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BY JEFF FALK

LITITZ – Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you.

And sometimes you’ve got to tip your fluorescent-orange hunting cap to the bear’s prowess, cunning and accuracy.

On a clear Wedneseday night at Warwick High School’s Grosh Field, the undefeated Elco girls’ soccer team endured its first setback of the season, 5-1 to sharp-shooting Manheim Township, in the championshp match of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. Following a score-less first half, all six goals were tallied in the second 40 minutes of play.

The Blue Streaks scored on their first three shots of the second half, all of which came in a 6:31 span. At least four of Manheim Township’s goals resulted from well-placed or perfectly-placed shots, and four different Blue Streaks tickled those twines.

Elco, which was coming off its sixth straight L-L Section Three championship, slipped to 14-1 overall. For Section One champion Manheim Township, now 13-1 on the fall, it was its seventh Lancaster-Lebanon League crown.

Elco was short one player, due to contact-tracing and quarantining related to the COVID-19 crisis. After the game, the Raiders were informed that the Elco High School building will be closed over the next four school days and that they will be attending classes virtually.

The closing is not expected to affect the Raiders’ upcoming practice schedule and the preparation for Wednesday’s District Three Class AAA opener. Elco was the top-rated team in the latest Class AAA rankings.

“They’re a very good team,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk, moments after watching the Blue Streaks accept their gold medals. “I don’t think we played badly. Probably four of those goals were fantastic shots. The one thing we didn’t do is close down on the ball quickly enough. The shots they scored on were pretty darn good. It was just one of those nights.

“Yeah, I would say they’re the best team we’ve seen this season,” continued Fulk. “We knew from the get-go that it was going to be a tough game. We had talked to some people about them. We knew personnel-wise how we wanted to match up with them.”

Six minutes into the second half, Manheim Township’s blitz began when Caroline Wood bent a 25-yarder around a three-person Raider wall and into the far side of the Elco net. It continued when Eloise Warfel touched an Anika Krasnai pass past sliding Raider goalie Madi Bailey and into the goal.

And it concluded with 27:14 remaining, as Krasnai drilled a 40-yarder from the middle of the pitch just under the crossbar, to make it 3-0.

“It was a little strange,” said Fulk of all six goals being scored in the second half. “I think the first half was a little bit of a feeling-out period. I thought we got in positions where we didn’t close fast enough.”

Senior catalyst Katelyn Rueppel injected some life into the Elco hopes two minutes later when she netted her ninth goal of the campaign to make it 3-1. From the middle of the field, Rueppel took one touch to shed a defender, before ripping a right-footed blast into the top shelf of the Manheim Township net.

“We were fortunate to win a league championship a couple of years ago,” said Fulk. “It was fantastic. But it’s always tough sledding playing school as big as Manheim Township.

“We haven’t had a lot of success in the league playoffs,” added Fulk. “All of these teams in Section One are pretty darn good.”

Manheim Township’s response to the Rueppel tally was another two goals, 4:37 apart.

First, Jane Bowen turned and fired a precise attempt just below the crossbar. Then, a hard Blue Streak shot turned away by Bailey caromed into the net off an Elco defender.

“It’s been a great year,” said Fulk. “With the whole COVID thing, we really didn’t have expectations because we didn’t know what was going to happen. We’ve done some really good things against some really good teams. Coming into the season, I thought we had a really good nucleus back and that we could build off of it.”

When the dust had settled, Manheim Township out shot Elco 17-7. The Raiders were awarded six corner kicks compared to none for the Blue Streaks.

