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BY JEFF FALK

MANHEIM – Cautiously optimistic. Realistic idealism. Wide-open expecations.

That’s the approach with which the Elco girls’ soccer team entered this year’s Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs. Given how things played out, it was probably the correct way to go about it.

On a damp Saturday afternoon, on the turf of Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Field, the Raiders were overmatched and outplayed by a talented Penn Manor club, during a 4-1 loss in the quarterfinal round of the L-L League tournament. Elco drew first blood, but the Raiders experienced difficulties generating much of an attack afterwards, in the face of the Comets’ unrelenting possession game.

It was a similar Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff result for the Raiders, who were making their seventh straight postseason appearance, after capturing their seventh straight L-L Section Three championship. Now 13-3 on the year, Elco will sport the second or third seed when it begins play in the District Three Class AAA postseason on October 25, at a site and time to be determined.

Penn Manor, the co-champion from Section One, moved to 14-3 overall and into Tuesday’s semifinal round of the L-L league playoffs.

“You go into it with the mindset that you can win it,” said Elco head coach Derek Fulk, of his side’s goals for the league postseason. “We also wanted to give a good showing. You don’t want to get destroyed, and we didn’t. I wouldn’t say we tempered our expectations coming in, but we were realistic.

“Usually, we have not fared well in the league playoffs,” continued Fulk. “When you’re a Section Three team and trying to compete with Section One and Section Two teams, you always know it’s going to be a tough battle. You know they’re not here for no reason. Traditionally, we have not fared the greatest in these playoffs.”

Despite being a bit of an underdog, it was the Raiders who scored first, on the first shot of the game, 7:22 into the match.

After an attacker was taken down in the box, Elco and sophomore forward Carsyn Boyer were awarded a penalty kick. Boyer made no mistakes, ripping a low shot with her left foot inside the right post.

“It might have been the worst thing we could’ve done, score first,” said Fulk. “It was kind of like waking up a giant. But our kids battled for 80 minutes. That’s all you can really ask. I’m proud of our kids.

“The league playoffs are always tough,” added Fulk. “We have a good league. You’re always going to play someone who has done something to get here. It is a tough draw. But you’re always going to get tough games in the league playoffs.”

Penn Manor responded two minutes later, with a pair of goals three minutes apart. Both tallies resulted from forced mistakes caused by the Comets applying offensive pressure.

Initially, Penn Manor’s Lilly Sugra played a ball from right to left that teammate Lauren Stoner was able to get a part of her body on and direct it into the net. Then, a giveaway resulted in a Carly Keene breakaway, and she buried the opportunity, with her right foot along the ground, inside the left post.

“They’re (the Comets) good and they played great,” said Fulk. “We had some lapses at times. You can’t make mistakes against good teams because they’re going to take advantage of them.

“Number 20 (Keene) up front is tough,” Fulk continued. “She’s fast. She caused us some problems. We made mistakes that came back to haunt us. But as a whole, I thought we defended pretty well.”

Keene netted two more goals in the second half to complete her hat trick.

Exactly 4:16 into the second session, Keene unleashed a hard right-footer that squirted through Elco goalkeeper Sam Nelson’s gloves and into the net. With 23:24 remaining, Keene accepted a short feed from teammate Carolyn Hinkle in the right corner and slid a right-footer short side.

“At halftime, we talked about being cleaner in what we were doing and just trying to play better,” said Fulk. “We wanted to worry more about us than them.

“It’s been a great season,” said Fulk. “We’ve dealt with a ton of adversity with injuries. I’m very proud of how we’ve been able to deal with them. Coming into the season, we expected to be at the top of the section and challenging for leagues and districts. It’s been a fantastic year for us.”

When the final stats had been tallied, Penn Manor out shot Elco 9-4. The Raiders enjoyed a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.

