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 BY JEFF FALK

 SOUTH LEBANON – This current edition of Elco is very much its own girls’ soccer team. But the Raiders are performing to someone else’s standards.

  On a pleasant Saturday night at Ed and Jeannie Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, Elco grew a little as a team, while honoring its recent storied past, during a dramatic 2-1 double-overtime victory over rival Cedar Crest, in the 24th renewal of the annual Blue-Gray Cup game. Tanisha Grewel starred in the role of heroine for the Raiders, as her goal with 2:55 left in the second extra session capped a furious Raider comeback.

 The Raiders were staring down the short end of a 1-0 score late in the second half, before Katelyn Rueppel sent the game to overtime by converting a penalty kick with 4:24 remaining. Rueppel then set up Grewel for the game-winner, with a hard cross from the left corner.

 The outcome pushed the new-look Raiders to 4-1 on the year. Elco is attempting to replace some departed pieces from a club which captured last year’s District Three Class AA title and four straight Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three championships.

 Cedar Crest, which is undergoing its own growing under new head coach Scott Steffen, slipped to 2-2 on the season. The result evened the all-time Blue-Gray Cup series at 12 wins apiece.

 “We have some pieces returning, but we’re still young,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk. “We’re still learning a lot. We’re still making mistakes, but we’ve had some success too. We have to learn how to put teams away. We have a good core of kdis who have been through some things. Our leadership is definitely getting better.

 “I think we’re still taking our shape,” continued Fulk. “We’re still finding ourselves. The seniors who graduated were great players for four years. Our leaders and our captains have to step up and help form our identity. It’s a work in progress.”

  “I came on board in February and I worked with the girls all summer,” said Steffen. “We have a pretty good connection. We’re figuring it out. I’m in a good place with them (his players).

 “Obviously we want to improve on last year’s win total (five),” added Steffen. “We’d like to hit a postseason berth. It’s very attainable.”

  The Raiders had owned the better of the play in overtime, before Rueppel controlled a ball deep in Cedar Crest territory. Her cross eluded a Falcon defender and found  the right foot of Grewel, who took one touch and then blasted it by CC netminder Courtney Wysokowski from point-blank range.

  “I didn’t see much,” said Fulk. “Kae-Kae (Rueppel) made a great effort to get the ball in the corner. She served a great ball that got deflected and ended up on Tanisha’s foot. And Tanisha made a great finish.

 “I thought we played alright,” Fulk added. “I thought at times we played really well. I thought there were times where we looked tired. I like our lineup. They’ve just got to learn to fight through some things.”

 “It looked like our player wasn’t expecting it,” said Steffen of the Grewel’s game-winner. “They (the Raiders) had someone there. She (Grewel) was in the right position and she made a great finish.

 “We were definitely the underdogs,” Steffen added. “They (his players) knew that. During the first ten minutes we were a little shaky. But we got a great effort after that.”

 Up 1-0 late in the second half, Cedar Crest appeared poised to spring an upset. But the Falcons were whistled for a foul in the box and Rueppel made them pay by beating Wysokowski high to the upper-left corner of the net to tie it.

 It was Elco’s second penalty kick of the contest. Under similar circumstances three minutes in, Wysokowski had turned away Cassie Johnson’s attempt at giving the Raiders a 1-0 lead.

  “It’s always tense,” said Fulk of the rivalry. “I thought the first 20 minutes we played really well, but it was still zero-zero. I thought we were a little lucky at times. But I think for the most part we played pretty well.”

 “The kids played hard. They played great,” said Steffen of his charges. “It was such a great effort, we’ll take that. It’s the rivalry, they get up for that. But they also weren’t happy with the effort on Thursday (a 3-1 loss to Elizabethtown). If we can bring this kind of effort all the time, we’re going to be in every game.

 “I know it’s a rivalry game,” continued Steffen. “Some years, like this one, you can throw the records out the window. I give our kids credit. It was a good physical match.”

  Following a score-less first half in which they clanged restarts off the crossbar twice, the Falcons assumed a 1-0 lead 12:22 into the second half, on an Abby Boyle goal. When the Elco goalkeeper couldn’t come up with a loose ball in the box, Boyle was there with her right foot to bang the ball into the open net.

 “I thought we did OK defensively,” said Fulk. “We’ve got to start minimizing mistakes that are avoidable. We are starting three sophomores back there. They’re learning on-the-job training. Hopefully it’s going to pay off in the long run. We are making strides.”

 “They’re still skilled and quick,” said Steffen of the Raiders. “They have some great players. When you lose three players like they did, it makes a difference. They’ve got good team speed and they’re well-coached.”

 In the final tally, Elco out shot Cedar Crest 10-5. The Falcons posted a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.

 “They’re a big school, bigger than us,” said Fulk. “They’re always excited to play us because we’re neighbors. We (Elco and Cedar Crest) have so many kids that play together (in the off season). It’s a big rivalry for the kids.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Elco Girls’ Soccer Schedule

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
8/30
10:00 am
Elco
at Palmyra
2
0
 
8/31
10:00 am
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
3
1
 
9/03
7:00 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
2
3
 
9/06
4:00 pm
Elco
at Muhlenberg
8
0
 
9/07
7:00 pm
Elco
at Cedar Crest
   
9/10
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
   
9/11
7:00 pm
Elco
at Berks Catholic
   
9/13
4:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
   
9/16
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
   
9/19
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
   
9/21
10:00 am
Elco
at Hershey
   
9/24
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
   
9/27
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
   
9/30
4:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
   
10/02
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
   
10/04
4:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
   
10/08
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019 Cedar Crest Girls’ Soccer Schedule
 
 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
8/31
11:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Exeter
2
1
 
9/03
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Cedar Crest
0
1
 
9/05
7:00 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
3
1
 
9/07
7:00 pm
Elco
at Cedar Crest
   
9/09
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
   
9/12
7:00 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
   
9/14
10:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Cedar Cliff
   
9/17
4:00 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
   
9/20
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
   
9/23
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
   
9/26
7:00 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
   
10/01
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
   
10/03
4:00 pm
Palmyra
at Cedar Crest
   
10/04
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
   
10/07
7:00 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
   
10/09
7:00 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
   
 
 
 Blue-Gray Cup
 Past History
 2019 – Elco, 2-1 OT
 2018 – Elco, 4-0
 2017 – Elco, 2-1
 2016 – Elco, 1-0
 2015 – CC, 3-0
 2014 – DNP
 2013 – CC, 3-1
 2012 – CC, 4-1
 2012 – CC, 3-0
 2011 – CC, 3-2
 2010 – CC, 4-1
 2009 – Elco, 1-0
 2008 – CC, 2-1
 2007 – Elco, 2-1
 2006 – CC, 1-0
 2005 – Elco, 4-0
 2004 – Elco, 1-0
 2003 – DNP
 2002 – Elco, 1-0
 2001 – CC, 2-1
 2000 – CC, 4-0
 1999 – CC, 2-0
 1998 – CC, 3-1
 1997 – Elco, 4-3
 1996 – Elco, 1-0
 1995 – Elco, 5-1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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