Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

IMG_4517BY JEFF FALK

DENVER – It was stiff out of the north, at 10-15 mph. It knocked down throws, took yards off punts and threw kicks off course.

But the wind did not factor into the outcome.

On a blustery Saturday afternoon at Cocalico High School’s Talon Field, powerful Conestoga Valley blew by Elco 5-0, in a quarterfinal match of the Lancaster-Lebanon League boys’ soccer playoffs. The Buckskins tallied three times in an 8:08 span during the middle of the first half, to open what turned out to be an insurmountable advantage.

Talented, skilled and disciplined, Conestoga Valley was afforded plenty of time and space by the Raider ‘D’, and the Buckskins seemed to win every 50-50 ball. On the other side, Elco experienced difficulties connecting passes and managed just two shots – one with the wind and one without it – the entire game.

IMG_4525The outcome knocked Elco, the third-place finisher out of Section Three, down to 12-7 on the year. The Raiders, who were ranked 15th in a District Three Class AA field that takes the top 18 for its playoffs, would host a district playoff play-in game on Friday at 4 p.m., if they were fortunate enough to gain entry.

Section One champion Conestoga Valley improved to 13-2 on the year.

“We struggled,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley. “I think the kids know it. We (the coaches) know it. They’re (the Buckskins) a good team, but at the same time we struggled. We put an extra defender in the back because of the wind. But it didn’t matter. They still got behind us. It was like we never got off the bus.

“It’s an experience,” Keppley continued. “Not a good experience. But we’ve got one (playoff game) under our belt. We didn’t elevate our play today. Now we’ve got to get them (his players) together for Friday.”

IMG_4535Conestoga Valley began to assert itself about 17 minutes into the contest.

Off a corner kick, senior midfielder Connor Whitacre went up and got a service, and headed it past Elco keeper Matthew Berger. It would be the first of Whitacre’s natural hat trick.

Five minutes later, an unmarked Whitacre again used his head, this time on a perfect cross from the left, to put the Buckskins ahead 2-0. Then 15:22 before the break, Whitacre accepted a feed in the midfield, took one touch and used his left foot to nail a low 20-yarder into the far side of the Raider net.

“I think after the third goal we knew we were in trouble,” said Keppley. “With the wind, we thought if could hold them to two goals in the first half, we could do the same in the second half.

“We knew the big kid up top was tough,” continued Keppley. “They’re fast. But we let things happen for them. We didn’t defend as hard, or as well, as we should’ve.”

The Buckskins enjoyed a 4-0 lead at halftime, thanks to Nick Kramer’s tally in the 31st minute. In an attempt to clear a loose ball, the Raider defense knocked it right to Kramer, who had time to measure Berger, before unleashing a hard right-footer into the top right-hand shelf.

“We told them (his players) they’ve got to play forward, quickly,” said Keppley of his side’s early deficit. “They’re (the Buckskins) a good team and didn’t allow it. It had to happen early and quickly. I thought 4-0 at halftime was a lot to overcome.”

IMG_4512Conestoga Valley notched its fifth goal 13 minutes into the second half, on a rebound from Matteo Adiletta.

“They won Section One and they had one loss in the section,” said Keppley of the Buckskins. “They’re a very solid team. They move well off the ball. They move well with the ball. Even though they’re good, they work hard. They’re a group of blue-collar players.”

Conestoga Valley peppered the Elco frame with 17 shots. The Buckskins posted a 6-2 advantage in corners.

“I think Annville-Cleona will have their hands full,” said Keppley of Conestoga Valley’s next opponent, Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Manheim Central, in the semifinals of the league tournament. “They’re (the Little Dutchmen) going to have to work. I think they’re (the Buckskins) the best team we’ve seen so far this year.”

IMG_4515To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to see more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-nine/.

Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lancaster Mennonite 14-0 14-2-1
Annville-Cleona 11-3 16-3
Elco 10-4 12-7
Pequea Valley 7-6 8-9
Donegal 7-7 8-8-1
Lancaster Catholic 4-9 5-11
Lebanon Catholic 1-12 2-15
Northern Lebanon 0-13 1-15-1

IMG_45462015 Elco Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/04
Cocalico
10:00 AM L 1-2
09/09 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM L 0-1
09/11 *
Pequea Valley
4:00 PM W 2-0
09/12
@Cedar Crest
7:00 PM W 4-2
09/15 *
Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM W 5-1
09/17 *
@Donegal
4:00 PM W 5-4
09/19 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM L 1-2
09/21
Palmyra
7:00 PM W 2-1
09/22 *
Lebanon Catholic
7:00 PM W 4-0
09/24 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM W 1-0
09/28
@Tulpehocken
7:00 PM L 2-4
09/30 *
Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM L 3-4
10/02 *
@Pequea Valley
3:00 PM W 2-0
10/05 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM W 2-0
10/07 *
Donegal
7:00 PM W 3-2
10/09 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM L 0-5
10/12 *
@Lebanon Catholic
4:00 PM W 5-1
10/14 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:00 PM W 5-2
10/17 #
@Conestoga Valley
12:30 PM L 0-5

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4522District Three

 Class AA Power Rankings

1. Gettysburg, 14-0-0

2. Fleetwood, 15-1-0

3. Lancaster Mennonite, 14-2-0

4. Susquehannock, 12-5-0

5. West Perry, 13-3-0

6. Bermudian Springs, 13-2-0

7. Boiling Springs, 11-3-1

8. Annville-Cleona, 14-3-0

IMG_44829. East Pennsboro, 11-4-1

10. Hamburg, 13-5-0

11. Berks Catholic, 11-4-1

12. Lampeter-Strasburg, 8-5-3

13. West York, 9-6-1

14. Wyomissing, 11-5-0

15. ELCO, 12-6-0

16. Biglerville, 11-6-0

17. Oley Valley, 8-8-1

18. Bishop McDevitt, 6-9-1

 

IMG_4549

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4485

 

 

 

 

IMG_4499

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4467

 

 

IMG_4501

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4491

 

 

 

 

IMG_4531

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4528

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4537

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4529

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4547

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4558

Leave a Reply

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


− 3 = six