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BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – Each journey is unique. Everybody has an agenda.

It is that conflict that makes the heart of competion beat.

The contest was extremely important to Lebanon Catholic. But it also meant a lot to Lebanon.

Simmons logged 14 saves, a dozen of which came in the second half, while speedy senior Gabrielle Boyer spearheaded the Lebanon offense with a pair of goals.

On a sun-drenched Wednesday evening at Lebanon High School, the Cedars upset the Beavers 3-1 in a late-season girls’ soccer match that meant more than either team’s records might indicate. Lebanon opened a 3-0 lead early in the second half, and Lebanon Catholic could never find an answer for the Cedar defense and goalkeeper ShanAnn Simmons.

The match served as Lebanon’s season finale and the result made the Cedars 2-15 in 2019 and 1-11 in Section Four of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Back on September 19th on Assumption Hill, Lebanon Catholic had handed Lebanon a 3-1 defeat.

For as good as the win felt for the Cedars, the loss hurt Lebanon Catholic as much for a different reason. Now 4-11 overall and 1-11 in the section, a win would’ve solidified the Beavers’ precarious hopes for a District Three Class A playoff berth.

Lebanon Catholic had entered the fray seeded tenth in the power rankings, for a District Three A classification that takes ten teams for its postseason tournament. Outside of girls’ basketball, district playoff berths are rare at Lebanon Catholic these days.

“For us, it was a matter of wanting to put it together,” said Lebanon rookie head coach Doug Hunter. “If it happens that way, I would hate for us to be the one who knocked them (the Beavers) out of the playoffs. It was our second best game of the year. Our best game, we lost.

“This season was a lot of peaks and valleys,” added Hunter. “But we never lost our spirit. We always wanted to come back and improve. Soccer is a fun game, and looking back on it, we had fun.”

“I’ve been obsessively checking it every day,” said Lebanon Catholic head coach Ben Sarro, of the power rankings. “I told them (his players) all week to assume anything. The last time we played Lebanon, we jumped up four spots (in the rankings). I think we could’ve jumped up to ninth with a win today.

“As a player, you want to be able to control your own destiny,” continued Sarro. “Now with this, we need to win and get some luck from other teams. They’ve (his players) never been under this pressure before.”

The Cedars netted the only goal of the first half and took a 1-0 lead to the break.

The goal came off the right foot of Boyer, 11:25 into the match. The opportunistic midfielder pounced on a loose ball in the Lebanon Catholic box and blasted it past Beaver netminder Paige Wagner from point-blank range.

“It’s about being composed with the ball and thinking about the next pass,” said Hunter of the Lebanon attack. “It’s not just kicking and running. The girls were able to play possession. When you’re able to do that, the game becomes easier, and we got goals.

“For us, it was about assessing things and finding out where we can grow,” Hunter added. “We won earlier in the season. But I wanted them (his players) to put it together for 80 minutes. But it was good to see the goals come.”

“It’s been our team all year,” said Sarro. “We’ll play well defensively for 70 minutes and then have two break downs. For 60 or 70 minutes, we played really well offensively and defensively.

“For 30 minutes (in the second half), we played one of our better games of the year,” Sarro continued. “But you can’t go down 3-0 and then expect to turn it on. We played OK in the first half.”

The Cedars recorded a pair of goals 2:10 apart early in the second half to extend their lead to 3-0.

Off a right corner kick 6:27 after halftime, Lebanon’s Sidney Chappell ran on to a ball at the left post and touched it into the goal. The second was a good individual effort by Boyer, who broke towards the goal from the right wing and slipped a shot inside the near post.

‘The defensive posture was great,” said Hunter. “The midfield really came together, partly because Gabby came back from concussion protocal last night. She’s a player.

“My whole thing is to get better each game, get better each day,” added Hunter. “The wins will come when you do that. Soccer is a moving game, and you’ve got to make the right moves at the right time.”

“Early in the first half, you could see they (the Cedars) definitely improved,” said Sarro. “They looked like they wanted it. It was a good battle. He (Hunter) had them playing well today.

“I’ve always said to my girls, their keeper (Simmons) has good hands and she can move,” continued Sarro. “She was spectacular today. She was there and she made saves.”

Lebanon Catholic capitalized on some sustained pressure to pull within 3-1 of the lead, with 30:31 remaining. Off a strong corner kick taken by leading scorer Makayla Cawley, the ball ricocheted off a Cedar defender and past Simmons.

Yet despite a slew of second-half shots – 15 total – the Beavers could draw no closer. Included in that was Simmons stoning Cawley on a penalty kick at the 11:15 mark of the second half.

Earlier in the contest, midway through the first half, Cawley had clanged a 25-yard, semi-breakaway off the Lebanon crossbar.

“The defensive line has really come together,” said Hunter. “They’re probably the best part of our team. ShanAnn played a spectacular game.

