Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

IMG_1945BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – It can be defined as taking something that belongs to someone else, and making it your own. In scholastic athletics – especially girls’ sports – to the aggressor goes the spoils.

On Tuesday evening, it was aggression that made Elco the better team, as the Raiders scalped Northern Lebanon 6-2 in a Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three field hockey match. Elco repeatedly beat Viking defenders to balls in and around the goal mouth, and scored goal after goal by simply out numbering Northern Lebanon in the danger zone.

No one exemplified that Raider aggression more than sophomore Katie Fields, who scored four of those tallies to tie a program record for goals in a game. Emily Witmer assisted on two of Fields’ goals and teammate Abby Keath contributed a goal and an assist to the Raider cause, while Carey Hetrick netted both Viking scores.

IMG_2044After netting three goals in the game’s first 13 minutes, Elco opened a 5-1 bulge nine minutes into the second half.

The win was the first of the campaign for a Raider squad that is now 1-2-1 overall and 1-1 in Section Three. Northern Lebanon fell to 1-4 on the year and 1-3 in the circuit.

“It’s either born in them or not,” said Elco head coach Lisa Kercher of the role aggression plays in field hockey. “You can’t teach aggressiveness. If you don’t have it, then you’re one of those nice girls. We have some girls who are aggressive.

“That’s what we always hope for,” continued Kercher. “Hannah Williams is one of our strongest players, and we moved her to center midfield this year. She’s at the edge of the circle, inserting balls that hopefully lead to goals.”

IMG_1939“We weren’t in the right positions,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Michelle Krall. “It’s been a struggle for us. We start seven freshmen, and all three of our backs are freshmen. It’s something we’ve been preaching to them. But being aggressive is not something you can teach early on.

“Yes, absolutely, they (the Raiders) were the more aggressive team,” added Krall. “But we’re a completely different team when we’re on.”

The Raiders needed but the initial 3:35 of the contest to get on the board. Elco’s Alyssa Keath accepted a left-to-right cross from Emily Witmer and banged it into an open cage.

IMG_2074Then Fields made her first appearance, when she stuck her stick into the middle of Northern Lebanon keeper Hannah Whitman’s pads – off an initial drive from Abby Keath – and redirected a rebound. And exactly 57 seconds later, Fields was one of two Raider attackers whacking at a ball at Whitman’s feet that ultimately ended up in the back of the cage.

“That’s pretty cool. It’s exciting,” said Kercher of Fields tying a scoring mark established by Nikki Gerhart in 2004. “But oh gosh no, it’s not more important than the win. It’s a cool thing individually for Katie. But the win is exciting for everyone. The girls feel really good. I feel really good that they were able to give it their all. Six goals is big for us.

“I gave them (her players) a little motivation,” Kercher added. “I told them if someone scored in the first two minutes they’d get brownies at practice tomorrow. They just missed it, but we wanted to come out with intensity.”

IMG_2071We were not ready,” said Krall. “It was not our best game, by far. Yesterday we showed up. Today, we didn’t.

“I think it was a combination of both Elco playing well and us not playing as we as we could’ve,” continued Krall. “Elco was stepping in front of our players and they found some good connections. We (the coaches) tried to tell our girls what was going on. But they (the Raiders) definitely had one up on us.”

Hetrick injected life into the Viking cause with 13:51 left in the first half, as she converted her own odd-man opportunity created by a semi-counter attack down the right side of the field. But with 52 seconds remaining in the session, Fields completed her natural hat trick when she again was one of two Raiders supporting an offensive foray by Witmer.

Fields’ fourth goal was much cleaner and just as effective. Following a rush down the right side of the field, Witmer found Fields unattended in the Viking goal mouth, and the now brimming-with-confidence Fields made no mistakes.

IMG_1999“Her mom played Elco hockey,” said Kercher of Fields. “She’s a product of that. She’s worked hard since she was little. We like to keep it in the family here.

“All of our goals were off regular play,” continued Kercher. “Last year we had a season when the majority of our goals were scored off corners. It shows we’re working hard in the circle. And that makes me happy.”

“When they (the Raiders) scored goals early, and with their speed, it made it tough,” said Krall. “We weren’t able to respond to any of that today. Elco got the momentum, and they kept it up. They wanted it more today.

