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The Pioneers were able to put enough pressure on Cocalico to secure a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. Video by John Buffone

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LAMPETER TWP. — The first half of Lampeter-Strasburg’s girls’ soccer matchup versus Cocalico was very much like the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two standings — congested in the middle.

Fortunately for all teams involved, things are looking to open up in the second half.

Kristen Worry gave L-S a first-half lead, and an own-goal in the second half provided the game-winner, as the host Pioneers came away with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Eagles Wednesday afternoon.

“I got a nice through-ball from my outside-mid Ryleigh (Lefever),” Worry said of the first-half ice-breaker. “I wasn’t even looking at the goal, just kind of swung, saw it go in, and we got really excited, obviously, we were up one-nothing.”

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Following Monday’s victory over Garden Spot, the Pioneers (3-3 L-L, 6-3 overall) have now defeated their second consecutive opponent ahead of them in Section Two, which had four teams tied for second place entering the day.

Having won five of their last six games, however, L-S has successfully joined that scrum, while drawing even with Cocalico (3-3, 4-4) at the midpoint of the league season.

“It was stressful,” said Pioneers’ coach Emily Lebo regarding the back-and-forth contest with the Eagles. “But it was really awesome to see some things are starting to come together for the girls.”

Things briefly came together for Dan Hogan’s squad at the start of the second half, with Eagles’ midfielder Megan Weir assisting on Sam Klumpp’s equalizer in the 52nd minute.

This, after Lebo expressed concern at halftime that the Cocalico side was outplaying her squad.

“Our hope in the second half was to play a little bit more of the feet and draw their defenders out,” Lebo said. “I wouldn’t say we won more fifty-fifty balls but I would definitely say that we maybe drew their back defense out a little bit more and got in on the backside.”

Which proved particularly effective in the 60th minute when Kendal Ream drove the right side of the field and sent a perfect cross into the box, where it glanced off the back of a Cocalico defender and past Eagles’ keeper Adi Landis (three saves) for the game-winner.

“We knew this was one of our last home games,” stated Worry, a senior who is committed to play at McDaniel College next season. “We really wanted it and we were like we’re going to give it all we have, pressure as much as we can and it gave us an own goal which was great.”

L-S led statistically in the second half with three corners to none for the Eagles. For the game, the Pioneers outshot Cocalico 4-2 in regard to shots on goal.

Cocalico did have a pair of first-half shots go high or wide, and Pioneers’ keeper Bella DiCamillo finished with one save. She and her teammates, meanwhile, appear to be saving their best for the second half of the season.

“Huge win,” Worry said. “We just got bumped up to second or third place as long as we play well against Solanco Saturday. We have a really good chance of making playoffs, so I’m excited about that.”

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Lampeter-Strasburg 2, Cocalico 1

L-S _ 1 _ 1 _ — _ 2

COC _ 0 _ 1 _ — _ 1

FIRST HALF:

1. LS, Kristen Worry, 24’

SECOND HALF:

2. COC, Sam Klumpp (Megan Weir), 52’

3. LS, own goal, 60’

CORNERS-SHOTS: COC 3-2. LS 4-4.

SAVES: COC, Adi Landis 3. LS Bella DiCamillo 1

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