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Fast break.

Fast break.

BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – One side was the defending champion. The other hadn’t won the championship in this century.

It was one of the most meaningful field hockey matches between two Lebanon County teams, on Lebanon County turf, in recent memory.

Nothing has the power to spin perspective like history does.

IMG_9168On a hot Wednesday afternoon at Elco High School, the home-standing Raiders took a giant step towards their first Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three championship in 20 years, with a key 1-0 triumph over their visiting rivals from Annville-Cleona. Despite being outplayed on the grass and in the scorebook, Elco tallied the game’s only goal, late in the first half.

With one game remaining on its Section Three schedule – Friday at Lancaster Country Day – Elco now owns a half-game lead over the Little Dutchmen atop the circuit’s standings. The Raiders, who were coming off their initial Section Three defeat of the season, Monday at Lancaster Mennonite, improved to 15-2-1 overall and 13-1-1 in the section.

Elco has not worn a Section Three crown since 1996.

Annville-Cleona, the reigning Section Three champs who dropped a similar 2-1 decision to the Raiders in Annville back on September 19th, fell to 14-3 on the fall and 13-2 in the circuit. Rated fifth and sixth in the latest Class A power rankings, the Little Dutchmen and Raiders are both virtual locks to qualify for the upcoming District Three postseason.

IMG_9094“On Day One, August 13th, we wrote down goals for the season,” said Elco head coach Lisa Kercher. “The majority of our players wrote down the section championship. We revisited that goal sheet today before the game.

“On any given day, any one of these teams can come out and win a game,” added Kercher. “Sometimes we see opponents who are difficult. It’s been our day for a good part of this season. They’re (her players) thriving on that.”

“If we would’ve won, we would’ve won the section,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Carrie Gingrich of the half-game lead her club held coming in. “I told the girls we had to win out to win the section. I didn’t want to put pressure on them.

“It’s become us and Elco and Northern Lebanon,” Gingrich added. “We’ve become the powerhouses in Section Three from Lebanon County. We want to try to raise the level of play. I’m trying to build a program. We’re excited about the future of Lebanon County field hockey.”

Elco scored on one of the only two shots that it took during the entire game. The shot was taken by Anya Kissinger, after receiving a pass from Abbie Keath, 1:24 before halftime.

The chance originated from a semi-break through the Little Dutchmen midfield, as Keath carried the ball into the Annville-Cleona circle. She shuffled the ball down low to Kissinger, positioned at the left post, and Kissinger was able to slide it past a diving Annville-Cleona goalie Emma Good.

It was Kissinger’s team-leading 12th goal of the season, and it was Keath’s team-leading 14th assist of the campaign.

IMG_9259“There was a time in the first half when we started playing our game,” said Kercher. “When we do, we just play beautiful hockey. It was a nice cross from Abbie Keath, and then Anya swept it in.

“The last time we had a loss, the very next game, they (her players) were on fire,” continued Kercher. “We talked about putting that (Monday’s loss at Lancaster Mennonite) behind us. We wanted them to just focus on right here. Sometimes that’s hard with a huge game.”

“They  had someone on the post and she was unmarked,” said Gingrich of Kissinger’s goal. “Our defense did an awesome job. We gave up one shot. It’s unlucky. It happens. We couldn’t ask for anything more from our defense. Even our offense played great. We just couldn’t finish.

“We fought hard,” Gingrich continued. “For the most part, we controlled the game. We couldn’t finish it. We couldn’t get it in the cage. You’ve got to score to win. The last time we lost to them (the Raiders), it was the same thing.”

Annville-Cleona generated a number of dangerous chances, in both halves, but each one was turned away by Raider goalie Sarah Shollenberger. Shollenberger was credited with eight saves, and on at least one occasion was aided by a defensive save from one of her backs.

IMG_9273Elco did not muster a shot on goal in the second half. Annville-Cleona also enjoyed a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners.

“Sarah played well and our defense did a bang-up job just working together,” said Kercher. “We gobbled up everything that came in there. We got the one goal. But we didn’t say at halftime that one was enough. We wanted more.

“We’re going to have a huge celebration for our seniors,” Kercher continued. “We’re going to have a little breather and then we’ve got to come out strong for the Lancaster Country Day game. It’s not over. We’re both still fighting hard.”

IMG_9317“There’s some pretty decent goalies in the section, and she’s (Shollenberger) one of them,” said Gingrich. “We just couldn’t finish again. I told them (her players) that they fought to the end. That was probably the best game we played all season. That’s the way we want to play.”

Annville-Cleona had appeared to take a 1-0 lead, 1:34 into the match. But the Little Dutchmen’s rebound goal off a corner was ruled to have hit a foot.

“For four years, the seniors have split with them (the Little Dutchmen),” said Kercher. “This is the first year in a while we’ve swept them. Now the section championship is in our grasp. All these things are right there. They’re ready for them. We’re really focused.

“In our senior presentation (before the game), we also honored their (the Little Dutchmen’s) seniors,” added Kercher. “I said, ‘Thank you for helping to make Lebanon County field hockey great.’ Having opponents like this just raises the level of play.”

“If we beat Northern Lebanon (on Friday) and say a little prayer, there’s still hope,” said Gingrich. “We have to do what we can do on Friday. We have responded well to losses. Northern Lebanon is always a big game. If we play like we did today, it’ll be a great game.”

