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IMG_1656BY JEFF FALK

MANHEIM – In Europe, it’s called ‘football’.

It is the most  popular sport in the world.

And within it, a game is a ‘match’, zero is ‘nil’ and the field is a ‘pitch’.

The Elco boy  have enjoyed an absolutely splendid soccer regular season. But do the Raiders have to elevate their game to achieve what they want to accomplish in the postseason?

On Saturday afternoon at Manheim Central High School’s Elden Rettew Field, Elco got a clue about what it needs to do to advance its season, during a 4-0 loss to Elizabethtown, in the quarterfinals of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. With the Raiders struggling on the offensive side of the pitch, E-town netted early goals in both halves to set the stage for the whitewashing.

IMG_1662Yesterday marked the first time all year the Raiders were shut out, and the result snapped Elco’s four-game winning streak. Now 14-3-2 overall, the L-L Section Three co-champs, will see their next action in two weeks, during the early rounds of the District Three Class AA tournament.

Elco was seated fourth in the latest Class AA power rankings.

With the win, Elizabethtown moved to 14-3-1 overall and into Tuesday’s semifinal round of the league playoffs.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re focused and take it to whoever our opponent is,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley of his side’s next match. “We’ve got to make sure in two weeks that we totally come out focused. It’s the next tournament.

IMG_1651“I think we’re right there with (Lancaster) Mennonite,” Keppley continued. “With Tulpy, it was a 5-2 game (loss) at our place. We had two tough opponents back-to-back, and we kept things rolling. But we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

The Bears scored on their first shot, in the initial 1:34 of the match to grab a 1-0 lead.

A ball was played into the Raider goal mouth by E-town’s Jayden Sharpe, and Elco keeper Matt Berger made the first save, and the second. But Braden Kreider was there for Elizabethtown to knock it home.

“We need to refocus for districts,” said Keppley. “The effort needs to be a little better, but Elizabethtown is a good team. I thought the second goal kind of took the wind out of our sails. With that second early goal, I kind of thought, ‘Oh boy, is this not going to go our way?’. Then when they got that third goal, with the way they play defense, it was like, “Things aren’t going our way.’

IMG_1678“We wanted to come in and try to get past the first round,” continued Keppley. “We weren’t going to face the Section One winner in the first round, which we saw as a positive. But Elizabethtown came out focused. Our hope was to get past the first round.”

The score remained 1-0 until 3:26 into the second half, when the Bears struck again. Out of transition, David Shank accepted a feed from Kreider and ripped a hard right-footer to the lower far-side of the net.

That goal came on Elizabethtown’s first shot of the second half.

“I don’t know that we created a whole lot of chances,” said Keppley. “You’re not going to win games if you don’t create scoring chances. In the final third of the field, they (the Bears) got the job done. I think offensively we’ve got a good group of kids, it just didn’t click today. After the second goal, we knew we had to work and that we’d be chasing a lot.

“We’ve created and generated a lot of chances this year,” added Keppley. “This might be the first game we got shut out all season, which says a lot. So we have generated quite a bit of offense. I credit Elizabethtown’s defense. They were solid.”

IMG_1699The Bears’ third goal came nine minutes later and originated from a corner kick played into the box by Kreider. Teammate Colin Wieland was the recipient, and he used his right foot to beat Berger.

Elizabethtown closed out the scoring with 6:23 remaining. Sent ahead by Shank, Adan Perez dribbled into the box, drew Berger to him and then slipped the ball past him and into the left side of the net.

“I thought today we came out in the first half and did well,” said Keppley. “The second half was a little sloppy. We need an 80-minute game. If we want to do well in districts, we’ve got to play an 80-minute game.”

The Raiders managed just two shots, one in each half of play, while the Bears made efficient use of their nine shots. Elizabethtown also won the corner-kick battle 4-1.

 

IMG_1641To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 IMG_16352016 Elco Boys’ Soccer Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/02
@Palmyra
1:00 PM L 1-2
09/07 *
Lancaster Catholic
7:00 PM W 6-3
09/09 *
@Lebanon Catholic
4:00 PM W 5-0
09/10
Cedar Crest
7:00 PM W 2-1
09/13 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM T 1-1
09/15 *
Donegal
4:00 PM W 2-0
09/17 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM W 3-0
09/20 *
@Pequea Valley
7:00 PM W 3-0
09/22 *
Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM W 2-1
09/24
@Wyomissing
10:00 AM W 2-1
09/28 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM W 6-4
09/30 *
Lebanon Catholic
4:00 PM W 8-0
10/01
Tulpehocken
5:30 PM L 2-5
10/03 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM T 1-1
10/05 *
@Donegal
7:00 PM W 2-1
10/07 *
Northern Lebanon
4:00 PM W 8-1
10/10 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM W 3-1
10/12 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM W 3-0

 

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IMG_1666 PIAA District Three

 Class AA Power Rankings

AA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP
1 Tulpehocken 18- 0- 0  0.792092  1.000000  0.537983
2 Lancaster Mennonite 15- 1- 2  0.701554  0.885057  0.477273
3 Biglerville 16- 2- 0  0.674024  0.888889  0.411411
4 Eastern Lebanon County 14- 2- 2  0.658495  0.821839  0.458852
5 Oley Valley 12- 5- 0  0.634838  0.713450  0.538756
6 Wyomissing 12- 5- 1  0.623972  0.667630  0.570613
7 Boiling Springs 8- 4- 2  0.616223  0.675676  0.543558
8 Middletown 9- 6- 0  0.546646  0.607362  0.472438
9 Trinity 8- 6- 2  0.544901  0.565476  0.519754
10 Annville Cleona 11- 7- 0  0.520911  0.558824  0.474574
11 Bermudian Springs 10- 5- 1  0.513555  0.603226  0.403958
12 Eastern York 5- 11- 1  0.454729  0.353896  0.577969
13 Pequea Valley 7- 11- 0  0.428550  0.372222  0.497396
14 Brandywine Heights 5- 10- 1  0.405419  0.285276  0.552259
15 Lancaster Catholic 6- 10- 1  0.404873  0.345930  0.476913
16 Hanover 7- 9- 0  0.381681  0.343750  0.428042
17 Delone Catholic 5- 8- 0  0.379008  0.323308  0.447086
18 Upper Dauphin 8- 10- 0  0.352800  0.311828  0.402878
19 Schuylkill Valley 3- 13- 0  0.351251  0.177632  0.563452
20 Littlestown 1- 17- 0  0.243472  0.037634  0.495051
21 Susquenita 0- 17- 0  0.225801  0.000000  0.501780

 

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IMG_1667Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Final Section Three Standings 

 

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lancaster Mennonite 12-0-2 15-1-2
Elco 12-0-2 14-3-2
Annville-Cleona 8-6 11-7
Donegal 7-6-1 9-7-2
Pequea Valley 5-8 6-10
Lancaster Catholic 4-7-1 4-8-1
Northern Lebanon 1-11 3-13
Lebanon Catholic 0-13 1-15

 

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