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IMG_9599BY JEFF FALK

WYOMISSING – A Saturday morning, non-league away game in the middle of the season. Boy if there was ever a trap game for the Elco boys, this was it.

But if there’s a match and there’s a soccer ball and they’re going to keep score, well the Raiders are going to show up.

Yesterday morning at Flannery Field, Elco added yet another quality win to its increasingly impressive resume, a 2-1 triumph over Wyomissing. After both sides traded own goals in the first half, Raider junior Clay Hain netted the eventual game-winner early in the second 40 minutes of action.

IMG_9519Now 8-1-1 overall, the win was the Raiders’ fifth in-a-row. Elco, which has out scored its opponents by a combined margin of 27-9 this season, hasn’t lost since a season-opening setback at Palmyra.

Elco was positioned third in the latest District Three Class AA power rankings, while Wyomissing, now 7-4-1 on the year, was situated sixth in the same ratings.

“Other than the Palmyra game, where we let it get away, I think things are going well,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley. “It’s my best start since Mike (Seigfried) left. It seemed like in the past, games like this didn’t go our way, for whatever reason. But once you start winning, it’s contagious.

IMG_9644“We had an overtime game against Annville-Cleona on Thursday night,” continued Keppley. “It’s (start times) either four (p.m.) or seven. This is like youth soccer all over again. These guys are far removed from Saturday morning games, but you’ve got to be ready to go anytime.”

Hain collected his game-winner 4:01 after halftime, on the first shot of the second half.

Off an accurate corner kick from teammate Steve Wiczalkowski, an unmarked Hain ran onto a ball at the Spartans’ near post. With one smooth motion, the poised Hain used his right foot to redirect the kick inside that same post.

IMG_9640“The corner from ‘Wiz’ was a good one,” said Keppley. “Clay went hard to the ball and one timed it into the goal. It was well done. It was well executed.

“It’s about getting good quality, non-league games,” Keppley added. “That’s why we have Tulpehocken and Wyomissing on our schedule, and Cedar Crest is always going to be a battle. With our four out-of-league games, we’re trying to get quality teams. We think it’s going to help us in the long run.”

Facing a one-goal deficit with time running out in the first half, Elco created its own good fortune by applying some pressure to the Wyomissing net.

IMG_9617An attempted clear bounced off a Spartan defender’s right foot and high into the Wyo goal. Seth Noll was the closest Raider to the play and received credit for the goal.

“I thought it was a battle,” said Keppley. “The first half we kind of came out flat. They (the Spartans) came at us pretty good. We seemed to be a step slow. I told our guys, ‘We’ve got to play quicker and go harder to the ball.’

“This is an example of what we’re going to see in districts,” Keppley continued. “They’re sixth in the power rankings and we’re third. We knew it was going to be a good game. I think they’ll (the Spartans) do well in districts.”

The Spartans grabbed a 1-0 lead as the Raiders were getting off the bus – some 17 seconds into the tilt – via their own ‘own goal’.

Right off the opening kick, a ball played by Wyomissing’s Owen Pendergast caromed off the Elco keeper and then a Raider defender and into the net. Spartan Sumner Raft was given an assist on the play.



“They (the Spartans) crossed the ball,” said Keppley. “And (keeper) Matt (Berger) went to play the ball, but it was slick and wet and it went off his head. It was an own goal.

“It’s one of those things,” added Keppley. “Sure the guys were like, ‘crap’. You don’t want to give up a goal 17 seconds into a match. But we still had 79 minutes and 43 seconds to play. We regrouped at halftime. I told the kids at halftime, ‘It’s a 40-minute game’. We each got an own goal.”

IMG_9512Wyomissing actually owned a slight advantage in total shots, 12-8. Each side took five corner kicks.

“Ultimately, I’d like to see it come down to us against (Lancaster) Mennonite for the section,” said Keppley of the current tie atop the L-L Section Three standings. “I’d like to see a strong showing out of us in the league playoffs. Districts is going to be tough. The top two teams in Class AA go to states. The question is: ‘Can we do it?'”

 

 

 

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IMG_9614To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-11/.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_95472016 Elco Boys’ Soccer Schedule

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
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
09/28 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
09/30 *
Lebanon Catholic
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/01
Tulpehocken
5:30 PM Elco High School
10/03 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/05 *
@Donegal
7:00 PM Donegal High School
10/07 *
Northern Lebanon
4:00 PM Elco High School
10/10 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/12 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM Annville-Cleona High School

 

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Lancaster-Lebanon  League Section Three Standings
TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Elco 6-0-1 7-1-1
Lancaster Mennonite 5-0-1 8-0-1
Donegal 5-2-1 7-2-2
Lancaster Catholic 2-2-1 2-3-1
Annville-Cleona 3-4 5-4
Pequea Valley 2-4 3-6
Northern Lebanon 1-4 1-5
Lebanon Catholic 0-7 1-9

 

 

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IMG_9621PIAA District Three

 Class AA Power Rankings

AA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP
1 Tulpehocken 9- 0- 0  0.789579  1.000000  0.532399
2 Lancaster Mennonite 9- 0- 1  0.732333  0.944444  0.473086
3 Eastern Lebanon County 7- 1- 1  0.678800  0.835227  0.487611
4 Biglerville 7- 1- 0  0.674254  0.871429  0.433263
5 Wyomissing 7- 3- 1  0.633861  0.665094  0.595687
6 Middletown 7- 2- 0  0.629605  0.777778  0.448506
7 Oley Valley 6- 4- 0  0.579307  0.607843  0.544430
8 Boiling Springs 4- 3- 1  0.566533  0.591954  0.535463
9 Trinity 5- 4- 0  0.561823  0.582418  0.536652
10 Bermudian Springs 4- 2- 1  0.504735  0.585938  0.405488
11 Annville Cleona 5- 4- 0  0.499412  0.493976  0.506057
12 Pequea Valley 4- 6- 0  0.458111  0.395833  0.534229
13 Brandywine Heights 3- 5- 0  0.440298  0.329268  0.576000
14 Hanover 5- 4- 0  0.432605  0.458824  0.400559
15 Lancaster Catholic 3- 5- 1  0.423215  0.353261  0.508714
16 Eastern York 2- 6- 0  0.412626  0.270270  0.586617
17 Delone Catholic 2- 4- 0  0.347931  0.272727  0.439846
18 Schuylkill Valley 1- 8- 0  0.326510  0.123596  0.574518
19 Upper Dauphin 2- 6- 0  0.288001  0.155556  0.449878
20 Littlestown 1- 8- 0  0.266349  0.076923  0.497869
21 Susquenita 0- 7- 0  0.201864  0.000000  0.448586

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