Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Mounts visit Cocalico with Playoff Implications

As we enter the final week of the Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' soccer regular season the section title races are somewhat unsettled.

The playoffs, which begin Saturday with quarterfinal matches, not so much.

This being an "odd-numbered" year, three spots apiece are reserved for teams from Sections One and three with two teams from Section Two rounding out the field of eight.

With the title prett much in hand, Elizabethtown is in from Section Two.

Joining the Bears?

With two matches remaining, four teams are in contention for the remaining playoff invitation.

Cocalico and Ephrata ar tied for second -- they meet Tuesday, in Denver, in a match moved from today to accomodate a scheduling conflict. That game aside, Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Central still have an outside shot.

After facing each other on Tuesday, Cocalico (8-2-1, 25 points) and Ephrata (8-3-1, 25 points) finish Wednesday with Cocalico at Lebanon (0-12) and Ephrata hosting Garden Spot (4-7). The Eagles also have a makeup match at Garden Spot still outstanding.

L-S (7-5, 21) hosts Manheim (6-3-2, 20) today. The Pioneers host E-town (10-1, 30) on Wednesday, while Manheim hosts Solanco (1-11).

But let's be honest. L-S and Manheim are out. The most points L-S can get is 27, and the most Manheim can get is 26 points. Cocalico will have 28 points when they beat Lebanon. And they will beat Lebanon.

So the last playoff spot will likely go to the winner of the Ephrata vs Cocalico game. If Ephrata can beat Cocalico this time around (they lost to them 0-1 on 9/22/15) and subsequently beat Garden Spot they'll be sitting with 31 points. If Cocalico rebounds from the loss to Ephrata to beat Lebanon and Garden Spot they'll also be sitting with 31 points as well. The tiebreaker is first head-to-head which would be a split. The second is goal differential, so if Ephrata were to win by more than one they would clinch. The third is record vs teams above you, since Ephrata beat Elizabethtown and Cocalico didn't Ephrata would earn the seed.

If Cocalico beats Ephrata and then takes Lebanon they'll have 31 points without playing GS, with Ephrata's max total being 28 points if they win their game against Garden Spot. So Cocalico will wrap up 2nd place with a win against Ephrata.

So one thing is certain, Ephrata needs to win tonight to play in the L-L playoffs.