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IMG_3707BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – The Cedar Crest field hockey program has always been socially conscious and civically aware. But this year, instead of being anonymous, the Falcons made it personal.

On Monday night, on the artificial turf of Edward and Jeannie Arnold Field at Earl Boltz Stadium, Cedar Crest conducted its annual ‘Pink Game’ to raise money and awareness for cancer. But instead of simply donating the proceeds to ‘the cause’, the Falcons earmarked funds specifically to local cancer survivor Tiff Bare, the wife of Cedar Crest boys’ track and field coach Rob Bare.

IMG_3535Before, during and after the evenings’ proceedings, Cedar Crest whitewashed McCaskey 5-0 in its next-to-last Lancaster-Lebanon Section One and regular-season contest of the season. But one was left with the distinct impression that what was going on on the field was just as important as what was going on off of it.

The event and its surrounding proceeds raised more than $1,650 for Bare and her fight with cancer. First diagnosed with the affliction in 2004, Bare had been in remission until four years ago, when the cancer resurfaced and sent her to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Chicago.

IMG_3722“It was brought to my attention what the Bares were going through,” said Cedar Crest head coach Dana Risser. “We always do a ‘Pink Game’ at this time of the season, and we thought, ‘Why don’t we do something for the Bare family?’ And the girls thought it was a fantastic idea.

“They were excited about it,” continued Risser. “They know Coach Bare. He’s so supportive of all the sports programs here, and some of them run track for him in the spring. We always had a ‘Pink Game’, but it never had a meaning.”

But the outcome was also critical to the Falcons’ drive to the District Three Class AAA postseason. Now 10-7 overall and 6-7 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, Cedar Crest, which was ranked 18th in the most recent district power rankings, all but sewed up a playoff berth with the win.

IMG_3602The loss dropped McCaskey to 1-15 overall and 0-13 in Section One.

“Our goal is to make it to the postseason,” said Risser. “We’re young. We’re just trying to get better. We made it last year, and had six returning starters. These kids work hard in the off season.

“If we can make it to the playoffs, our goal is to win our first game,” added Risser. “It’s a one-game season. You can be happy, but not satisfied. We can’t be happy to be there. We want to be contenders.”

IMG_3699Cedar Crest dominated throughout, but had a tough time finding the back of the cage for a good portion of the first half.

The Falcons first broke through in the middle of the first half when one of their attackers unleashed a hard drive from the left of the McCaskey cage. The initial shot was saved, but the ball caromed directly to forward Maddie Barron, who ripped home the rebound from the opposite side of the circle.

Then 1:17 before the half, Cedar Crest struck again, after a Falcon teammate found Emily Peters in the middle of the field, at the top of the circle. Peters unleashed a high, hard shot into the top right-hand corner of the cage to give Cedar Crest a 2-0 edge.

IMG_3733“We played well,” said Risser. “It was a little slower pace than we were looking for at the beginning. It just took us a little while to get going. McCaskey was really tough defensively in the first half. We had a lot of chances, we just couldn’t get it in.

“I think we started moving our feet to the ball a little more,” Risser continued. “We were standing and reaching. But intensity was the big thing.”

Cedar Crest needed just 29 seconds of the second half to extend its lead to 3-0. Set up nicely by Barron from the right side of the field, Falcon Emily Hombach beat McCaskey keeper Julia Davis to the left post.

IMG_3696The Falcons’ fourth goal came with 14:03 left when Hombach was on the far left post of a ball centered by Cailie Bernard from the top right-hand circle. The ball appeared to go through two other Cedar Crest attackers, before finding the opportunistic Hombach.

Cedar Crest closed out the scoring seven minutes later, off a corner play. Peters got off a big drive from a left-corner insert, and Bernard was right where she was supposed to be, on the left post to re-direct it home.

“Emily Peters’ shot in the first half was a really nice one,” said Risser. “Emily Hombach had two nice goals. Anything you’re getting from people on the post is good. I think the key is just getting to the right spot and being ready.”

IMG_3559All three of McCaskey’s shots in the game came in the second half, while Cedar Crest was piling up a total of 20. The Falcons mustered six penalty corners to McCaskey’s two.

Falcon netminder Trisha Gerdes posted the shutout.

IMG_3711“We have a big game on Wednesday with Manheim Township here,” said Risser. “I don’t want to say this win secured a playoff spot, but it put us closer. When you’re focusing on something so big before the game, it’s not a distraction, but you have sort of have to refocus. But some things are more important than games. We wanted to honor the Bares with our play.

“Yeah, I’d say the season has definitely been a success,” Risser added. “Our goal was to break into the top three in our section, which we didn’t get. But that gives us something to shoot for next year.”

Lancaster-Lebanon League

     Section One

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Penn Manor 12-1 14-3
Warwick 11-2 12-4-1
Hempfield 10-3 12-5
Conestoga Valley 8-5 11-6
Cedar Crest 6-7 10-7
Manheim Twp. 2-10 4-11
Ephrata 2-10 3-13
McCaskey 0-13 1-15

IMG_3650

District Three

 Class AAA Power Rankings

 School W L T
1 Lower Dauphin 16 0 0 .836959
2 Palmyra 15 1 0 .793375
3 Cumberland Valley 12 1 1 .757798
4 Hershey 13 3 0 .736843
5 Penn Manor 13 3 0 .718396
6 Dallastown 14 2 0 .717971
7 Hempfield 12 4 0 .691144
IMG_36078 Muhlenberg 13 2 2 .680213
9 Warwick 11 4 1 .676932
10 Cedar Cliff 11 4 0 .672725
11 Shippensburg 11 3 0 .644733
12 Conestoga Valley 11 5 0 .642974
13 Central Dauphin 8 6 1 .612647
14 Governor Mifflin 9 7 0 .605977
15 Daniel Boone 9 3 2 .594986
16 Central York 9 5 1 .592846
17 Elizabethtown 11 5 0 .590179
18 Cedar Crest 9 7 0 .574046
19 Red Lion 9 6 1 .562491
20 Wilson West Lawn 7 8 0 .557811
21 South Western 7 7 1 .515245
22 Lampeter Strasburg 8 8 1 .514383
23 Mechanicsburg 6 9 0 .500330
IMG_369124 New Oxford 6 9 0 .453842
25 Manheim Township 4 11 0 .426125
26 Chambersburg 4 9 0 .416773
27 Solanco 5 9 0 .414941
28 Cocalico 5 11 0 .411168
29 Ephrata 3 13 0 .399599
30 Red Land 3 12 0 .389914
31 Garden Spot 4 11 1 .387809
32 Carlisle 3 12 0 .374337
33 Reading 4 11 0 .362275
34 Waynesboro 2 9 2 .347644
35 Exeter Township 3 11 0 .347542
36 Central Dauphin East 2 13 0 .331601
37 Dover 2 13 0 .310734
38 Spring Grove 1 12 1 .288855
39 J P McCaskey 1 14 0 .286885
IMG_368540 Lebanon 1 14 0 .236125
41 York CDS 0 9 0 .177504

 

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