There are multiple explanations for the Elizabethtown Area High School girls soccer team’s struggles in 2018. Injuries have been a problem across the entire roster, which is also largely made up of underclassmen. However, the biggest reason for the Lady Bears’ down season is the insanely difficult schedule they were given.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 9, eight of the 12 teams that the team has faced this year (Dallastown, Cumberland Valley, Exeter, Ephrata, Central Dauphin, Lampeter-Strasburg, Manheim Central and Mechanicsburg) are qualified for the District 3 playoffs. Another (Cedar Crest) is one spot out. Amazingly, the Lady Bears are only a few spots away from contention themselves thanks to their opponents’ winning percentage. It’s no wonder that they haven’t been able to make the waves they are aiming for before the season began, and that ended up being the case for the start of the home stretch for the team as well.
Elizabethtown went on the road Thursday, Oct. 4, to take on Ephrata. The Mounts didn’t take long to put one on the scoreboard; senior Abigail West found the net via an assist from senior Maddie Root eight minutes in. However, the Lady Bears hunkered down afterward and held tight defensively. They ultimately allowed 8 shots on goal, down from 15 in the first meeting between the two teams.
Alas, Elizabethtown’s offense was unable to convert its 6 shots. Junior Ephrata goalkeeper Jocelyn Umana stopped 5 of them. Root was able to tack on another goal for the Mounts late to give them a 2-0 victory. Sophomore goalie Kaitlyn Snyder finished with 5 saves in the net for the Lady Bears.
The Lady Bears returned home to Jane Hoover Field on Monday, Oct. 8, to host Lampeter- Strasburg, who they lost 1-0 to late in double overtime early
in the season. The game seemed like it would be just as close at halftime. Nine minutes into the game, senior Toby Harnish scored for the Pioneers to give them a 1-0 lead. Late in the half, however, Elizabethtown tied it up with a header from sophomore Carly Sedun off a corner kick from senior Ally DeBerry.
With the score tied at 1-1 entering the second half, it seemed as if the game would come down to the final moments. L-S quickly changed that notion. Senior Elli Strauss scored a header of her own off a corner kick from fellow senior Emma Gochnauer with 31 minutes to go in the game. The Lady Bears couldn’t get anything going on offense afterward, and the Pioneers walked away with a 2-1 win. Snyder was outstanding in the net for Elizabethtown outside of the two goals, stopping 13 shots. Senior Bella DiCamillo had just one save for L-S.
Now at 3-11-2 on the season, the Lady Bears will finish up the season with a home game against Manheim Central on Thursday, Oct. 11.