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IMG_3652BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – The Elco field hockey team has just about accomplished everything it set out to this season. It may be that the Raiders are now seeking new peaks to eclipse.

On a partly cloudy Thursday afternoon at Elco High School, the Raiders continued to reach for – and attain – their goals by blanking Lebanon High 5-0, in a Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three match. Behind three goals from Abby Keath, Elco raced out to a 4-0 halftime margin.

With the win, the Raiders improved to 9-4-1 on the year and 7-2-1 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The result also strengthened Elco’s hold on District Three and L-L playoff berths.

IMG_3725The Raiders, who currently stand second in Section Three and 12th in a district Class A field which takes 14 for its postseason tournament, went 11-7-1 a year ago, their best record in 15 seasons. To this point of the season, Elco has outscored its opposition by a combined margin of 41-17.

The Cedars, who had dropped a 7-0 decision to Elco in Lebanon back on September 18, fell to 3-10-2 overall and 1-8-1 in the section.

“We’re sitting at number 12 in the district rankings, and we’ve been sitting there for awhile,” said Elco head coach Lisa Kercher. “We’re looking at getting to districts again. If the season goes the way we hope the rest of the way, we should make the district and league playoffs. Currently, we’re second in the section. We haven’t been to the league playoffs since, we don’t know when. It could be the 90s. It would be a huge accomplishment.

“This is exactly what we set out for at the beginning of the season,” added Kercher. “We set that goal at the start. The girls have been working towards that since the beginning. Absolutely we’ll take that. You always want to have a fun season and win. To have that (being in playoff contention) happen is awesome. The girls are excited.”

IMG_3795“I think they’re a solid team,” said Lebanon head coach Terri Johnston of the Raiders. “Their numbers speak to that. My numbers are growing. I think next year we’ll be able to fill a full JV team. I’m running kids in there who aren’t ready for varsity competition. I have kids who have never played before.”

Elco notched a pair of goals 4:37 part, 5:46 into the contest, to establish a 2-0 lead.

On the first one, Keath collaborated with Kylie Stine, on a rush into the Cedar circle. Stine pushed ahead a short pass to Keath, and she went short side for the goal.

On the second tally, Raider Alicia Yoh’s persistence paid off. Her first attempt was turned aside by Lebanon net-minder Maddie Gates, but Yoh poked her own rebound home.

“The offense today was really good,” said Kercher. “We’ve been working on playing in the circle and tipping the ball. All day yesterday (at practice) was about tipping and getting a stick on the ball. We had a lot of good goals, and it was our usual scorers.

“We played well overall,” continued Kercher. “We came into this knowing from the last time we played them (the Cedars) that it would kind of be a rest game. We played a lot of JV girls. It was good to score early, and keep scoring.”

“I thought they (the Raiders) made plays,” said Johnston. “My defense didn’t play especially well. I didn’t want to take away their sticks. My goalie (Gates) played very well. She made some very nice saves.

“My defense usually plays better,” Johnston added. “We didn’t communicate especially well. My kids were working hard and they were getting back, but we took each other out of the plays.”

IMG_3634Elco did get a tipped/deflected goal from Keath, with 10:01 left in the first half, to make it 3-0. Amanda Smith put a ball on cage from the top right portion of the circle, and Keath was able to change its direction, inside the left post.

Five minutes later, Katie Fields notched an unassisted tally for the Raiders. Operating from the middle of the circle, Fields stuck with her initial shot and scored on a rebound.

“All three of them, Abby, Alicia and Katie, have been doing a phenomenal job scoring,” said Kercher. “The three of them are in the top ten in scoring in our section. In the past, scoring has been a problem for us. They’re doing really good, and it’s consistent. Abby’s having a great season.

“(Goalie, Bicksler) Kendra didn’t see a lot of action,” Kercher added. “The one thing I can say about the defense, they (the Cedars) didn’t get inside the 25 (-yard line) in the first half. They didn’t get into the circle until late in the game. That’s a credit to my three backs.”

IMG_3778“We’ve had a good week this week,” said Johnston. “We had a tie and a win, but this was Elco and they’re a good team. We didn’t play especially well. Middletown and Pequea (Valley) wasn’t the same competition, but we played better. I wasn’t displeased. We got everyone in the game and mixed things up. Of the 20 kids we’ve got, 19 are back. That’s encouraging.”

Keath completed her hat trick 12:19 into the second half. From the right, she carried the ball into the circle, sized up Gates and then beat her to the short side with a good low shot.

“Being second in Section Three, we’re going to end up playing Donegal or Penn Manor or someone like that (in the opening round of the L-L playoffs),” said Kercher. “It’s going to be an uphill battle. With districts, the competition is going to be a little easier. It would be great to win that game and play a second-round game.

“The good thing about districts last year was that the Elco program got a taste of it,” Kercher continued. “It needs to become a habit. It needs to be a consistent thing. By the end of the regular season, I’d like to be at 12 wins. We picked up a couple of games we didn’t win last year.”

IMG_3802“As a coach, you always go into a season hoping and expecting to get wins,” said Johnston. “But I thought I was very realistic. I had some nice surprises from kids who weren’t on my radar, and they came out. In terms of wins and losses, we’re not far off from what I expected. We’re holding our own.”

Elco piled up a total of 27 shots and collected 15 penalty corners. Lebanon experienced difficulties advancing the ball to the Raider side of the field.