IMG_1957“What we needed to do was regroup,” Krall added. “Today it wasn’t working for us. Our girls can overcome those things. But we’ve got to be ready.”

Hetrick made it a 5-2 game with a late, great individual effort, as she stick-handled her way through the heart of the Raider defense. The game’s final tally came from Abby Keath, who accepted an insert from the right by Williams, and powered it into the cage.

“It is absolutely something to build on,” said Kercher. “It’s a tough section. When we have games like this, it makes us all happy. There were definitely some positive things to take from it.

IMG_1993“It’s very  important,” Kercher added. “You’ve got to start somewhere. It’s been a disappointing start.”

“Carrie knows how to scramble and find the that ball,” said Krall of Hetrick. “She does exactly what a forward is supposed to do. Both of her goals were a result of her being hungry.”

The final stats saw Elco out shoot Northern Lebanon 15-7. The Raiders also held a 5-1 advantage in penalty corners.

“That’s the goal. We’re .500 in the section,” said Kercher. “We have to face so many good teams. 1-1 is great. There’s positive things to look at, but we have a tough season ahead of us.

IMG_2070“Six years ago was the last time Elco made districts, I believe,” Kercher continued. “I’m not sure. And before that, the last time was six years. So it’s kind of a once-in-12-years kind of thing. Every year the girls look at their (power) ranking. The last two seasons, we were close to the top 20. Then something happens. It’s (districts) always in the back of our minds.”

“We’re really excited. We saw some really good things in the first game of the season,” said Krall, whose roster stands at 23, after three years of being stuck in the 12-14 range. “We were excited about the momentum we created against Pequea Valley yesterday (Monday). But today we took a step back. We have to go back to fundamentals. We’ve got the athletes out there.

“We knew we had a young team,” continued Krall. “What we expect from the season is growth. Today was a little bit of a reality check for us, what growth looks like. But we’re excited about where we can got his season, and beyond. The youth program is where it starts. We have a lot of great support.”

To purchase images in this post email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to see more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-nine/.

IMG_1938

 

 

Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Donegal 3-0 5-0
Lancaster Catholic 1-0 1-4
Annville-Cleona 2-1 3-1
Elco 1-1 1-2-1
Lancaster Mennonite 1-1 1-2
Northern Lebanon 1-3 1-4
Pequea Valley 0-3 0-5

IMG_20852015 Elco Schedule 

DATE OPPONENT RESULT
09/04
@Tulpehocken
L 1-5
09/09 *
@Annville-Cleona
L 0-3
09/14
Milton Hershey
T 0-0
09/15 *
@Northern Lebanon
W 6-2
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
09/17 *
Lancaster Mennonite
4:00 PM Elco High School
09/21 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
09/23 *
@Donegal
4:00 PM Donegal High School
09/25 *
Pequea Valley
4:00 PM Elco High School
09/28 *
Annville-Cleona
4:00 PM Elco High School
09/30
@Brandywine Heights
4:00 PM Brandywine Heights High School
10/02 *
Northern Lebanon
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/06 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
10/08 *
Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/12 *
Donegal
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/14 *
@Pequea Valley
4:00 PM Pequea Valley High School
10/15
@McCaskey
4:00 PM McCaskey High School
10/15
McCaskey
4:00 PM Elco High School

IMG_2001

 

2015 Northern Lebanon Schedule

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/04
@Fleetwood
4:00 PM L 1-3
09/09 *
Donegal
4:00 PM L 1-15
09/11 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM L 1-4
09/14 *
@Pequea Valley
4:00 PM W 3-2
09/15 *
Elco
4:00 PM L 2-6
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
09/18
@Lebanon
4:00 PM Lebanon High School
09/21 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
4:00 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
09/25 *
@Annville-Cleona
4:00 PM Annville-Cleona High School
09/28 *
@Donegal
4:00 PM Donegal High School
09/30 *
Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/02 *
@Elco
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/06 *
Pequea Valley
4:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/08 *
Lancaster Mennonite
4:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/09
@Tulpehocken
4:00 PM Tulpehocken High School
10/12
@Susquehanna Twp.
4:00 PM Susquehanna Twp. High School
10/13 *
Annville-Cleona
4:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
10/14 *
Annville-Cleona
4:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School

IMG_1922

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2021

 

 

 

IMG_2025

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1931

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2065

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


9 − = six