ephrata goal just three minutes into the contest. Hummel made six saves as the Mounts held a slight 12-10 advantage in shots.

While Ephrata was keeping its undefeated streak intact, Cocalico split a pair of games this past week, including Monday’s 5-0 victory at home vs. Solanco.

Ephrata faces a tough week ahead as the Mounts travel to Cedar Crest Wednesday (7 p.m.) before hosting E-town Saturday night at 7 p.m. in another battle for first place.

Nick Stauffer led the way, recording a hat trick as the Eagles went over the .500 mark of the season, raising their record to 3-2 in Section Two play (4-3 overall). Aaron Weitzel and Peyton Stetter scored the other two Cocalico goals while Kjell Mugge collected three assists and Danny Engle one helper the easy win.

Cocalico out-shot Solanco, 16-2, and held a 6-1 advantage in corners. Garrett Janelli made two stops in goal for the Eagles to earn the shutout win.

Last Friday in Elizabethtown, the Eagles played the defending Section Two champions tough but fell in a 1-0 result. The Bears’ Braden Kreider scored in the game’s 37th minute and E-town made it stand.

Stetter played goal for Cocalico and came up with seven big stops in the loss.

Up next, Cocalico hits the road Wednesday to face L-S (4 p.m.) before returning home Saturday to face Manheim Central at 11 a.m.

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