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BY JEFF FALK

DENVER – It’s part of the game.

It comes with the territory.

It’s posted within the job description.

In soccer, there’s no other position charged with as much responsiblity as the goal keeper.

Yet in a completely different vein, it’s kind of how it goes for the Elco girls in the league playoffs.

On an overcast Saturday afternoon at Cocalico High School’s Talon Field, the Raiders saw one slip through their fingers, during a 3-1 loss to Conestoga Valley, in the quarterfinal round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League postseason. The Buckskins tallied three goals – two of which could’ve been characterized as save-able shots – in a 12:08 span in the middle of the second half, after Elco had enjoyed a 1-0 halftime edge.

Now 13-4-1 overall, Elco was fresh off winning its fifth straight L-L Section Three championship. Even though the Raiders earned last year’s Lancaster-Lebanon championship, they are now a combined 3-4 in the league playoffs over the last five years.

Elco’s next action will likely come as the number-two seed in the District Three Class AAA tournament in two weeks. The Raiders will be the defending champion in that postseason as well.

For Conestoga Valley, the runner-up from Section One, the result moved it to 11-4-2 on the year. The Buckskins will meet Section Two champion Ephrata on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Manheim Central, in the semifinal round of the league playoffs.

“We haven’t had a lot of success in the league playoffs, besides last year,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk. “Last year was fantastic. It’s good for our kids. You know you’re going to play good competition.

“It wasn’t our day I guess,” continued Fulk. “It was definitely a tough way to lose. We didn’t give a bad showing. We were in the game. We are a good team. But sometimes you have bad days, and that’s the way it goes.”

With Elco protecting a 1-0 lead 19:16 into the second half, Conestoga Valley’s Madison Delgado tied it on a seemingly harmless shot that squirted through the Raider keeper’s gloves. Delgado’s teammate Garbriella Barone drew an assist on the play.

Seven minutes later, Buckskin Delainey Varela-Keen tallied the goal that would prove to be the game-winner. Varela-Keen was on the opposite side of Delgado’s corner kick from the left, and she touched the ball inside the right post.

“I told Maddie (Bailey), ‘We’re not playing today, without you having the year that you had,” said Fulk. “As a goaltender, when you make a mistake it’s in the spotlight. A position player can make five mistakes in the midfield and no will notice. It’s just one of those unfortunate things.

“Maddie’s very in tune and into the game,” added Fulk. “It wasn’t due to a lack of focus. Maddie is one of the few goalies who talks the whole game. She does an outstanding job of organizing our defense.”

Barone provided the Buckskins with an insurance tally with 8:36 remaining. Barone’s 35-yard restart was well struck, but it eluded the Raider keeper through the wickets.

“I thought we played well offensively,” said Fulk. “We had to move the ball. Conestoga is very well-coached and organized defensively. I knew it was going to be tough to break them down.

“I think there are positives that came out of today,” Fulk continued. “It was nice getting a 1-0 lead. I thought we did a good job of creating chances. But when we got down 2-1, it kind of changed the whole mentality. It wasn’t like we got beat 5-0 and they dominated us for 80 minutes.

Neither side generated a shot or a corner over the contest’s initial 23:06. That was until Natalie Swingholm gave Elco a 1-0 lead.

From the center of the field, Raider Tanisha Grewal played a ball from her right to Swingholm. Swingholm volleyed the pass out of the air and high into the Conestoga Valley net.

The goal was Swingholm’s eighth of the season.

“We want to give a good showing and rebound from this,” said Fulk of the District Three Class AA playoffs. “Right now we’re the number-two seed and we should get a home game. I think we have as good a chance as anyone, if we come to play.’

In the final tally, Conestoga Valley out shot Elco 8-5. Each team took a pair of corner kicks.

To purchase image in this article email jkfalk205@yahoo.com.

2019 Elco Girls’ Soccer Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
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
2
1
9/10
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
0
6
9/13
4:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
2
4
9/16
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
0
8
9/19
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
5
0
9/21
10:00 am
Elco
at Hershey
0
1
9/24
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
3
0
9/25
4:00 pm
Elco
at Berks Catholic
2
1
9/27
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
0
4
9/30
4:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
4
0
10/01
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
6
0
10/04
4:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
1
1
10/08
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
1
8
10/12
12:00 pm
Conestoga Valley
Elco
at Cocalico
3
1

PIAA District Three

Class AA Power Rankings

AASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Boiling Springs13-2-0 0.718463 0.888199 0.511008 14.3 148.6 1.8 142.2
2Eastern Lebanon County13-3-1 0.691341 0.830460 0.521306 14.5 149.3 3.0 137.1
3Trinity (3)12-3-0 0.663938 0.779874 0.522238 12.4 150.3 3.5 137.5
4Lancaster Catholic15-2-1 0.645090 0.827485 0.422162 14.2 133.2 3.0 182.3
5James Buchanan13-5-0 0.643446 0.744565 0.519855 13.7 150.6 4.7 139.1
6Biglerville11-4-1 0.571666 0.684049 0.434309 11.2 139.5 5.2 181.7
7Wyomissing13-4-1 0.565062 0.727545 0.366472 12.2 112.8 4.6 195.0
8Littlestown13-5-0 0.565051 0.689474 0.412979 13.1 126.0 5.9 179.1
9Tulpehocken11-5-2 0.533389 0.651163 0.389443 11.2 121.0 6.0 189.7
10Northern Lebanon11-7-0 0.528867 0.568966 0.479857 9.9 147.7 7.5 160.1
11Eastern York9-8-0 0.501885 0.567251 0.421992 9.7 124.2 7.4 170.1
12Schuylkill Valley8-9-1 0.501454 0.470060 0.539824 7.9 166.1 8.9 141.6
13Bermudian Springs9-6-1 0.501366 0.554545 0.436370 9.2 125.5 7.4 162.1
14Susquenita11-6-0 0.483810 0.530201 0.427110 7.9 114.9 7.0 154.1
15Pequea Valley8-8-1 0.466419 0.444767 0.492883 7.7 152.4 9.6 156.8
16Middletown Area6-10-0 0.451485 0.365854 0.556144 6.0 167.9 10.4 134.0
17Delone Catholic7-9-0 0.439476 0.410112 0.475366 7.3 133.2 10.5 147.0
18Kutztown Area8-7-2 0.436707 0.484663 0.378094 7.9 111.5 8.4 183.4
19Lancaster Mennonite6-11-1 0.430428 0.351429 0.526983 6.2 162.1 11.4 145.5
20Octorara Area3-14-0 0.359327 0.204969 0.547986 3.3 156.5 12.8 129.1
21Hamburg Area3-14-1 0.356550 0.164740 0.590984 2.9 178.3 14.5 123.4
22Hanover1-17-0 0.270041 0.063725 0.522204 1.3 156.4 19.1 143.1
23Oley Valley0-16-0 0.218844 0.000000 0.486321 0.0 135.1 17.8 142.7

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