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IMG_0850BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Is it the Ritter-Hoffman Cup? Or the Hoffman-Ritter Cup?

It really all depends.

But for the next 12 months, it’ll be the Ritter-Hoffman Cup!

On a fresh Saturday evening on Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, the Cedar Crest boys’ soccer team earned bragging rights in its heated and annual rivalry with neighboring Elco by edging the Raiders 1-0. The only goal of the contest was a somewhat controversial one scored just before intermission, and the Falcons’ stifling defense made it relatively easy for senior keeper Josh Wildonger to make it stand up.

IMG_0753With the win, the Falcons improved to 3-0 and continued their surprising hot start to the season. Elco dropped to 1-3 overall.

Played for annually by the two rivals, the Ritter-Hoffman Cup is named for George Ritter, who is credited with founding the Cedar Crest boys’ soccer program, and Barney Hoffman, who is remembered for founding Elco’s. The Raiders had captured the last two Ritter-Hoffman Cups, and the Falcons now lead the all-time series 16-14-1.

“For me, it’s historically significant,” said Cedar Crest head coach Travis Bensing. “I’m a Cedar Crest graduate and when we played we beat Elco. It’s an honor to come back and help get The Cup back. The one thing I’ve been trying to do is make them (his players) understand the historical significance of the event.

“Hats off to Elco for playing a very good game,” continued Bensing. “It’s always a challenge when playing for The Cup.”

“I think it means a lot,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley. “They (his players) get pumped every time we play Cedar Crest. We’ve been rivals forever. It’s the Ritter-Hoffman Cup and we’re neighbors. It was a battle, like it always is.”

IMG_0780The majority of the match was contested in the midfield, and neither side generated many scoring opportunities. But if one side enjoyed the better of the chances it was Cedar Crest, and the Falcons capitalized on their best chance.

Late in the first half, the Falcons mounted a hard run down the right side of the field. The ball was played inside to Cedar Crest junior Will Malawi, who was taken down in the box.

The call could’ve gone either way, but Cedar Crest was awarded a penalty kick, one that Ethan Wenzler made good on. Wenzler notched the only goal of the game by beating Elco goalkeeper Adam Johnson, with his right foot to the lower left-side of the goal.

“What I saw was we got the ball wide to the wing,” said Bensing. “And I saw our striker (Malawi) make his cut. I didn’t see all the contact.

“I didn’t see Ethan’s ball move (on the penalty kick),” Bensing continued. “I only saw the net move. He’s very accurate.”

“I guess he felt he got too much of his body,” said Keppley of the official. “We thought he got the ball. It is what it is. The two refs saw two different things.

“I thought we did well,” continued Keppley. “We came out hard and we knew it was going to be a battle. I thought it was back and forth for the first half. I told them (his players), ‘No letdowns’. We came out in the first 40 minutes and had no letdowns, and went down 1-0. We thought it was a hard play and no foul.”

During the second 40 minutes of play, the Raiders really never came close to generating the equalizer. The only good scoring chance in the second half belonged to Cedar Crest’s Chad Ryland.

IMG_0804“Defensively, we were on point,” said Bensing. “We held our marks and we didn’t have many break downs. Offensively, there were things we could clean up.

“We got the job done tonight,” added Bensing. “I think they (his players) looked at it as a must-win game. If we’re going to make the playoffs, this is the kind of game we need to win.”

“They (the Falcons) were good at getting two or three guys to the ball very quickly,” said Keppley. “Other than the game yesterday, we’re having trouble finding the back of the net. It’s not good. We’ve got to start generating goals. We were hoping to get some tonight. But their defense was solid.”

Earlier in the first half, Johnson had kept the game score-less with some aggressive goalkeeping in the box.

The final stats saw Cedar Crest out shoot Elco 5-3. The Falcons enjoyed a similar 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.

“I think we’re playing well,” said Bensing, whose program hasn’t qualified for the District Three playoffs over the last decade. “We see things we need to improve. But our section is very difficult. Our goal is to get back into districts.

IMG_0869“We need to play the same kind of defense we played tonight, and we need to generate more shots on goal,” added Bensing. “I like to tell the kids we’re happy with where we’re at, but we’re not satisfied. We’ve got to keep improving.”

“They (the Falcons) possess the ball well,” said Keppley. “They move the ball well. They’re a good team. They have eight returning starters. We knew they were going to be good. You want a good battle. Not only was it a good battle, it was good soccer too.

“We have (Lancaster) Mennonite on Tuesday night,” Keppley added. “We’ve had some good games early on, but we need to win a few. I think they’ll come,and hopefully they’ll come sooner rather than later.”

