Monday, January 22, 2018
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Lady Mounts ousted by Eagles

The Lady Mounts Soccer team traveled to Cumberland Valley Thursday evening to take on the top seeded Cumberland Valley Eagles in the opening round of the District 3-AAA Tournament. The Mounts, fresh off their play-in 5-0 win over York Champion Spring Grove, gave the Eagles all they could handle. 

Cumberland Valley goalie Shelbie Rackley has made numerous saves throughout the season, but probably none have been bigger than the final save on Thursday night.

Her save allowed the top-seeded Eagles to exit Harry Chapman Field with a 2-1 victory over the Ephrata Mountaineers.

Ephrata trailed 2-1 but hustled to line up a corner kick in the final 10 seconds. Leah Sipe ripped a liner across the crease and the Eagles’ Mary Kate Lowry got her head on the cross and headed it out. Ephrata's Emily Beamesderfer gathered the ball at the edge of the box and her rip toward the near corner was grabbed by Rackley as the horn sounded to end the contest.

“It was crazy at the end, I think we got a bit scattered, said Rackley. “I saw the ball go out and I thought she was going to pass it but she fired. I always try to be able to see the ball the whole way and be in position whether it is early in the game or late in the game. We are advancing and it has been a while for this team. As a sophomore this is mind-blowing that our team is this good. We could go far.”

The Eagles grabbed a quick lead as Helena Tinnyo found a loose ball in front of the net after a mad scramble. The ball was kept alive by Liz Phillips and it squirted toward the other end of the net and all Tinnyo had to do was tap it in. Cumberland Valley (12-3-3) dominated the first half and should have had several goals. It did get a second goal later in the half as Liz Phillips booted a loose ball into the back of the net.

The Eagles had several crosses go through the goal mouth but no one was there to knock them home. Tinnyo hit the crossbar of the football goalposts and Carter Sheeley hit the upright just above the crossbar. Rackley’s toughest save of the first half was a long ball that she came off of her line to snag as defender Kim Brown set up a brick wall to shield off the Mounts speedster Alma Wilson.

During the second half, the momentum started to shift as the Mounts started to attack the ball and mounted the attack into the offensive third. Sipe finally got the Mounts on the board as she wheeled on a throw-in and laced a ball that Rackley touched but couldn’t stop and it carried into the far corner of the net.

“We made some adjustments at the half by telling the kids to go out and have fun,” said Mounts coach Chris Dutton. We didn’t switch any players or positions, it was just have fun. We really started to attack the ball the second half. We came out to play and took the top-ranked team down to the end. Beamesderfer took the last shot and luckily the goalie was there because it was going in. Cumberland Valley is a very physical team and this is districts. They let them play. We came out a little too late-maybe if we had another minute or two. I wish the best to Cumberland Valley.”

“I feel better now,” added Meghan O’Grady. “Shelbie was there on that last shot as she has been all year. We knew they were a fast team and we had to attack and get to the 50-50 balls. We played much better in the first half. Shelbie did a nice job and has really stepped it up this year. Our outside backs and outside mids really stepped it up for us tonight and all year. We all had to step it up to fill Tama’s position.”

“We won games when we played aggressively this year, added Ed Batista. “Meghan did an outstanding job tonight. When they moved Sipe up front they did us a favor. It made it easier for Lowry for mark her. I thought with about 10 minutes to go, our first-half misses were going to come back to haunt us. Shelbie came up big. Lowry rises to the occasion. The tougher you play her, the tougher she plays.”

The loss ends the season for the Mounts.