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It can take quite a while for a concept in practice to be exercised in a game. In Cedar Crest's case, it didn't occur until the preliminary playoff round, but couldn't have transpired at a more pivotal moment.

The Falcons topped Ephrata 2-1 (11-7-1) Friday night at Earl Boltz Stadium, with Carli Wasson netting the game-winning goal off a corner kick from Alex Burrows in the 44th minute of action. Cedar Crest (10-6-3, 6-5-1 Section One) moved on to the first round of District Three playoffs, where they'll face No. 2 seed Governor Mifflin Tuesday night.

"That's a set piece we've run throughout the season," Cedar Crest head coach John Brubaker said. "That's actually the first time we've scored on it this year. We've had a lot of missed opportunities throughout the year, but it came at the right time."

The home Falcons overcame a 1-0 deficit late in the first quarter to continue their season, where they'll need to play much better against an elite team in Governor Mifflin. Cedar Crest freshman goalkeeper Desiree Leffler touched a loose ball outside the box, leading to a free kick for the road club, which was converted immediately by senior Kay Liebl.

"We talked before the game about how playoff games are a grind," Brubaker explained. "We might get scored on first and it might take us a little while to score, but I didn't want to see any negative body language and whatever happened we need to respond with a lot of positive energy. I think we did that."

Junior forward and team-leading scorer Ariel Jones scored for Cedar Crest to knot the game at one just 26 seconds after Ephrata took a 1-0 lead, following Kay Liebl's free kick tally which gave the Mounts a 1-0 lead with 9:43 remaining in the first half. Jones, the Falcons leading scorer, snuck behind the Ephrata defense following a long pass by senior defender Olivia Malay and fired it past Mounts' goalie Becca Gehman.

"Olivia Maylay played a great backside ball, she dropped it in the box," Brubaker explained of the tying goal. "That is a ball we practiced the day before so we were thrilled about it."

The home Falcons started the contest unfazed by the large stakes of the situation, playing with innate focus and intensity. Ephrata didn't register a shot until the 21st minute of action. The Mounts had entered the game with just one loss over their past 10 games and had picked up wins in three of their last four contests prior to their season-ending defeat.

"I think the girls were excited to play and they came out with a lot of energy," Brubaker said. "They did a really nice job of pressuring them (Ephrata) when they had the ball. It allowed us to keep possession in their end."

Brubaker stated that his team needs to increase their communication and play tighter defensively in front of their goalkeeper to challenge their next opponent.

"Governor Mifflin is a great team and it's going to be a really difficult game for us."

Cedar Crest 2, Ephrata 1

Cedar Crest11—2

Ephrata10—1

First half — CC: Ariel Jones;

Second half — CC: Carli Wasson

Assists — CC: Alex Burrows, Olivia Malay

Shots on goal — CC: 14, E: 14

Corners — CC: 6, E: 4

Saves — CC: Desiree Leffler (5), E: Becca Gehman (7)

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