Elco drops state qualifier to Susquehannock
MANCHESTER >> Win or go home games can often bring out the best in a team. Just the opposite occurred for the Elco Raiders Saturday night.
Elco's season ended at Northeastern High School, with the Raiders falling to the Susquehannock Warriors, 2-0. Susquehannock moved on to the AA state playoffs, while Elco takes the long drive home and begins its offseason.
The Raiders' urgency and energy was invisible, with Elco's generating minimal scoring chances the entire night, a shocking revelation to head coach Derek Fulk. Elco recorded 11 shots, but many of them were low-chance opportunities. Fulk had no specific reason for the lack of intensity from his club, who finished the year 16-6-1.
"For what we had to lose, you would think there should be no reason not to," Fulk said of his club's lack of energy. "It's a little frustrating from that perspective because we had everything to play for. I don't understand why. I don't understand why we looked that way. I don't really have an answer."
Maddy Mummert and Taylor Tannura scored for the Warriors in the first and second half, respectively, with Elco's offense staying in a dormant phase throughout Saturday evening.
"We just told them at half time 'keep playing hard and keep fighting and see what happens,'" Fulk explained. "When they got the second goal it changed the whole momentum of the game. For the most part, we told them to keep going at it, keep making things happen. You never know what can happen."
Elco earned just one corner kick in the matchup and missed out on a free-kick opportunity with just over 18 minutes remaining, while it still trailed 1-0. It would be its last quality chance.
"I don't know if it was just the fact that playing what you're playing for, you put so much pressure on yourself that you're so nervous and you don't give your best effort," Fulk stated.
Although they won't be making an appeared in the District 3 AA state playoffs, the Raiders had a more than satisfactory 2015 campaign. They fell in penalty kicks against Fleetwood last Monday, resulting in their consolation matchup against the Warriors.
Elco's current group of seniors finished their high school careers strong, earning three Section 3 championships over the course of four seasons.
"Obviously it was a successful season," Fulk said. "I feel good for our seniors who were part of three section championships while they were at Elco. It's good for them to send them off with that.
"I'm very happy with where we ended up, as far as going to the District semi-finals. Obviously not the way we wanted to finish tonight, but I thought it was a very successful season and something that we can build on."
District Three AA Consolation Game
Susquehannock 2, Elco 0
S 1 1 — 2 E 0 0 — 0
First half — Maddy Mummert (24:26) assisted by Taylor Tannura
Second half — Taylor Tannura (13:11)
Shots on goal — S 8, E 11
Corners — S 0, E 1
Saves — S: Ashley Stone (7), E: Emma Strickler (2 saves)