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IMG_2740BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – The Elco boys’ soccer team played at a consistently high level throughout the season. That’s a credit to the Raiders and their coaching staff.

But when it came time for the postseason, that level of competition proved to be not as effective.

On Saturday night at Elco Stadium, the Raiders endured a 3-1 season-ending, home loss to Oley Valley in the quarterfinal round of the District Three Class AA playoffs. After falling behind 2-0 late in the first half, Elco cut its deficit in half early in the second stanza, but could never pieced together the equalizer.

IMG_2772After falling to eventual champion Elizabethtown 4-0 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament, the Raiders were coming off a two-week layoff. Fifth-seeded Elco, co-champions of Section Three of the L-L, was outscored by a combined total of 7-1 in the postseason and ended its fall at 14-4-2.

Fifth-seeded Oley Valley extended its record to 16-5 overall and will meet top-seeded Tulpehocken in Tuesday’s semifinal round of the Class AA tournament.

“We knew it was going to be tough to get to states with the district only taking the top two,” said Elco head coach Kirk Keppley. “We were looking at Oley and then probably Tulpehocken. We knew it was going to be a battle.

IMG_2670“Elizabethtown was a very good team, and so was Oley,” Keppley continued. “It’s like us playing (Lancaster) Mennonite in the section, it’s good competition. We just didn’t end up on the right side. I think we just ran into two very good teams at playoff time.”

Facing a two-goal deficit, the Raiders seemed to be on the path to recovery when Joey Ginder scored 5:38 into the second half. On a left corner kick taken by teammate Steve Wiczalkowski, Ginder got high in the air and took the ball off his head, redirecting it inside the near post.

IMG_2751Though the tally seemed to give Elco momentum at the time, the Raiders had a hard time completely capturing it.

“It was off a corner and Joey went hard to the ball,” said Keppley. “It’s a tough ball for the keeper to get to. That was huge. It was really important. We told the guys to keep fighting. We were playing defensively in the first half. We just never got the second one to tie it up. We just couldn’t find a way to get a ball in the back of the net.

“They (the Lynx) were good at getting the ball out, and they have speed,” Keppley added. “It was back and forth. When we needed to push, we found ourselves in our own end.”

The match was scoreless until 5:20 before the break, when Oley Valley’s Dominic Capriolo played a dangerous ball into the Elco goal mouth. Raider keeper Matt Berger and Lynx forward Clark Williamson both converged on the ball at the same time, but Williamson got enough of a touch on it to trickle by Berger and into the Elco net.

“The first two goals we didn’t get the ball out defensively,” said Keppley. “We didn’t have the urgency to get to the ball. On the first one, the kid (Williamson) just got a toe on it, literally.

IMG_2778“I thought it was a pretty good battle,” continued Keppley. “We were sitting for two weeks, while they were winning the Berks league. They’re just on fire right now. They have huge momentum.”

But the goal that really hurt was the one the Raiders surrendered 17 seconds before intermission. It was a well-placed shot from Dylan Gehris, a 35-yarder off his right foot that beat Berger high to the far side.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Keppley. “Losing is very disappointing, but they’re a good team. It’s not like we came out here and out played them and didn’t win.”

The Lynx put the outcome to rest with Gehris’ second goal, which came with 3:48 remaining. Josh Daniels played a ball deep into the box from the right side of the field, Gehris gathered it, settled it, turned and ripped a right-footer into the net.

It was one of Oley Valley’s 16 shots on the evening, compared to seven for the Raiders. Each side took four corner kicks.

“Winning the section, that’s a very good thing,” said Keppley. “We accomplished something good there. You’d like to see more. But there are many teams who didn’t get into the playoffs and would like to be here.

IMG_2776“I think the guys want to come out next year and repeat in the section,” Keppley added. “I think they have that desire and will work in the off-season to get there.”

 

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com. or to view more go to www.https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/?page_id=40462.

 

 

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 2016 Elco Boys’ Soccer Results

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
09/28 *
@Lancaster Catholic
4:00 PM W 6-4
09/30 *
Lebanon Catholic
4:00 PM W 8-0
10/01
Tulpehocken
5:30 PM L 2-5
10/03 *
Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM T 1-1
10/05 *
@Donegal
7:00 PM W 2-1
10/07 *
Northern Lebanon
4:00 PM W 8-1
10/10 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM W 3-1
10/12 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM W 3-0
10/15 #
@Elizabethtown
12:00 PM L 0-4
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
10/29 #
Oley Valley
7:00 PM Elco High School

 

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PIAA District Three

 Final Class AA Power Rankings

AA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP
1 Tulpehocken 18- 0- 0  0.792820  1.000000  0.539599
2 Biglerville 16- 1- 0  0.701523  0.941176  0.408614
3 Lancaster Mennonite 15- 1- 2  0.698349  0.885057  0.470149
4 Eastern Lebanon County 14- 2- 2  0.654237  0.821839  0.449391
5 Oley Valley 12- 5- 0  0.635628  0.713450  0.540512
6 Wyomissing 12- 5- 1  0.624433  0.667630  0.571636
7 Boiling Springs 9- 6- 2  0.582127  0.620112  0.535702
8 Middletown 12- 6- 0  0.579978  0.673469  0.465711
9 Trinity 10- 6- 2  0.572811  0.615789  0.520283
10 Annville Cleona 11- 7- 0  0.517662  0.558824  0.467353
11 Bermudian Springs 10- 5- 1  0.514447  0.603226  0.405941
12 Eastern York 6- 11- 1  0.468995  0.389571  0.566070
13 Pequea Valley 7- 11- 0  0.424613  0.372222  0.488647
14 Brandywine Heights 5- 10- 1  0.417253  0.285276  0.578559
15 Hanover 8- 9- 0  0.398831  0.371257  0.432532
16 Lancaster Catholic 6- 11- 1  0.392331  0.325137  0.474457
17 Delone Catholic 5- 8- 0  0.383582  0.323308  0.457249
18 Upper Dauphin 8- 10- 0  0.354120  0.311828  0.405811
19 Schuylkill Valley 3- 13- 0  0.352031  0.177632  0.565186
20 Littlestown 1- 17- 0  0.243320  0.037634  0.494713
21 Susquenita 0- 18- 0  0.226548  0.000000  0.503440

 

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Final Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

 

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Lancaster Mennonite 12-0-2 15-2-2
Elco 12-0-2 14-3-2
Annville-Cleona 8-6 11-8
Donegal 7-6-1 9-7-2
Pequea Valley 5-8 6-10
Lancaster Catholic 4-7-1 4-8-1
Northern Lebanon 1-11 3-13
Lebanon Catholic 0-13 1-16

 

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