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Elco soccer 104 BY JEFF FALK

WITMER – The Elco boys’ soccer program boasts a storied playoff history of success and championships. But the Raiders’ recent past hasn’t been as glorious, especially when it comes to the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament.

On an overcast Saturday afternoon at Conestoga Valley High School, Elco’s league postseason drought deepened during a 6-0 quarterfinal setback to Hempfield. The Raiders yielded three goals in the contest’s first 9:42 and never really generated much of a comeback effort.

Elco soccer 151The loss dropped Elco, the third-place finisher out of Section Three, to 9-9 overall. The Raiders’ next action will come in the District Three Class AA postseason on October 24th, as the tenth seed, against Lancaster Catholic.

Hempfield, the champion of Section One, upped its overall mark to 15-3 and moved into Tuesday’s semifinal round of the league tournament.

Overall, the Raiders have claimed 13 Lancaster-Lebanon League championships, but none over the last 33 years. In that time, Elco has won five District Three titles, and even three state championships.

Elco soccer 109“Our last league title was in (19)84, but we’ve won three state titles since,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley. “When you’re looking at a program having two or three times more kids coming out, that’s a huge difference. We used to be able to overcome that. But things are definitely changing.

“With the way things went the last two years (in the league playoffs), our goal was to go forty minutes without giving up a goal,” continued Keppley. “We were looking to shorten the game. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. They (the Black Knights) came out a little differently than we expected.”

It may not have appeared that way at the time, but the outcome was pretty much settled in the opening ten minutes.

Hempfield, which possessed the ball for long periods of time, got on the scoreboard 2:27 in when Drew Johnson made a hard run down the right side of the field. From a tough angle, Johnson shuffled a pass to teammate Mark Lutz, whose shot – the first of the game – was true to the far post.

Lutz made it 2-0 with a rebound from the door step, after an initial shot on the Elco frame caromed off the goalkeeper’s gloved hands. Some 1:40 later, the Black Knights scored again, without the benefit of a shot.

In an attempt to clear a ball, a Raider defender inadvertently knocked it into his own goal. Johnson was credited with the tally.

“We gave up three early,” said Keppley. “We had a game plan, and when you give up three goals early, it kind of kills things. Everything’s like, ‘Oh, no.’ You could see the kids were unsettled. When you go down 3-0, it drains energy, it’s hard to battle back.

“But we went for 50 minutes of playing well,” Keppley continued. “We were much more into the game. I thought when we went back to our normal style, they (his players) responded. We were playing our game, more than a defensive style.”

Although they were much more competitive in the second part of the first half and into the second stanza, the Raiders never really got anything going offensively. Elco recorded its first and only shot of the game 18:49 into the second half, but by that time it was 4-0 Hempfield thanks to another Johnson goal, from Jesse Gutierez.

Elco soccer 122With less than seven minutes remaining, the Black Knights closed out the scoring with a pair of goals, from Ethan Keital and Jake Edmonds.

“I’m sure the mentality is there, like ‘We’ve got an uphill fight,'” said Keppley of the Raiders’ recent struggles in the L-L playoffs. “I’m sure it played into it. ‘Hey, we’re playing a Section One team’. I don’t know that this helps us. I’m hoping we can put it behind us for districts.

“They (the Black Knights) move the ball,” added Keppley. “After the first ten minutes, they (the Black Knights) put subs in, and there wasn’t any difference. It was a big school-little school thing.”

The Black Knights counted 15 shots and collected eight corner kicks. Elco keeper Adam Johnson came up with six saves.

Elco soccer 145“Against good teams, we’ve struggled scoring,” said Keppley. “We’ve got to find that connection. We’ve been moving guys around all year. We’ve had some injuries and when you have hurt kids trying to get things going, it’s tough.

