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Why Not Elco?

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IMG_5304BY JEFF FALK

MANHEIM – The district playoffs are for coaches. The state playoffs are for the program.

The Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs? Well, they’re for the players.

On a chilly Tuesday evening at Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Stadium, the Elco girls’ soccer team barged into the league championship game with a hard-fought, 1-0 upset of Hempfield. While the Raiders were certainly the better team on this night, they required a great individual effort from sophomore Katelyn Rueppel to advance.

Rueppel notched the only goal of the game, early in the second half, as Section Three champion Elco moved into its first Lancaster-Lebanon title tilt in 11 seasons. On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Warwick High School, the now 16-0-1 Raiders will take on Section One runner-up Conestoga Valley, a 2-1 2OT winner over Manheim Central, for all the L-L marbles.

IMG_5247Section One champion Hempfield slipped to 11-6-1 on the campaign.

Elco has never won a Lancaster-Lebanon League championship.

Amazingly, the shutout was the Raiders’ 14th of the season. Elco has given up just five goals all year.

“We knew it was going to be a battle,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk. “It was a great win for our program. It was a great win for this group of kids. It says a lot about our team. Our seniors and captains provide great leadership. It’s a fun group to coach. They buy into what we want them to do.

“I think it was an upset, just because Hempfield is the Section One champion,” continued Fulk. “For us to climb that hill, it was great. I think it’s been eleven years since we’ve been in this position. That was the last time we were in the league finals.”

IMG_5314“I would say it’s an upset,” said Rueppel. “It’s really exciting because we weren’t predicted to win. It hasn’t been done in a long time. Usually the smaller schools don’t beat the bigger ones.”

Despite the Raiders enjoying the better of the play, the game was tied at 0-0, eight minutes into the second half. That’s when Rueppel was sent ahead by teammate Tanisha Grewel down the right sideline.

Rueppel made a hard run, and when she met Black Knight defensive resistance, she spun and curled a left-footed shot off the far post and into the Hempfield net. The attempt also came from a hard angle.

“I wasn’t sure what I saw,” said Fulk. “She hit it with her left foot, and it went in.

“Tanisha played the ball to her (Rueppel),” Fulk continued. “It was a pretty nice run, and it was an unbelievable effort on her part. She had two or three defenders around her. She spun around, and I’m not sure how she got the shot away.

“It was just kind of a rush,” said Rueppel. “I got a ball, and there was no one in the box. At first I thought it was going to hit the post and bounce out.

“I didn’t have a touch to the outside,” added Rueppel. “I thought I’d have a better shot with my left foot.”

By controlling the midfield, the Raiders limited the number of Black Knight chances in the first half. Although greater in number, Elco’s chances over the first 40 minutes weren’t overly dangerous themselves.

“When we scored, we didn’t really change anything for the first ten or 15 minutes,” said Fulk. “Then we figured they (the Black Knights) were going to push. We told them (his players) to make sure of everything. In our defensive third, we didn’t want them taking any chances. But our back line played great.

IMG_5176“We were trying to get balls to feet and play to spaces,” added Fulk. “We finally got some decent balls into those spaces. Things just opened up for us.”

“Knowing it was tied, we had to put pressure on their backs,” said Rueppel. “We weren’t getting many chances. That was one of the best defenses we’ve seen.”

Elco recorded three shots in each half and out shot Hempfield 6-4. The Raiders were awarded five corner kicks compared to the Black Knights’ two.

Maddy Bailey was credited with the Raider shutout.

“I thought Saturday, we played outstanding,” said Fulk of a 4-1 triumph over Ephrata. “Tonight we played just as well. We’ve got a bunch of good players who collectively work well together. Against a quality team like Hempfield, we knew we were going to be in a war for 80 minutes.”

“I was pretty nervous, because it was the second round of leagues,” said Rueppel. “I was anxious sitting in school all day. But I knew someone had to step up.”

 

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IMG_5312To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_5174 2018 Elco Girls’ Soccer Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
8/31
10:00 am
Palmyra
at Elco
0
3
9/01
11:00 am
Elco
at Conrad Weiser
2
2
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
 04
9/11
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
6
1
9/14
4:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
3
0
 
9/17
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
5
0
9/20
7:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
0
3
9/22
10:00 am
Hershey
at Elco
0
1
9/26
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
3
1
9/28
4:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
0
4
10/01
12:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
5
0
10/03
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
0
5
10/05
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
3
0
10/08
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
0
3
10/11
4:00 pm
Berks Catholic
at Elco
10/13
10:00 am
Ephrata
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
1
4
10/16
7:30 pm
Elco
Hempfield
at Manheim Central
1
0
 IMG_5317 PIAA District Three
 Class AA Power Rankings
AA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Eastern Lebanon County 15- 0- 1  0.737707  0.973988  0.448918  16.9  118.2  0.5  145.1
2 Boiling Springs 14- 2- 0  0.735282  0.903614  0.529543  15.0  154.2  1.6  137.0
3 Lancaster Catholic 17- 0- 1  0.721947  0.966258  0.423346  15.8  133.1  0.6  181.3
4 James Buchanan 9- 4- 3  0.609997  0.686335  0.516694  11.1  156.3  5.1  146.2
5 Littlestown 14- 4- 0  0.587795  0.755556  0.382755  13.6  120.3  4.4  194.0
6 Trinity (3) 9- 7- 0  0.567453  0.565476  0.569868  9.5  164.4  7.3  124.1
7 Pequea Valley 11- 4- 3  0.563129  0.641243  0.467657  11.4  141.7  6.4  161.3
8 Schuylkill Valley 8- 6- 3  0.542155  0.564815  0.514460  9.2  147.7  7.1  139.4
9 Lancaster Mennonite 8- 7- 1  0.537992  0.535928  0.540515  9.0  142.8  7.8  121.4
10 Delone Catholic 10- 5- 1  0.535978  0.613772  0.440896  10.3  125.0  6.5  158.5
11 Wyomissing 10- 4- 3  0.535337  0.638889  0.408773  10.4  117.0  5.9  169.2
12 Biglerville 10- 6- 2  0.500343  0.569149  0.416248  10.7  132.5  8.1  185.8
13 Northern Lebanon 10- 7- 0  0.496394  0.532544  0.452210  9.0  132.0  7.9  159.9
14 Middletown Area 6- 9- 0  0.462824  0.397351  0.542847  6.0  159.0  9.1  133.9
15 Tulpehocken 7- 9- 2  0.444661  0.423913  0.470020  7.8  141.1  10.6  159.1
16 Kutztown Area 6- 8- 4  0.406782  0.385057  0.433333  6.7  123.5  10.7  161.5
17 Bermudian Springs 6- 10- 0  0.403956  0.359551  0.458230  6.4  129.5  11.4  153.1
18 Susquenita 8- 10- 0  0.374018  0.321839  0.437793  5.6  130.9  11.8  168.1
19 Eastern York 4- 14- 0  0.355456  0.255814  0.477241  4.4  136.3  12.8  149.3
20 Oley Valley 4- 12- 0  0.323922  0.209877  0.463311  3.4  135.8  12.8  157.3
21 Octorara Area 0- 14- 0  0.261781  0.000000  0.581737  0.0  142.7  13.2  102.6
22 Hamburg Area 0- 16- 1  0.245265  0.020349  0.520163  0.4  147.1  16.9  135.7
23 Hanover 0- 18- 0  0.216318  0.000000  0.480707  0.0  148.3  19.8  160.2

 

 

 

 

 

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