Following a loss at Ephrata on Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Elizabethtown Area High School boys soccer team had two more talented Lancaster-Lebanon League rivals to play. A loss in either game would set the Bears back in the standings. Luckily for them, they avoided defeat to stay in second place in Section Two.
The team hosted Lampeter- Strasburg on Thursday, Sept. 20, in a highly competitive contest. Both the Bears and the Pioneers fought hard in a scoreless first half, with players on both sides getting chippy at times. That boiled into the start of the second half, where an on-field altercation early on resulted in L-S getting a yellow card and Elizabethtown getting a red card.
That forced the Bears to play a man down for the rest of the game. Contrary to expectations, however, they ended up performing even better. Senior Evan Schneider found the net off an assist from fellow senior Tyler Bixler with just over 29 minutes to go. He scored again on a penalty kick 10 minutes later to put the score at 2-0.
All the while, Elizabethtown’s defense stiffened up and shut down the Pioneers’ offensive attack, holding them to just 2 shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Brecken Musser added 3 saves as well, paving the way for a 2-0 Bears victory. Freshman Pioneers goalie Calieb Wigley played well in defeat, stopping 6 shots.
The tight games continued on Monday, Sept. 24, where the Bears had another home game at Jane Hoover Field against Manheim Central. It was a defensive battle, with the Barons taking control possession wise in the first half. However, Elizabethtown kept them in check, and the score staying at 0-0.
Manheim Central turned up the heat in the second half, but Elizabethtown’s defense once again held firm. The offense came to life as well, but the game still ended up going to overtime. The two sides couldn’t find any wiggle room on offense, leading to a second overtime and eventually a 0-0 draw. Musser played well, finishing with 3 saves. Senior Manheim Central goalkeeper Mason Nissley also had 2. The Barons had a total of 4 corner kicks but couldn’t capitalize.
Now 6-2-1 on the season, Elizabethtown is set to have to more home games againstMcCaskey on Thursday, Sept. 27, and Cedar Cliff on Friday, Sept. 28. The Bears will then go on the road to face Dallastown on Monday, Oct. 1 in a makeup game from Friday, Aug. 31, and Garden Spot on Tuesday, Oct. 2.