MANHEIM - It was a long first half for the the previously undefeated Elco girls’ soccer team in the first round of Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs on Saturday.
The Hempfield Black Knights, the third seed from Section 1, jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Section 3 champions at halftime en route to a 5-0 victory at Manheim Central.
The Black Knights effectively held down Elco’s offensive attack, limiting the Raiders (17-1-0, 13-0-0) to just one shot in the first half and a total of three in the game.
“That was probably the worst game we played this season so far, but obviously I think Hempfield had something to do with that," Elco head coach Derek Fulk said, "I thought they were very much more intense than we were to start the game.”
Defensively, the Raiders had their hands full with Black Knight senior, Samantha Helgeson, who scored the game's first two goals and tacked on an assist on the fourth after her shot hit the crossbar and the rebound was booted into the net by Alexis Adams.
But the Raiders never gave in despite the 4-0 deficit and came out and held the Black Knights to just one goal in the second half.
“I tried to get them going to start the second half and maybe if you get a goal early in the second half you get things going, but 4-0 is a tough deficit to come back from,” said Fulk. “If you can catch a goal early in the second half and then get another it changes the complexion of the game.”
The positive for the Raiders is that they live to play another day as they are currently listed as the No. 5 seed in the Class 3A district power rankings.
“At this point in the season, from now on, if you lose, you’re going home for the most part,” said Fulk. “So the nice thing is we get another opportunity to play and hopefully get this bad taste out of our mouth.”
Elco will have some time to recover from its first loss of the season since the 3A playoffs do not start until October 24.
“Fortunately for us the sun will come up tomorrow and maybe the time off will do us some good,” said Fulk. “Sometimes I think that’s more of a benefit, having some time off, but we will have to see how things go.”
Hempfield 5, Elco 0
Goals: H - Samantha Helgeson 2, Alexis Adams 2, Maddie Schwartz
Assists; H - Lucy Mcgloshen, Helgeson, Abby Burdyn
Shots: Hempfield 12, Elco 3
Saves: H - Maggie Pohl, 1, McKenna Zerbe, 2. E - Emma Strickler, 4, Haley Sherk, 3.
Corners: Hempfield 9, Elco 4