“They (the Black Knights) move well off the ball,” Keppley added. “They have good overall team speed. Sometimes we got caught chasing the ball and chasing the man. They were getting to the second ball better than us. They were anticipating better than us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Elco Boys’ Soccer Results

Date Teams Score
9/01
10:00 am
Palmyra
at Elco
2
1
9/06
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
1
3
9/08
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
0
7
9/09
5:30 pm
Elco
at Cedar Crest
0
1
9/12
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
6
2
9/14
7:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
3
0
9/16
10:00 am
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
1
8
9/19
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
2
3
9/21
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
3
0
9/23
10:00 am
Wyomissing
at Elco
3
1
9/27
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
1
2
9/29
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
5
0
9/30
11:00 am
Elco
at Tulpehocken
10/02
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
0
5
10/04
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
2
1
10/06
4:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
6
1
10/09
7:00 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
0
2
10/11
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
1
2
10/14
12:00 pm
Elco
Hempfield
at Conestoga Valley

 

 

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Elco soccer 101

PIAA District Three

 Class AA Power Rankings

AA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lancaster Mennonite 18- 0- 0  0.751427  1.000000  0.447615  17.4  143.6  0.0  177.2
2 Oley Valley 13- 4- 0  0.665528  0.777778  0.528334  13.3  155.7  3.8  139.0
3 Wyomissing 14- 4- 0  0.657621  0.761905  0.530163  12.8  166.1  4.0  147.2
4 Tulpehocken 13- 3- 2  0.651450  0.755814  0.523894  13.0  162.3  4.2  147.5
5 Biglerville 13- 3- 1  0.627928  0.779605  0.442545  11.9  125.6  3.4  158.2
6 Middletown 11- 4- 1  0.609782  0.719653  0.475495  12.5  146.5  4.9  161.6
7 Lancaster Catholic 14- 4- 0  0.602047  0.752941  0.417621  12.8  131.3  4.2  183.1
8 Trinity 11- 7- 0  0.571853  0.611111  0.523871  12.1  162.4  7.7  147.6
9 Eastern York 6- 10- 2  0.493768  0.422619  0.580728  7.1  169.1  9.7  122.1
10 Eastern Lebanon County 9- 9- 0  0.484250  0.477011  0.493097  8.3  157.2  9.1  161.6
11 Pequea Valley 9- 9- 0  0.463576  0.478022  0.445920  8.7  137.7  9.5  171.1
12 Hanover 9- 6- 0  0.458118  0.523810  0.377829  7.7  98.5  7.0  162.2
13 Bermudian Springs 7- 9- 0  0.398795  0.386905  0.413328  6.5  107.3  10.3  152.3
14 Brandywine Heights 5- 12- 1  0.380222  0.240113  0.551466  4.3  165.6  13.5  134.7
15 Annville Cleona 5- 12- 0  0.368381  0.248555  0.514835  4.3  152.7  13.0  143.9
16 Littlestown 5- 13- 0  0.339838  0.260204  0.437169  5.1  123.9  14.5  159.5
17 Upper Dauphin 5- 10- 1  0.327166  0.234463  0.440468  4.2  133.6  13.6  169.7
18 Schuylkill Valley 1- 15- 1  0.302661  0.070122  0.586876  1.2  174.0  15.3  122.5
19 Boiling Springs 1- 15- 0  0.301826  0.071429  0.583423  1.1  163.0  14.3  116.4
20 Delone Catholic 2- 13- 0  0.296707  0.150289  0.475663  2.6  109.5  14.7  120.7
21 Susquenita 1- 16- 0  0.239252  0.034826  0.489106  0.7  130.2  19.4  136.0

 

 

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Elco Boys’ Soccer

 History of Championships

Section Champions 1970, 72, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 85, 86, 90, 92, 94, 97,99, 2000, 01, 03, 16

League Champions 1962, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 72, 73, 77, 79, 83, 84

District 3 Champions 1964, 68, 77, 90, 98, 99, 02, 03

PIAA State Champions 1977, 79, 86, 98, 2003

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