Monday, January 22, 2018
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Pioneers top Mounts

Maybe it was playing under the lights with a large crowd on hand. Maybe it was that they just didn’t want to lose on Senior Night.

Or maybe, it’s simply the fact, that despite being overlooked by many after a 2-5 start, the Lampeter-Strasburg Pioneers — now on a six-game win streak with a 3-0 shutout of Lancaster- Lebanon League Section Two boys soccer leader Ephrata on Wednesday night — are the real deal.

The Pioneers are now 8-2 in Section Two and 8-5 overall.

“We realized who they were, but we also realize who we are,” defender Jordan Sweger said of beating the Mounts (9-1-1, 12-2-1). “We started the season off slow, but we are right up there with them, and we proved that tonight. We played with a lot of heart and passion.”

Peyton Denlinger put the Pioneers on the board first at the game’s 30-minute mark, when he curved the ball past Ephrata goalie Dave Patrushev on an assist from Derek Eckman. L-S continued its aggressive play and cushioned the lead when Patrick McClain, with his first of two assists on the night, found Logan Heister, in the 54th minute.

Ethan Bare, on a pass from McClain, finished things off with a long shot on goal in the 67th minute.

The Mounts, who had just six shots on goal for the night, got their best chance when Gabe Sensenig lofted a soft shot at Paul Keller, who had no problem making the save with just over two minutes left.

Key to the game: Without a doubt, it was the defense of the Pioneers. Despite constant pressure by Ephrata’s attackers, led by Sweger, along with Colin Anderson and Matt O’Neil, L-S was able to counter anything that came near the goal.