Monday, January 22, 2018
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Mounts, Barons battle to tie

After a back-and-forth first half Monday night in which the Ephrata and Manheim Central boys’ soccer teams accounted for nearly a dozen combined shots on goal, the Mounts took control of the second half and dominated possession.

It seemed like it would only be a matter of time for Ephrata to find the back of the net.

And, for a moment, the Mounts thought they did, when they scored off of a direct kick with 13 minutes remaining to break up the scoreless tie. Except the goal was called off, with the Mounts whistled for being offsides.

The Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two matchup in Manheim eventually went to a pair of overtimes, and Ephrata and the Barons ended in a scoreless tie.

What it means: Had the Mounts lost, they would have dropped behind Manheim Central in the standings and into a third-place tie with Lampeter-Strasburg.

Instead, Ephrata (7-2-1 L-L League, 9-3-1 overall) held onto second place in the Section Two standings behind first-place Elizabethtown (9-0-0, 11-0-1).

The Barons (6-2-2, 7-43) are now sitting in fourth place behind third-place Lampeter-Strasburg (73-0, 7-4-1), which is important to keep in mind considering the top three teams from Section Two qualify for the league tournament at the finish of the regular season, which ends two weeks.

Ephrata will host L-S on Wednesday night.

“We still control our destiny as far as playoffs for the league and for districts,” Ephrata coach Rob Deininger said afterwards. “We just have to do what we’re supposed to do and we’ll be OK. So in that instance it helps us that way.”

Golden goalies: Ephrata keeper Jimmy Hickey tallied seven saves in Monday’s tie, two of them in overtime. Manheim Central goalie Mason Nissley was even busier, collecting 12 stops, with two of those coming in the extra periods.

Both teams combined for 11 shots on goal in the first half. But after the break, it was all Ephrata in the second half of regulation, with the Mounts outshooting the Barons, 5-0, and getting three corner kicks to none for Manheim Central.

“We kept the same (formation) we just had two new guys back there (on defense at the start) because of injuries. So I think it took them a little while to figure it out,” Deininger said when asked what changed defensively for Ephrata after halftime. “We kept pressure on the ball and we started winning a lot of balls. “Our two midfielders Nikita (Patrushev) and Nick Auker did a great job for us just winning balls and putting in some good spots for us. It was a good physical game.

“They had a couple opportunities there at the end. We had a couple more earlier, but nothing-nothing. High school soccer, ya know?”