MANHEIM – A boxer usually needs more than one good punch in the first period to win a match. Victory often requires consistent blows to wear the opponent down.
In Saturday's Lancaster-Lebanon League boys soccer quarterfinals, Elizabethtown did not register a first-period knockout after scoring in the first two minutes against Elco, as the Raiders stayed with the Bears over the first 40 minutes. However, another tally early in the second half gave Elizabethtown control of the match on the way to a 4-0 victory.
Elco (14-3-2) will play next in the District 3 Class 2A quarterfinals on Saturday, Oct. 29. Elizabethtown (14-3-1) will face Warwick in the L-L semifinals on Tuesday.
Braden Kreider scored 1:24 into the game to put the Bears up 1-0, but the first half was mostly evenly played.
“We gave up an early goal, but then it was a good first half,” Elco coach Kirk Kepley said. “We gave up an early goal in the second half, and it took the wind out of our sails.”
That second goal was scored by David Shank, 3:26 after halftime. With the 2-0 lead, Elizabethtown was able to shift play to Elco's defensive half of the field for long stretches of time. The Bears had four corners in the nine minutes following Shaak's goal.
The last of those corners was played short and eventually reached Colin Wieand, who put the ball in the net for a 3-0 lead with 27:24 left. Kreider assisted.
“When they got the third goal, as well as they were playing defensively, you could tell things weren't going to go our way,” Kepley said.
Elco was held to only a couple of quality offensive chances. In the first half, Evan Gettler took a clear shot from 30 yards out that sailed wide left. In the second half, Justin Kimmet took a low liner from the left of the box that was caught by goalkeeper Austin Denlinger.
The next task for Elco is making the best use of a two-week layoff before playing in the district tournament. Kepley said that he is hoping to schedule a scrimmage against another playoff-bound team.
“We need to make sure we're focused and take it to whoever our opponent is,” Kepley said. “I think today we came out and played the first half well. The second half was sloppy. We need to play an 80-minute game.”
NOTES: It was the first time the Raiders had been shut out this season ... Adan Cabrera-Perez added the final goal for E-town ... Denlinger made two saves; as did Elco keeper Matthew Berger ... The Bears had six shots and five corners; the Raiders had two and zero, respectively ... Elco is currently No. 4 in the District 3 Class 2A power ratings.