A sixth minute goal from Caleb Gerber set the tone in Elizabethtown’s 5-0 victory over Garden Spot. Cole Baker, still filling in for the injured Austin Denlinger, recorded his third clean sheet.
The Bears have not allowed a goal through their first three games of the season, a streak that spans 213 minutes.
Senior captain center back Colin Wieand received high praise from coach James Sostack following the team’s third win of the 2017 campaign.
“He is one of the best in the league by far. His leadership, my hat is off to Colin. He scored a spectacular goal,” Sostack said.
Wieand’s goal was the second of the game after he chipped one over the keeper’s head from roughly 25-30 yards out. His fellow center defensive back, Grey Fertich, made a run from his position before he touched a pass to David Shank that he put away to give Elizabethtown a 3-0 halftime lead.
With a comfortable lead, Sostack began to empty out his bench in the second half. Brecken Musser substituted in for Baker with 30 minutes left to play in the game.
“Slowly but surely I went to the bench because we have to build this program and we have to get depth,” Sostack said.
Shortly after Musser checked in, Braden Kreider scored his team-leading third goal of the season. Evan Schneider set himself up with an excellent touch one minute later to put the icing on the team’s 5-0 victory.
“It was a good performance all around. We possessed the ball. Obviously when you score early in the first half it allows you to start doing things in a more comfortable fashion and that’s what we’re working towards,” Sostack said. “Credit to the boys. They’re really buying in. Slowly but surely, we’re getting to that new style and you can see it’s a commanding style of play once it starts to click.”
All five goals came from five different players and the diversity of scoring is something that Sostack would like to see more in the future so that the team is not so reliant on a handful of players to supply the offense. The goals scored by Gerber and Schneider were the first of their varsity careers.
“We were really excited to see and talked about needing goals from other places. We’re excited, obviously, to get some goals from different places,” Sostack said.
A noticable theme throughout the game was the amount of space that Garden Spot afforded Elizabethtown. Sostack has been looking for his team to play a possession style of game and he thought the team’s performance was a step in the right direction.
Adan Cabrera-Perez was one of the team’s primary distributors in the midfield before Sostack shifted him into a defensive role.
“Adan works his heart off,” Sostack said.
The 3-0 start, including a win on the road against Lampeter-Strasburg, is a good place to be in, but Sostack said there are few areas that he would like to see the team improve in.
“Passing accuracy. Passing accuracy is still not at the level that it needs to be for where we want to go,” Sostack said.
He then began to shift his attention to Elizabethtown’s next opponent, Manheim Central.
Heading into the Sept. 8 game, Manheim Central was 2-1 featuring wins over Donegal and Solanco. Lampeter-Strasburg beat them 2-1.
“We’re going to have a very tough game at Central. It’s always a tough fight. It might be physical so I’m concerned with keeping players healthy,” Sostack said. “They’re going to be very hungry for us. They’re going to be well organized so it’s going to be a different game and it’s going to be loud and aggressive, but we’re ready for that.”