“Their number eight (Cawley) up top is a particularly strong player,” Hunter continued. “She did her job putting the ball in the back of the net (a hat trick on Sept. 19). They won the first time, but today we showed we can play with them.”

The final statistics showed Lebanon Catholic out shooting Lebanon 20-10. The Cedars took five corner kicks compared to the Beavers’ three.

“For this school, they had a district game in 2015, but before that I don’t know the last time it would’ve been,” said Sarro. “This game was huge. We were going up against a team we had beaten, but we let it slip away.

“It’s (the district playoffs) an experience for them (his players) to know,” concluded Sarro. “A lot of the girls play basketball and have been to districts, but their goal was to make it as soccer players. We took a ‘whatever it takes approach’ this year. It’s for them. I want them to experience what it’s like playing in late October. We think we can hang with those teams. It would be great for a program at a school that’s known for basketball. It hurts me more than it does them.”

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

PIAA District Three

Class A Power Rankings

ASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Camp Hill14-0-0 0.769322 1.000000 0.487382 14.8 139.1 0.0 146.3
2Fairfield16-0-0 0.760466 1.000000 0.467703 15.0 135.4 0.0 154.1
3Annville Cleona10-3-1 0.577625 0.698473 0.429921 9.2 109.2 4.0 144.8
4West Shore Christian Academy12-3-0 0.543283 0.731707 0.312988 9.0 68.2 3.3 149.7
5Lancaster Country Day School9-6-1 0.495368 0.544025 0.435897 8.7 113.9 7.3 147.4
6Mount Calvary Christian School9-4-1 0.446055 0.540650 0.330439 6.7 64.7 5.7 131.1
7Harrisburg Christian School7-4-0 0.433430 0.514019 0.334933 5.5 52.4 5.2 104.0
8York Catholic6-10-0 0.394203 0.363636 0.431562 6.4 118.6 11.2 156.2
9High Point Baptist Academy5-4-1 0.371665 0.396907 0.340813 3.9 48.6 5.9 94.0
10Lebanon Catholic School4-10-0 0.325093 0.233766 0.436714 3.6 107.7 11.8 138.9
11Linden Hall3-8-0 0.297157 0.238938 0.368313 2.7 53.7 8.6 92.1
12Millersburg4-10-0 0.293044 0.186667 0.423060 2.8 97.1 12.2 132.4
13Brandywine Heights Area3-14-0 0.293038 0.138122 0.482380 2.5 134.2 15.6 144.0
14Lancaster County Christian4-8-0 0.289093 0.212121 0.383169 2.8 62.2 10.4 100.1
15Upper Dauphin Area3-9-0 0.283643 0.166667 0.426613 2.1 101.2 10.5 136.0
16New Covenant Christian School4-8-0 0.267152 0.212121 0.334411 2.8 51.7 10.4 102.9
17Halifax Area2-12-0 0.237431 0.088608 0.419327 1.4 95.9 14.4 132.8
18Christian School Of York2-10-0 0.206682 0.119403 0.313356 1.6 54.9 11.8 120.3
19Harrisburg Academy0-8-0 0.152786 0.000000 0.339524 0.0 35.7 9.8 69.4
20Logos Academy0-0-0 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

2019 Lebanon Catholic girls’ soccer results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
9/04
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
0
8
9/06
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
10
0
9/07
10:00 am
Christian School of York
at Lebanon Catholic
1
6
9/09
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Country Day
0
3
9/11
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon Catholic
10
1
9/16
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lancaster Catholic
1
10
9/19
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
1
3
9/21
10:00 am
New Covenant Christian (Lebanon, Pa.)
at Lebanon Catholic
1
6
9/24
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
4
1
9/25
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Oley Valley Area H.S.
3
1
9/27
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
0
6
9/30
4:00 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Lebanon Catholic
5
1
10/02
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Pequea Valley
0
8
10/04
4:00 pm
Harrisburg Christian
at Lebanon Catholic
10/07
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon Catholic
10
1
10/09
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon

10/10
5:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Mt. Calvary Christian (Elizabethtown, Pa.)

2019 Lebanon Girls’ Soccer Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
8/30
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Reading
0
1
9/04
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
1
0
9/06
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon
4
0
9/09
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
0
11
9/11
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Country Day
0
1
9/13
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon
9
0
9/16
7:15 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
0
7
9/19
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lebanon Catholic
1
3
9/20
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Tulpehocken
0
7
9/23
4:00 pm
Milton Hershey
at Lebanon
5
0
9/25
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Cocalico
0
6
9/26
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
0
9
9/30
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
8
0
10/02
4:00 pm
Lancaster Country Day
at Lebanon
5
1
10/03
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
0
11
10/08
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
4
1
10/09
4:00 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Lebanon

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