 

 

 

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

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2017 Elco Field Hockey Results

Date Teams Score
9/01
10:00 am
Elco
at Tulpehocken
1
5
9/08
4:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
3
2
9/12
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
0
2
9/15
4:00 pm
Elco
at Wyomissing
2
1
9/16
1:30 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
1
2
9/18
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
7
0
9/20
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
1
10
9/22
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
4
1
9/23
10:30 am
Elco
Cedar Cliff
at Cedar Crest
0
2
9/23
12:30 pm
Spring Grove
Elco
at Cedar Crest
1
2
9/27
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
0
3
9/28
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
1
1
10/03
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
0
3
10/05
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
10/06
4:00 pm
Elco
at Governor Mifflin
10/09
4:00 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley
10/11
4:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
10/12
4:00 pm
McCaskey
at Elco

 

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2017 Lebanon Field Hockey Results

Date Teams Score
9/01
4:00 pm
Reading
at Lebanon
1
3
9/07
4:00 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon
6
0
9/08
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
0
6
9/11
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Middletown
0
2
9/14
4:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Lebanon
0
0
9/18
4:00 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
7
0
9/20
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
0
13
9/22
4:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
10
1
9/23
11:15 am
McCaskey
Lebanon
at Reading
3
0
9/23
12:00 pm
York Country Day
at Lebanon
1
2
9/25
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
0
11
9/27
4:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
3
0
10/02
4:00 pm
Middletown
at Lebanon
1
1
10/03
6:00 pm
Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
1
0
10/05
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
10/09
4:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Lebanon
10/11
4:00 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
10/12
4:00 pm
Central Dauphin East
at Lebanon

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

IMG_3833 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L T PCT W L T PCT PS PA
Annville-Cleona 9 1 0 90.00 12 2 0 85.71 50 8
Elco 7 2 1 75.00 9 4 1 67.86 41 17
Northern Lebanon 6 4 0 60.00 7 6 0 53.85 39 13
Lancaster Catholic 5 5 0 50.00 7 7 0 50.00 41 30
Lancaster Mennonite 5 5 1 50.00 7 8 1 46.88 31 19
Lebanon 1 8 1 15.00 3 10 2 26.67 8 64
Pequea Valley 0 8 1 5.56 0 13 1 3.57 3 69

 

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 PIAA District Three

 Class A Power Rankings

A School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Oley Valley 13- 1- 0  0.732573  0.936508  0.483319  11.8  115.9  0.8  123.9
2 Bermudian Springs 15- 0- 0  0.726268  1.000000  0.391707  13.6  97.3  0.0  151.1
3 Greenwood 12- 2- 0  0.675034  0.819672  0.498253  10.0  114.1  2.2  114.9
4 Tulpehocken 13- 2- 0  0.659443  0.823529  0.458893  11.2  116.1  2.4  136.9
5 Hanover 12- 1- 0  0.642326  0.890909  0.338501  9.8  78.6  1.2  153.6
6 Annville Cleona 12- 2- 0  0.631405  0.819672  0.401301  10.0  104.9  2.2  156.5
7 Boiling Springs 9- 2- 1  0.615817  0.780303  0.414778  10.3  84.2  2.9  118.8
8 Newport 11- 4- 0  0.593111  0.676471  0.491228  9.2  78.4  4.4  81.2
9 Bishop McDevitt 10- 4- 0  0.576621  0.676471  0.454583  9.2  109.1  4.4  130.9
10 Schuylkill Valley 8- 4- 0  0.548867  0.631579  0.447775  7.2  98.6  4.2  121.6
11 Littlestown 10- 5- 0  0.528196  0.600000  0.440436  8.4  105.0  5.6  133.4
12 Eastern Lebanon County 8- 4- 1  0.501203  0.590164  0.392473  7.2  102.2  5.0  158.2
13 Susquenita 6- 6- 1  0.452139  0.409091  0.504754  5.4  116.8  7.8  114.6
14 Northern Lebanon 8- 7- 0  0.439580  0.466667  0.406475  7.0  101.7  8.0  148.5
15 Lancaster Catholic 7- 7- 0  0.439342  0.426471  0.455074  5.8  117.5  7.8  140.7
16 Wyomissing 6- 8- 1  0.421242  0.375000  0.477760  6.0  120.3  10.0  131.5
17 Eastern York 5- 8- 1  0.417295  0.358108  0.489635  5.3  118.1  9.5  123.1
18 Kennard Dale 6- 7- 0  0.414378  0.409091  0.420841  5.4  94.1  7.8  129.5
19 Brandywine Heights 6- 8- 1  0.395271  0.365385  0.431799  5.7  101.3  9.9  133.3
20 Lancaster Mennonite 6- 8- 1  0.391686  0.384615  0.400328  6.0  97.6  9.6  146.2
21 Hamburg 4- 9- 2  0.366798  0.326923  0.415535  5.1  97.9  10.5  137.7
22 Biglerville 4- 8- 2  0.362983  0.301370  0.438287  4.4  104.4  10.2  133.8
23 Camp Hill 3- 11- 1  0.351518  0.205128  0.530438  3.2  130.7  12.4  115.7
24 Susquehanna Township 1- 8- 1  0.336311  0.145833  0.569116  1.4  130.1  8.2  98.5
25 Lancaster Country Day School 3- 10- 0  0.327851  0.210526  0.471249  3.2  104.9  12.0  117.7
26 Fairfield 3- 9- 0  0.323113  0.220588  0.448421  3.0  85.2  10.6  104.8
27 Kutztown 2- 10- 1  0.307619  0.157534  0.491055  2.3  109.8  12.3  113.8
28 Middletown 1- 12- 1  0.298172  0.101351  0.538730  1.5  139.1  13.3  119.1
29 Delone Catholic 1- 9- 1  0.257309  0.098361  0.451579  1.2  85.8  11.0  104.2
30 Pequea Valley 0- 13- 1  0.207290  0.032051  0.421470  0.5  100.9  15.1  138.5

 

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