MYERSTOWN - It was one of those hard-fought games that you hate to see anyone lose Thursday night at Elco, as the Raiders hosted LL Section 3 foe Annville-Cleona in a boys soccer showdown.
And it required overtime before Elco's Seth Noll was able to score the game-winner to give his team a 2-1 victory and keep the Raiders in a first-place tie in the section.
“I was just facing Joey Ginder and stuck my foot out for a redirection. It just happened to slip by the keeper,” said Noll of his game-winner.
Within the first two minutes of the game, the Raiders (7-1-1, 6-0-1) tested Annville-Cleona’s goalkeeper twice, and a third attempt sailed wide left. It looked like the Little Dutchmen just might be in for a long night, especially with Elco appearing to be the sharper team in the first half with most of the play on the A-C side of the field.
But with time winding down in the first half a mental error proved to be very costly for the Raiders. The Little Dutchmen were awarded a direct kick and Eli Setlock was able to get his shot away and into the net as time expired to tie the game.
“I think after we got our first goal the guys kind of stepped back a little, and we told them at halftime that wasn’t OK and that we gave up too many fouls and that one got us,” Elco coach Kirk Keppley said.
A scoreless second half forced the overtime period and the ensuing heroics of Ginder and Noll
“It felt great," Noll said. "We were all working hard and I think we all wanted it once overtime came.”
Elco’s Evan Gettler opened the scoring with an assist from Justin Kimmet.
The Raiders travel to Wyomissing on Saturday for a non-league game. The Little Dutchmen, who dropped to 5-4-0, 3-4-0, also head to Berks County on Saturday for their contest at Oley Valley.
After the non-league games, the Raiders will play the second half of their league schedule, ending at Annville-Cleona on Oct. 12.
“I think our guys, especially the seniors, it’s always a battle every year with them,” said Keppley.
So that game on Oct. 12 might be just as interesting.
Elco 2, Annville-Cleona 1
A-Cleona _ 1 _ 0 _ 0 - 1
Elco _ 1 _ 0 _ 1 - 2
Goals: AC - Eli Setlock, E: Evan Gettler, Seth Noll
Assists: E - Justin Kimmet, Joe Ginder