Highlights of Elco's 5-2 win over Lancaster Catholic Wednesday in girls soccer in Section 3 play. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
MYERSTOWN – It’s pretty clear that the focal part of an undefeated season thus far for Elco girls soccer has been balanced scoring.
Lately however - even though the Raiders have obviously maintained their winning ways - the well-oiled machine that is the Elco offense hadn’t been as consistent. That also includes one particular player in Jenna Oliviero.
But in a date with Lancaster Catholic, the light bulb went on again for Oliviero and the rest of the Elco attack. The Raiders found themselves back at full strength as perhaps one of the toughest offenses to tame, as Oliviero turned in a two-goal performance and the Raiders rolled to a 5-2 win Wednesday over the Crusaders.
“I didn’t know what was happening with me lately. I just couldn’t finish. I’d make all the right moves, I’d get the shot off but couldn’t finish,” Oliviero said. “I’m starting to feel a little more optimistic. I’ve been working on that and tonight it finally came through. I got in that right position and finished.”
Oliviero’s first goal first got the Raiders (12-0, 8-0) on the board early in the sixth minute, off an assist from Eve Peiffer. Her second goal started the scoring in the second half about two and a half minutes in, making it 4-0 Elco, thanks to an assist from Taylor Bossert.
“I think sometimes Jenna can be her own worst enemy. But she challenges herself which is good,” Elco coach Derek Fulk said. “She’s definitely a finisher, and I’m glad she’s on our team and she got out of her funk tonight. She’s a great target player and creates a lot of things for us just by her presence up front.”
Kiersten Sweigart made it 2-0 Elco in the 26th minute off an assist from Natalie Swingholm, followed by a goal from Tanisha Grewal about two minutes later, thanks to a Melodi Dove assist, making it 3-0 Raiders at the half.
Ryelle Shuey increased the Elco lead to 5-0 with a goal in the 51st minute.
And with some of those early chances finding the back of the net, Fulk was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
“I wanted to see us start fast. That was key when we played at their place,” he said. “They’re a well-coached team. They had a few players out the first time we played, so I knew they were going to be a better team and more fundamentally sound. We just got good opportunities and put them away early. I thought we got back on track tonight.”
Jaynie Wells and Ally D’Ercole had both Crusader (6-4, 4-4) goals, in the 51st and 79th minutes, respectively. Wells’ goal came just five seconds after Shuey’s goal.
And usually when it comes to positive streaks, doing the little things properly is the key to those productive outcomes. One very important part of that is getting better, according to Oliviero.
“We’re all very close and have a good bond. But we’re a younger team, so we’re starting to communicate a lot better,” she said. “We also have a lot of depth, and don’t just rely on one person. I think that’s paying off in our goals.”