Monday, January 22, 2018
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Mounts Knock off York Champs

The Spring Grove girls' soccer team experienced the highs and lows of athletic competition in quick succession.

Four nights ago the Rockets finally captured a YAIAA championship with their stirring victory over Central York.

Monday night at Manheim Central High School, their season came to an end with a thud.

The Rockets were eliminated in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs, 5-0, at the hands of a quicker, sharper Ephrata squad.

No. 17 Spring Grove's season ends with a 17-4-2 mark.

For their efforts, the 16th-seeded Mounts (13-5-1) draw top-seeded Cumberland Valley in the next round.

"Their whole team was very fast, especially up top," Spring Grove head coach Ashley Rohrbaugh said. "They kept running at us. We had a couple of breakdowns. I don't think we played up to what I'm expecting of our team.

"They have a good team, and they took it to us."

The Mounts scored three first-half goals -- including a back-breaker with 1 second left -- and put an exclamation mark on the proceedings with two second-half scores.

Forwards Alma Wilson and Aly Goodman each scored twice for Ephrata.

"I was surprised at the score,"

Ephrata head coach Chris Dutton admitted. "From what I understand, they had a very successful season. ... Winning the league, that's something that we didn't do."

It was Goodman's header with a tick left on the first-half clock -- coming off a rushed corner kick from teammate Leah Sipe trying to beat the clock -- that proved to be the psychological dagger for Spring Grove, the Rockets' biggest breakdown of the evening.

"You never know what to expect," Rohrbaugh said. "Sometimes you have an off-game, and tonight we had an off-game. Obviously, you want to be on the winning end, and it just didn't happen for us tonight."

Ephrata's front line of Goodman, Sipe and Wilson gave the Rockets fits all evening. One of the trio of playmakers always seemed to be a half-step in front of the mark, making a play on the ball.

"(Spring Grove) was giving a bunch of through balls, and we've got the speed, and we work well together," Wilson said. None of the five goals allowed could be pinned on Spring Grove goalie Stacey Root, who needed to make some acrobatic saves just to keep the score where it was.

"Our starting keeper this year (Lacey Adams) went down with an ACL during basketball season," Rohrbaugh said. "So (Root) stepped in and played excellent for us this year. She got rewarded for it by being on the senior all-star team."

Goodman opened the scoring by getting behind Spring Grove's defense and beating Root 1-on-1 by placing the kick to the lower left-hand corner of the net 11:18 into the contest.

Wilson made it 2-0 on a nice feed from Emily McHenry roughly 17 minutes later.

With the clock winding down on the first half, Ephrata was awarded a corner kick.

Sipe hurriedly asked for a ball, got it with about 5 seconds to play, then launched a perfect strike to an unguarded Goodman, who skimmed a header past Root and into the cage with 1.2 seconds showing on the scoreboard.

Sipe and Wilson closed things out with goals after the break.