 

 

IMG_0700To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 Ritter-Hoffman Cup History

2017 – Cedar Crest

2016 – Elco

2015 – Elco

2014 – Tie

2013 – Cedar Crest

2012 – Cedar Crest

2011 – Cedar Crest

IMG_08092010 – Elco

2009 – Elco

2008 – Elco

2007 – Elco

2006 – Cedar Crest

2005 – Cedar Crest

2004 – Elco

2003 – Cedar Crest

2002 – Elco

2001 – Cedar Crest

IMG_07932000 – Elco

1999 – Elco

1998 – Cedar Crest

1997 – Cedar Crest

1996 – Cedar Crest

1995 – Cedar Crest

1994 – Cedar Crest

1993 – Elco

1992 – Elco

1991 – Elco

IMG_08561990 – Elco

1989 – Elco

1988 – Cedar Crest

1987 – Cedar Crest

 

 

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2017 Cedar Crest Boys’ Soccer Schedule

Date/Time Opponent Location
Sat Aug 19
7:00PM
TBA Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Wed Aug 23
4:00PM
Carlisle Area High School Carlisle Area High School
Mon Aug 28
4:00PM
Palmyra Area Senior High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Sat Sep 2
10:00AM
Governor Mifflin Senior High School Governor Mifflin Senior High School
Soccer Field
Thu Sep 7
4:00PM
Solanco High School Solanco High School
Soccer Field 1 Game Field
Sat Sep 9
5:30PM
Eastern Lebanon County High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Mon Sep 11
3:45PM
Cocalico Senior High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Tue Sep 12
7:00PM
Lampeter-Strasburg High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Thu Sep 14
7:00PM
Manheim Central School District Eldon Rettew Stadium Complex
Stadium
Sat Sep 16
6:30PM
Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Mon Sep 18
7:00PM
Elizabethtown Area High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Wed Sep 20
7:00PM
Ephrata High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Sat Sep 23
10:00AM
Garden Spot High School Garden Spot Senior High School
Stadium
Tue Sep 26
7:00PM
Cocalico Senior High School Cocalico Senior High School
Talon Field – Turf
Thu Sep 28
4:00PM
Solanco High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Fri Sep 29
4:00PM
Hershey High School Hershey High School
Mon Oct 2
4:00PM
Lampeter-Strasburg High School Lampeter-Strasburg High School
Varsity Soccer Field (#2)
Wed Oct 4
7:00PM
Manheim Central School District Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Fri Oct 6
4:00PM
Elizabethtown Area High School Elizabethtown Area High School
Jane Hoover Field
Mon Oct 9
7:00PM
Ephrata High School Ephrata High School
War Memorial Field
Wed Oct 11
7:00PM
Garden Spot High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium

 

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2017 Elco Boys’ Soccer Schedule

Date/Time Opponent Location
Tue Aug 22
4:00PM
Oley Valley Senior High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Upper Soccer Field
Sat Aug 26
2:00PM
Boys Soccer Blue Gold Game Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Mon Aug 28
4:00PM
Cocalico Senior High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Upper Soccer Field
Fri Sep 1
10:00AM
Palmyra Area Senior High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Wed Sep 6
7:00PM
Lancaster Catholic High School Lancaster Catholic High School Stadium Complex
Rossmere Stadium
Fri Sep 8
4:00PM
Lebanon Catholic School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Sat Sep 9
5:30PM
Cedar Crest High School Cedar Crest High School
CCHS Stadium
Tue Sep 12
7:00PM
Lancaster Mennonite School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Thu Sep 14
7:00PM
Donegal Senior High School Donegal Senior High School
Stadium
Sat Sep 16
10:00AM
Northern Lebanon HS/MS Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Tue Sep 19
7:00PM
Pequea Valley High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Thu Sep 21
7:00PM
Annville-Cleona High School Annville-Cleona High School
Varsity Soccer
Sat Sep 23
10:00AM
Wyomissing Area High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Wed Sep 27
7:00PM
Lancaster Catholic High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Fri Sep 29
4:00PM
Lebanon Catholic School Lebanon Catholic High School
School field
Sat Sep 30
11:00AM
Tulpehocken Junior/Senior High School Tulpehocken Junior/Senior High School
Stadium
Mon Oct 2
7:00PM
Lancaster Mennonite School Lancaster Mennonite High School
Turf Field
Wed Oct 4
7:00PM
Donegal Senior High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium
Fri Oct 6
4:00PM
Northern Lebanon HS/MS Northern Lebanon MS/HS
V/JV Soccer – 6
Mon Oct 9
7:00PM
Pequea Valley High School Pequea Valley High School
Field 1-Turf Stadium
Wed Oct 11
7:00PM
Annville-Cleona High School Eastern Lebanon Co Sr High School
Stadium

 

 

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