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DENVER, PA - In a field this wide-open, chemistry and intensity can go a long way.

The Cocalico Lady Eagles girls' soccer team gave light to that axiom Thursday evening with a 4-0 victory over L-L Section Two competitor Lampeter-Strasburg on the fresh, rain-soaked turf of Talon Field.

Freshman Rowan Lapi and senior Emily Zwiercan led the offense with two goals apiece as the Lady Eagles (1-0-1 L-L, 2-0-1 overall) made the most of their seven total shots on goal, this coming after an arduous double-overtime stalemate versus section foe Manheim Central earlier in the week.

"I was hoping we would see this today," said Cocalico head coach Dan Hogan. "Playing L-S, they're always so tough and we were lucky enough just to find the net a couple times. We have a couple girls that have really fine-tuned how they're finishing and it really paid off tonight."

On a Cocalico corner kick just four minutes into the contest, Zwiercan kicked short to a waiting Lapi, who dribbled once and fired a strike off the finger-tips of L-S goalkeeper Bella DeCamillo (3 saves).

"This field is the widest field it could possibly be, it's eighty yards wide," Hogan explained of the short-corner play. "Just because it is such a long way into the box, it's hard to hit a good quality ball there all the time so we wanted short-corner as one of our options."

Lapi later returned the assist, finding Zwiercan alone in the middle of the field for a one-on-one rush with the goalkeeper and a quick 2-0 lead over the Lady Pioneers (1-1, 1-2).

"It was a through-ball from Rowan and I kind of took a weird touch," Zwiercan said of setting up the goal, "And I was like I just have to shoot it to hit it as far as I can and it went (in)."

"I knew the minute that we started playing during preseason that I would connect with her," the senior added of her quick chemistry with fellow midfielder Lapi. "She's not selfish, she will find me through; we kind of know where each other is on the field."

After the half, Lapi and Zwiercan each netted their second goals on breakaways down the right sideline-assisted by Paxton Steffy and Morgan Glassey, respectively-finding the far corner for a 4-0 lead with 32:41 left to play.

"Obviously, a 4-0 score you never want to be on the wrong end of that," said head coach of the Lady Pioneers Aaron Strous. "We struggled on the midfield today, and it was pretty evident. We have a lot of young kids playing in spots they're not used to; we're going to make mistakes and tonight our mistakes cost us."

The Pioneers were held without a corner in the contest and managed just three shots on goal, two of which came off the foot of sophomore striker Maddie Stabinger long after the final score was set, each shot deftly saved by goalkeeper Emily White (3 saves).

"We're struggling to find our work ethic and I think once we find that, coupled with the skill level that we have, we're going to get stronger as the season goes on," Strous said. "Until we get it, we're going to struggle a little bit but we're going to play our hardest for eighty minutes."

Meanwhile, the Lady Eagles continue to take flight in the early going.

"We were definitely more intense as the game wore on which was awesome," Zwiercan said. "We can look back and be like this is the intensity we need for games and motivate each other how we can."

"I'll give this senior class a ton of credit," Hogan said. "They knew there were going to be some younger girls that were going to get some minutes and they've really embraced them. When you get a season like that sometimes special things can happen."

Which is an exciting thought, even as the Lady Eagles round the first corner of a grueling Section Two race.

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Cocalico 4, Lampeter-Strasburg 0

LS 0 0 - 0

COC 2 2 - 4

Lampeter-Strasburg Scoring: NA

Lampeter-Strasburg Assists: NA

Cocalico Scoring: R. Lapi 2 (1st, 4:00; 2nd, 1:32), E. Zwiercan 2 (1st, 23:53; 2nd, 7:19)

Cocalico Assists: Zwiercan, Lapi, P. Steffy, M. Glassey

Corners-Shots: LS 0-3, COC 5-7

Saves: LS B. DeCamillo 3, COC E. White 3

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