Elizabethtown turned 19 shots, 10 on goal, into two first half goals to defeat visiting Cedar Crest 2-1.
Braden Kreider served a corner into the box in the 15th minute that found Colin Wieand’s head to give the Bears the first goal of the game. It was Wieand’s fourth goal of the season. Kreider’s assist was his tenth of the season to go along with 10 goals. The rest of the Bears have 13 assists combined.
David Shank tied Kreider for the team lead in goals with his goal in the 30th minute. Kreider and Shank have accounted for 20 of the team’s 37 goals, or 54 percent.
Elizabethtown’s third leading goal scorer, Adan Cabrera Perez, did not play in the contest. To fill his void, Giovanni Verghese and Jared Kiess each saw an uptick in playing time.
Starting goalie Austin Denlinger and the Bears went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
The second half was smooth sailing for Elizabethtown until Cedar Crest scored on goalie Cole Baker in the 74th minute.
“A 2-0 lead is the most dangerous in soccer and, if they score early, then they get the momentum. Fortunately, for us, they scored late,” coach James Sostack said.
While the Bears held on for their 12th win of the season, Sostack left the game feeling that Elizabethtown did not take advantage of the scoring opportunities that they were presented with.
“It’s the same news story. E-Town needs to find a way to finish the multitude of opportunities. I don’t know. It’s something that’s missing in this team this year. We’re finding ways to win, but come playoff time, if you miss those opportunities your season is going to end,” Sostack said.
This is not the first time this season that Sostack has expressed that the team needs to find ways to score more consistently. The ongoing issue is something that he and the team have worked on in practice, but he said that it is beginning to fall more on the players’ shoulders.
“The coaches have done everything we can. I’ve done everything I can. They have to listen to instruction, remain coachable and be receptive to understanding how to finish the ball. At the end of the day, it’s up to the person who has the ball to finish it,” Sostack said.
To Wieand’s and Shank’s credit, Sostack said that their finishes in the first half were “excellent.”
Elizabethtown and Cedar Crest battled on Friday, Oct. 6, which was a day before Ephrata visited Manheim Central. Heading into the game, Elizabethtown was 9-2-1 in Section Two while Ephrata was 10-1.
“We need some blessings from our Manheim Central brothers to take care of business, but this is high school soccer so we should’ve taken care of business ourselves,” Sostack said.
Elizabethtown got exactly what they needed from Manheim Central as the Barons beat Ephrata 2-1 in overtime. After the loss, Elizabethtown and Ephrata each had two losses in the section. Ephrata held a 0.5 game lead, however, because Elizabethtown had a tie and Ephrata had an additional win.
The Mounts went into overtime for a second consecutive game on Monday, Oct. 9, against Cedar Crest, but they emerged with a 2-1 victory over the Falcons. That was the final game scheduled for Ephrata before the showdown at Elizabethtown on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Elizabethtown went on to defeat Ephrata 1-0 and the results of that victory can be found here.