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IMG_9342To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_92242018 Annville-Cleona Field Hockey Results

Date OPPONENTS OUTCOMES
9/04
6:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
0
3
9/05
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
10
0
9/07
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
1
0
9/11
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
0
2
9/12
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Country Day
4
0
9/17
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Octorara
2
1
9/19
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
2
1
9/21
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
2
0
9/24
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
3
1
9/26
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
1
8
9/28
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
0
4
10/01
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
5
1
10/03
4:00 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Annville-Cleona
1
4
10/04
3:45 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Bishop McDevitt
0
1
10/06
1:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Brandywine Heights
7
0
10/08
4:00 pm
Octorara
at Annville-Cleona
0
4
10/10
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
0
1
10/12
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
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IMG_9107 2018 Elco Field Hockey Results

Date OPPONENTS OUTCOMES  
9/05
6:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
3
4
9/07
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
6
0
9/14
3:30 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
9
0
9/18
4:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
3
2
9/19
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
2
1
9/21
4:00 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Elco
1
1
9/24
4:00 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Elco
1
0
9/25
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
4
0
9/26
4:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
3
0
9/28
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
0
2
10/01
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
1
2
10/02
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
1
4
10/03
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
2
5
10/05
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
0
8
10/08
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
0
1
10/10
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
0
1
10/11
4:00 pm
Elco
at McCaskey
10/12
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Country Day
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 IMG_9193Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Three Standings
League Overall
  W L T PCT W L T PCT GS GA
Elco 13 1 1 90.00 13 2 1 84.38 54 13
Annville-Cleona 13 2 0 86.67 14 3 0 82.35 60 9
Northern Lebanon 9 5 0 64.29 10 5 0 66.67 66 18
Lancaster Mennonite 9 5 0 64.29 10 6 0 62.50 37 24
Lancaster Country Day 8 5 1 60.71 9 6 1 59.38 42 34
Lancaster Catholic 5 9 0 35.71 5 11 0 31.25 30 49
Octorara 5 10 0 33.33 6 11 0 35.29 38 43
Lebanon 2 13 0 13.33 3 13 0 18.75 13 50
Pequea Valley 0 14 0 0.00 0 16 0 0.00 2 103
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IMG_9197PIAA District Three

 Class A Power Rankings

 

A School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Greenwood 11- 1- 0  0.773454  0.925926  0.587099  10.0  142.9  0.8  100.5
2 Bermudian Springs 15- 0- 1  0.738282  0.966216  0.459695  14.3  126.6  0.5  148.8
3 Oley Valley 16- 1- 0  0.716920  0.938272  0.446380  15.2  130.7  1.0  162.1
4 Newport 10- 2- 1  0.674924  0.776119  0.551240  10.4  133.4  3.0  108.6
5 Annville Cleona 14- 2- 0  0.628612  0.833333  0.378396  12.0  114.2  2.4  187.6
6 Eastern Lebanon County 12- 2- 1  0.622483  0.805970  0.398221  10.8  120.9  2.6  182.7
7 Big Spring 10- 5- 0  0.571560  0.666667  0.455318  10.0  123.3  5.0  147.5
8 Boiling Springs 10- 5- 0  0.564618  0.641975  0.470069  10.4  122.5  5.8  138.1
9 Littlestown 12- 4- 1  0.544211  0.685185  0.371910  11.1  99.3  5.1  167.7
10 Bishop McDevitt 9- 6- 0  0.536236  0.583333  0.478673  8.4  121.2  6.0  132.0
11 Susquenita 9- 5- 1  0.534709  0.565789  0.496721  8.6  121.2  6.6  122.8
12 Northern Lebanon 11- 5- 0  0.524075  0.615385  0.412473  9.6  116.4  6.0  165.8
13 Camp Hill 8- 6- 2  0.514245  0.537037  0.486387  8.7  132.2  7.5  139.6
14 Eastern York 10- 5- 0  0.513728  0.618421  0.385771  9.4  97.6  5.8  155.4
15 Lancaster Mennonite 10- 6- 0  0.502087  0.556962  0.435017  8.8  129.2  7.0  167.8
16 Fleetwood 9- 6- 2  0.488071  0.531646  0.434814  8.4  119.4  7.4  155.2
17 Schuylkill Valley 9- 6- 1  0.487240  0.538462  0.424637  8.4  111.0  7.2  150.4
18 Lancaster Country Day School 10- 6- 1  0.485173  0.551724  0.403833  9.6  118.0  7.8  174.2
19 Wyomissing 9- 5- 1  0.476248  0.563380  0.369753  8.0  111.0  6.2  189.2
20 Hamburg Area 7- 11- 0  0.387388  0.358696  0.422456  6.6  120.4  11.8  164.6
21 Biglerville 5- 7- 1  0.385610  0.351563  0.427223  4.5  108.6  8.3  145.6
22 Hanover 5- 8- 0  0.372344  0.323529  0.432006  4.4  115.0  9.2  151.2
23 Octorara Area 6- 11- 0  0.361137  0.303371  0.431739  5.4  124.6  12.4  164.0
24 Lancaster Catholic 5- 11- 0  0.357834  0.269663  0.465599  4.8  136.7  13.0  156.9
25 Fairfield 4- 9- 0  0.347739  0.271429  0.441007  3.8  106.9  10.2  135.5
26 Tulpehocken 6- 11- 0  0.337212  0.284091  0.402138  5.0  120.4  12.6  179.0
27 Susquehanna Township 2- 10- 0  0.335935  0.157895  0.553539  1.8  122.0  9.6  98.4
28 Brandywine Heights Area 3- 14- 0  0.292717  0.139785  0.479635  2.6  136.6  16.0  148.2
29 Kutztown Area 1- 16- 0  0.235919  0.061856  0.448664  1.2  127.6  18.2  156.8
30 Pequea Valley 0- 16- 0  0.205688  0.000000  0.457084  0.0  134.2  18.4  159.4
31 Delone Catholic 0- 14- 0  0.197006  0.000000  0.437790  0.0  94.3  15.6  121.1

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