Hess gets 100, but Elco tops Annville-Cleona in OT
ANNVILLE - Reagan Hess has scored some spectacular goals during her four-year soccer career at Annville-Cleona.
None were bigger than Nos. 100 and 101, which came Thursday against Elco in an L-L League Section 3 clash at A-C.
The mercurial senior staked A-C to a 2-0 lead that stood for more than an hour. In the end, however, coach Derek Fulk's unbeaten Raiders dug deep and pulled out the 3-2 win in overtime on a goal by freshman Tanisha Grewal.
"For nearly 65 minutes, we couldn't do anything," Fulk said. "A-C's defense played great. Their goalie (Alyssa Blackman) was unbelievable. We kept telling our girls to get the first goal. Being down 2-0 is a lot different than being down 2-1 or 1-0."
Elco's big break finally came with 14:05 left when freshman Natalie Swingholm whipped a low cross into the middle that glanced off a defender and spun into the net past Blackman.
Five minutes later, Elco junior Emily Bidelspach collected a ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a low, rolling shot into the left corner of the goal to tie the game.
Early in OT, Hess ran onto a ball deep in Elco territory, before Raider goalie Emma Strickler came off her line to thwart the play.
Finally a few minutes later, Elco's standout sophomore, Ryelle Shuey, dribbled into A-C's defensive end and drew her customary three defenders around her. Shuey slipped the ball to Grewal, whose uncontested shot from 20 yards flew into the upper right corner of the goal.
"We got two goals from freshmen," Fulk said. "Tanisha's shot was unbelievable. She's really been coming on. She scored the tying goal for us in our last game against Pequea Valley, then Eve Peiffer's goal won it for us (2-1)."
The A-C defense, led by Sarah Fischer, Joannah Myers, Gracey Lombardo, Reagan Sellers and Malin Hermanson deserved a better fate.
"I was so proud my team and our defense," Hess said. "It was a great game. We beat Elco in double overtime my sophomore year when I scored in double overtime. This was the last time I'll play Elco on our field, but we'll play them one more time (at Elco)."
Fulk, whose team is 10-0 and ranked No. 4 in District Three Class AAA, said he couldn't be happier for Hess.
"For her to get to 100 career goals is fantastic," he said. "She's a great finisher, with unbelievable speed. She's one of the best goal scorers in our league. She creates a lot of chances on her own. And when she gets a look at the goal, she almost always puts it away."
A-C coach John Myers, whose team slipped to 4-6 overall and 1-5 in league, said coaching Hess has been a pleasure.
"These were Reagan's 20th and 21st goals of the season," he said. "She scored six goals in a game early in the season in a tournament at Hamburg, and scored five against Lebanon Catholic. Those were great goals she scored today. Too bad they didn't stand up."
This game matched two of the most dynamic players in the L-L League: Shuey, the reigning MVP in Section 3, and Hess.
Shuey, who has nine goals on the season and 32 for her career, is playing under a lot of pressure.
"Just about every game," Fulk said, "Ry's surrounded by two, three or four players. She's getting fouled a lot. She's a little banged up. She's had to change her game a bit from looking for her shot to looking for other players."
Elco 3, Annville-Cleona 2 (OT)
Elco 0 2 1 - 3
Annville-Cleona 1 1 0 - 2
Goals: E - Natalie Swingholm, Emily Bidelspach, Tanisha Grewal, AC- Reagan Hess 2
Assists: E - Ryelle Shuey, AC: Gracey Lombardo, Liane Lech.
Shots: Elco 18, Annville-Cleona 4
Saves: E - Emma Strickler 2, AC - Alyssa Blackman 15.
Corners: Elco 7, Annville-Cleona 0