Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Lady Mounts earn spot in States

Ephrata picked up a pair of first half goals and held off a flurry of chances from Cedar Cliff over the final 20 minutes, advancing to the District Three Class AAA semifinals and clinching a state playoff berth with a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Cedar Crest High School.

In other Class AAA games involving L-L teams, 10th-seeded Elizabethtown shocked second seeded Lower Dauphin, 2-1, and 19th-seeded Penn Manor bowed out of the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Hershey.

In Ephrata’s win, the Mountaineers struck first, taking the lead on a restart from about 25 yards out.

Senior Kelly Liebl stepped up and lifted a well-placed shot past Cedar Cliff keeper Tess Van Buskirk, who appeared to find the ball in the sun a little late.

“I think the difference in the match was we were prepared for the first half hour, we were ready to go,” Ephrata head coach Wes Deininger said. “The second half, they obviously got more play, put some pressure on.”

The Colts picked up their goal thanks to a run of pressure in the second half. Taylor Chapman corralled a pass from Tehya Hosey and slid a shot past Ephrata keeper Becca Gehman.

Yarger poached her goal, with just under 6:00 to go, after Van Buskirk made an initial save on a shot by Brittany Lutz. Colts’ defender Olivia Shade made a last ditch attempt to clear Yarger’s put back but the ball found the net, giving the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead.

In addition to her first half goal, Liebl came up big with a clearance off the line with 20:38 remaining the second half and the score still 2-0. After Gehman stopped an initial shot from Hosey and Emily Esser put a follow up shot on frame, Liebl slid along the goal line to push away Esser’s shot.

“I just wanted to be there for Becca because a lot of shots were being thrown at her,” Liebl said. “Luckily I was there when the ball started to roll into the net.”

“We just wanted to stay working together as a team on defense because the last two games, we’ve done it very well,” Liebl added. “We’re communicating back there and we’re finding offensive feet a lot better we’re not just kicking the ball up the field.”

Up next, Ephrata will face Cumberland Valley, a 5-0 winner over Red Land Saturday, in the semifinals at Cedar Crest at 5:30 p.m.