To purchase images in this article please email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Elco Girls’ Soccer Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/04
10:00 am
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
1
4
Nonleague
9/08
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
0
6
League
9/10
4:00 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
2
1
League
9/14
7:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
0
6
League
9/16
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco
0
8
League
9/18
7:00 pm
Elco
at Cedar Crest
1
0
Nonleague
9/20
4:00 pm
Elco
at Solanco
0
1
League
9/22
4:00 pm
Elco
at Donegal
3
0
League
9/23
4:00 pm
Elco
at Garden Spot
Postponed
Nonleague
9/28
7:00 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
0
1
League
9/30
5:15 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
4
0
League
10/01
4:00 pm
Elco
at Berks Catholic
2
0
Nonleague
10/05
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
6
0
League
10/07
7:00 pm
Solanco
at Elco
0
1
League
10/11
4:00 pm
Pottsville Area
at Elco
1
2
Nonleague
10/13
4:00 pm
Wyomissing
at Elco
3
1
Nonleague

PIAA District Three Class AAA Power Rankings

AAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Greencastle Antrim14-1-0 0.741319 0.954839 0.480351 14.80 125.90 0.70 136.20
2Eastern Lebanon County13-2-0 0.723027 0.875776 0.536333 14.10 126.95 2.00 109.75
3Gettysburg12-2-2 0.714204 0.861446 0.534241 14.30 133.40 2.30 116.30
4Northern York12-3-0 0.704834 0.817610 0.566997 13.00 154.45 2.90 117.95
5Mechanicsburg11-3-2 0.690229 0.829670 0.519800 15.10 135.20 3.10 124.90
6Red Land9-5-1 0.688755 0.746711 0.617921 11.35 165.85 3.85 102.55
7Daniel Boone13-5-0 0.677313 0.784211 0.546660 14.90 162.85 4.10 135.05
8Lampeter Strasburg12-6-0 0.671798 0.755319 0.569716 14.20 166.30 4.60 125.60
9Palmyra8-5-1 0.667905 0.713793 0.611819 10.35 158.40 4.15 100.50
10Solanco13-4-0 0.657050 0.805714 0.475348 14.10 126.30 3.40 139.40
11Fleetwood10-7-0 0.630863 0.658960 0.596522 11.40 171.50 5.90 116.00
12Manheim Central9-7-0 0.627051 0.673077 0.570796 10.50 148.35 5.10 111.55
13West York11-5-0 0.601195 0.713415 0.464038 11.70 113.55 4.70 131.15
14Conrad Weiser8-8-1 0.599169 0.588068 0.612737 10.35 178.00 7.25 112.50
15South Western8-9-0 0.594727 0.586826 0.604383 9.80 162.70 6.90 106.50
16Cocalico9-8-0 0.585447 0.605096 0.561433 9.50 151.25 6.20 118.15
17Susquehannock9-7-0 0.580925 0.598765 0.559120 9.70 149.90 6.50 118.20
18West Perry8-7-0 0.560302 0.567742 0.551209 8.80 145.85 6.70 118.75
19Dover6-9-1 0.511972 0.486014 0.543699 6.95 160.50 7.35 134.70
20Twin Valley5-12-1 0.495404 0.380000 0.636453 6.65 195.20 10.85 111.50
21Octorara7-10-0 0.487166 0.455621 0.525721 7.70 134.90 9.20 121.70
22Garden Spot4-12-0 0.462860 0.328767 0.626751 4.80 179.00 9.80 106.60
23Susquehanna Township5-8-0 0.457812 0.395683 0.533746 5.50 124.95 8.40 109.15
24Shippensburg4-9-0 0.449857 0.325203 0.602212 4.00 157.90 8.30 104.30
25Berks Catholic6-11-0 0.429470 0.298137 0.589989 4.80 163.25 11.30 113.45
26Spring Grove3-13-0 0.427513 0.264286 0.627013 3.70 171.30 10.30 101.90
27Donegal2-13-0 0.358433 0.145985 0.618090 2.00 147.60 11.70 91.20
28York Suburban2-12-0 0.345969 0.149254 0.586399 2.00 141.85 11.40 100.05
29Big Spring3-13-0 0.345403 0.183544 0.543231 2.90 143.25 12.90 120.45
30East Pennsboro1-13-1 0.340495 0.099359 0.635217 1.55 168.65 14.05 96.85
31Milton Hershey1-12-0 0.290394 0.099237 0.524030 1.30 124.30 11.80 112.90

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Three Standings

LeagueOverall
WLTPCTWLTPCTGSGA
Elco9100.90013300.8134911
Cocalico8200.8009800.5295127
Solanco7300.70013400.7654215
Octorara2800.20051000.3331851
Lancaster Mennonite2800.20021100.154834
Donegal2800.20021300.1331564

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