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IMG_7367BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – A seasoned group of veteran Elco players is seeking big things on the pitch this fall. While the Blue-Gray Cup could be considered an early prize along the way, the Raiders are hoping it is more a precusor of things to come.

On a cloudy Saturday evening at Elco Stadium, the Elco girls’ soccer team routed rival Cedar Crest 4-0, to claim the coveted trophy for a third straight year. Creative and unselfish, the opportunistic Raiders received goals from four different sources and split them equally between each half.

IMG_7339With the triumph, Elco improved to 4-0-1 overall. Cedar Crest slipped to 1-2-1.

The Raiders now lead the all-time Blue-Gray series by the slimmest of 12-11 margins.

“We’ve been playing a lot, but it’s a rivalry game because it’s neighbors,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk. “A lot of the kids play together. There’s some bragging rights there and we know Cedear Crest is always going to have a good team.

“You’ve got to be lucky, you’ve got to stay healthy and you’ve got to hope the wheels don’t fall off next week,” Fulk continued. “It’s a long season and we’re going to take it one game at a time. Hopefully things will come together and we’re playing our best soccer at the end of the season. I’d like them to have a really good year because they’re good kids.”

“This is always the biggest game of the year,” said Cedar Crest head coach Jon Burkholder. “It means a lot to the kids. I think to the coaches, it’s another game. The games are always competitive. Year-in and year-out, what makes this great is that you’re not sure who’s going to win.”

IMG_4029Offensively, the Raiders didn’t generate a bunch of dangerous chances. But the ones they did get, they capitalized on.

Elco senior star Ryelle Shuey set the tone with an early goal off a penalty kick. After being tripped in the Cedar Crest box, Shuey calmly beat Falcon netminder Desiree Leffler to the upper right corner of the net, with her right foot.

Less than four minutes later, the Raiders extended their advantage to 2-0 on a pretty hook-up between Natalie Swingholm and Tanisha Grewel. From the right side of the field, Swingholm found Grewel in the middle, and Grewel volleyed a perfect right-footer inside the right post.

“Obviously, anytime you get a penalty kick in the first 15 minutes it can be a momentum lift if you can make it,” said Fulk. “The second goal was really pretty. I thought we were opportunistic, but we created some things for ourselves.

“I’m pretty sure that was the best game we played all year,” added Fulk. “Our back line was tremendous as a whole. I thought our defense was outstanding.”

“Outside of the second goal of the game, that was our only defensive lapse,” said Brubaker. “Other than defensing free kicks. But we have to do a better job of marking in the box.

“It didn’t feel like a 4-0 game,” added Brubaker. “I felt a lot of the game was played in the middle of the field. Elco finished their chances. Overall, I’d describe our performance as below average. We weren’t at our best today.”

IMG_7408Some 12 minutes into the second half, the Raiders made it 3-0, off a free kick taken by Julia Nelson from 50 yards out. Nelson’s service found teammate Katelyn Rueppel in the left side of the box, Rueppel ran on to it and headed the ball into the far side of the net.

With 25:10 remaining, Rueppel turned creator and set up Swingholm for Elco’s fourth tally.

“I think a lot of people are going to try to mark Rye,” said Fulk. “But I think we have an outstanding supporting cast around her. Rye is good enough to get away, and find space and time, because she is that skilled.

“I totally don’t think they’re (the Falcons) down,” Fulk continued. “We caught them on our good night. I don’t know if we played that well or they didn’t play as well. But they’re on the rise.”

“Ryelle’s a great player,” said Burkholder. “It’s a team effort when we mark her. She did a good job of driving hard to the goal, and she’s going to make that penalty kick every time.

“They’re (the Raiders) fast,” continued Burkholder. “They’re athletic. They’re great in the air. And they have a couple of elite players.”

IMG_7436Elco scored on more than half of its seven shots. Raider net-minder Maddi Bailey logged the shutout.

“We’ve been playing well,” said Fulk. “We have an outstanding senior group, and our support group has been outstanding.

“I think we knew we’d be good defensively,” Fulk continued. “We have three starters back, but we had to move some people around. We thought our backs were going to be pretty good. But we’re capable of being really good offensively.”

“We need to focus on getting better,” said Burkholder. “We’re not focused on our record. If we do that, we think the results will take care of themselves. One of our biggest goals is to make districts. That’s our focus right now.”

 

 

 

 

 

 IMG_3937To 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_39762018 Cedar Crest Girls’ Soccer Schedule

Date Opponents Results
9/01
11:00 pm
Exeter
at Cedar Crest
1
0
9/04
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Cocalico
1
1
9/06
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
2
0
9/08
5:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elco
9/10
7:00 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
9/13
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
9/15
6:30 pm
Cedar Cliff
at Cedar Crest
9/18
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
9/21
4:00 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
9/24
7:00 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
9/27
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
10/02
7:00 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
10/04
6:30 pm
Cedar Crest
Palmyra
at In The Net, Palmyra
10/05
4:00 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
10/08
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
10/10
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick

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IMG_39982018 Elco Girls’ Soccer Schedule

Date Opponents Results
8/31
10:00 am
Palmyra
at Elco
0
3
9/01
11:00 am
Elco
at Conrad Weiser
2
2
9/01
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
9/04
7:00 pm
Elco
at Garden Spot
3
0
9/07
4:00 pm
Muhlenberg
at Elco
0
10
9/08
5:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elco
9/11
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
9/12
4:00 pm
Berks Catholic
at Elco
9/14
4:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
9/17
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
9/20
7:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
9/22
10:00 am
Hershey
at Elco
9/25
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
9/28
4:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
10/01
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
10/03
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
10/05
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
10/09
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite

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IMG_4010Blue-Gray Cup History

2018 – Elco, 4-0

2017 – Elco, 2-1 OT

2016 – Elco, 1-0

2015 – Cedar Crest, 3-0

2014 – Did Not Play

2013 – Cedar Crest, 3-1

2012 – Cedar Crest, 4-1

2012 – Cedar Crest, 3-0

2011 – Cedar Crest, 3-2

IMG_74022010 – Cedar Crest, 4-1

2009 – Elco, 1-0

2008 – Elco, 2-1

2007 – Elco, 2-0

2006 – Cedar Crest, 1-0

2005 – Elco, 4-0

2004 – Elco, 1-0

2003 – Did Not Play

2002 – Elco, 1-0

2001 – Cedar Crest, 2-1

2000 – Cedar Crest, 4-0

IMG_73721999 – Cedar Crest, 2-0

1998 – Cedar Crest, 3-1

1997 – Elco, 4-3

1996 – Elco, 1-0

1995 – Elco, 5-1

 

 

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