“This year, we’re up a classification,” said Fulk, whose program had captured the last two District Three Class AA titles. “The teams are a little different. I definitely think it’s a stronger bracket. I don’t know if it’s championship or bust. We have to win that first game.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2020 Elco Girls’ Soccer Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/23
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
1
2

League
9/26
10:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Elco
0
1

Nonleague
9/29
5:30 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
1
0

League
10/01
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
0
1

League
10/03
10:00 am
Berks Catholic
at Elco
1
5

Nonleague
10/06
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
0
6

League
10/08
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
1
0

League
10/10
10:00 am
Elco
at Donegal
4
1

League
10/12
6:30 pm
Elco
at Pottsville Area
Postponed
Nonleague
10/13
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
0
1

League
10/15
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
3
0

League
10/16
4:00 pm
Elco
at Wyomissing
4
3

Nonleague
10/19
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
5
0

League
10/21
7:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
0
2

League
10/26
6:30 pm
Manheim Central
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
0
4

Playoff
10/28
6:30 pm
Manheim Township
Elco
at Warwick

Playoff

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Three Standings


LeagueOverall
WLTPCTWLTPCTGSGA
Elco10001.00014001.000406
Cocalico8200.80010210.808546
Donegal5400.5565600.4552132
Solanco4500.4444700.3641315
Octorara0810.0562810.2271141
Lancaster Mennonite0810.0560830.136324

PIAA District Three

Class AAA Power Rankings

AAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Eastern Lebanon County13-0-0 0.767129 1.000000 0.482508 13.90 73.10 0.00 78.40
2Greencastle Antrim12-0-0 0.758662 1.000000 0.463692 12.80 75.35 0.00 87.15
3Gettysburg11-0-0 0.758309 1.000000 0.462908 11.70 62.40 0.00 72.40
4Mechanicsburg10-2-0 0.721640 0.898551 0.505415 12.40 84.00 1.40 82.20
5Daniel Boone11-3-0 0.689997 0.833333 0.514808 12.50 88.65 2.50 83.55
6Lampeter Strasburg8-3-2 0.684159 0.776978 0.570713 10.80 91.20 3.10 68.60
7Susquehannock9-2-0 0.684071 0.840708 0.492625 9.50 66.80 1.80 68.80
8Cocalico10-2-1 0.673141 0.841912 0.466865 11.45 70.45 2.15 80.45
9Conrad Weiser10-4-0 0.656242 0.780822 0.503977 11.40 88.70 3.20 87.30
10Manheim Central7-4-1 0.653190 0.724000 0.566644 9.05 84.60 3.45 64.70
11Northern York9-4-0 0.651038 0.718519 0.568562 9.70 102.00 3.80 77.40
12Red Land6-5-2 0.646312 0.664000 0.624694 8.30 101.95 4.20 61.25
13Palmyra6-5-0 0.626918 0.666667 0.578337 7.80 89.70 3.90 65.40
14Spring Grove6-7-0 0.605162 0.588235 0.625850 7.00 110.40 4.90 66.00
15West Perry9-4-0 0.602872 0.716535 0.463951 9.10 79.15 3.60 91.45
16West York6-5-0 0.562168 0.584071 0.535398 6.60 72.60 4.70 63.00
17Donegal5-6-0 0.549448 0.476636 0.638441 5.10 95.00 5.60 53.80
18York Suburban5-5-1 0.537590 0.532407 0.543924 5.75 74.30 5.05 62.30
19Berks Catholic7-6-0 0.522003 0.512605 0.533489 6.10 91.60 5.80 80.10
20Dover3-8-0 0.501000 0.381443 0.647124 3.70 117.00 6.00 63.80
21Fleetwood4-8-0 0.496087 0.413793 0.596669 4.80 91.35 6.80 61.75
22Solanco4-7-0 0.490409 0.396040 0.605749 4.00 88.50 6.10 57.60
23Garden Spot3-9-0 0.463002 0.336207 0.617974 3.90 94.55 7.70 58.45
24Twin Valley3-11-0 0.434578 0.276119 0.628249 3.70 111.20 9.70 65.80
25South Western2-11-0 0.431865 0.238532 0.668161 2.60 119.20 8.30 59.20
26Octorara3-8-1 0.420089 0.288991 0.580320 3.15 83.45 7.75 60.35
27Shippensburg2-10-0 0.354379 0.169492 0.580352 2.00 92.45 9.80 66.85
28Big Spring1-11-1 0.346854 0.132576 0.608749 1.75 98.80 11.45 63.50
29East Pennsboro1-12-0 0.308679 0.068702 0.601984 0.90 97.10 12.20 64.20
30Susquehanna Township1-8-0 0.305419 0.111111 0.542907 1.10 62.00 8.80 52.20

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