Conrad Weiser edges MC in District semi-finals

By on October 29, 2014

As a team, the Manheim Central girls soccer team didn’t play one of its best games on Monday night.

Still, their game against Conrad Weiser was just inches from being a different outcome.

With a full head of steam, Manheim Central’s Kayla Herr (18) literally takes the ball off the foot of a Bubblers’ player and scores the only goal of the District Three quarter-final game.

With a full head of steam, Manheim Central’s Kayla Herr (18) literally
takes the ball off the foot of a Bubblers’ player and scores the only goal of the District Three quarter-final game.

Senior midfielder Jenna West hit the post in the opening minutes behind Lady Scouts’ keeper Vanessa Baker. Later, Kayla Herr found the iron.

Those missed opportunities loomed large as No. 5-seeded Conrad Weiser got a goal from Kennedy Lutz at the 9:32 mark of the first half and held on for a 1-0 win over the top-seeded MC girls in the District Three Double-A semi-finals at Cedar Crest High School.

“We had our opportunities to actually put the other team away,” MC coach John Shetromph said. “But I give credit to the players of Conrad Weiser who just went and played with full abandon. We did not collectively do that.”

While the Lady Scouts advanced to this Saturday’s District championship game, Manheim Central (18-4-2) began preparations for the bronze-medal game against Donegal (a 2-0 loser to Greencastle-Antrim) at a site and time to be determined with its first-ever State berth at stake. The top three finishers advance to the PIAA Tournament.Shetromph is hopeful that his squad gets a better start to Saturday’s game than they have in their past two outings.

“They came at us just really hard and fast out of the gate and we just were trying to get our footing, as far as, ‘Alright, how do we counteract this,’” the Lady Barons’ coach said. “So I thought for the first 10 minutes or so, I thought we were reactive rather than active.”

It was during that time in which Lutz connected to give the Lady Scouts a lead they never relinquished. That was one of three CW shots, to six for the Central girls. Conrad Weiser had a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

On another night, the Lady Barons might have gotten the equalizer. But with their passing game not as crisp as normal and Central just a step or two slow at times, it wasn’t to be.

“It was one of the poorest games we’ve played, and even with that said, it was competitive,” Shetromph remarked.

For Conrad Weiser’s Lutz, a senior midfielder, her goal was just the start of a busy night. She was also tasked with covering West, an All-State player.

“The Lutz girl was very good and pesky and all that, but I don’t know if that’s changed the entire year,” Shetromph said. “Jenna’s been marked all the time, sometimes with two people. It didn’t change our game. What changed our game is … we didn’t have some of our key players step up. It wasn’t like, ‘Well, we have to start over and figure this out.’ It was just a night that was not our night.”

Last Thursday, however, was the Lady Barons’ night. Herr connected with 8:17 left in the first half and the Central girls knocked off 9th-seeded Boiling Springs 1-0 in the District quarter-finals at Hersheypark Stadium.

With a 9-1 advantage in shots and all six of the game’s corner kicks, the score easily could have been a lopsided affair.

It was the first District playoff win in the history of the Manheim Central girls soccer program.

“The thing I like about us is we are becoming much more mentally strong as our season has gone on,” Shetromph said. “We are playing a nice possession style and we are attacking the ball. Those combinations of playing possession and attacking the ball, specifically on the middle third and top third, makes me feel, ‘OK, we’re in good shape.’ Would I rather walk away (winning) 4-0? Yeah, absolutely. But we’re playing nice ball.”

The Lady Bubblers’ only shot was an innocent roller which Heidi Strausbaugh easily corralled in the final seconds of the first half.

With Manheim Central’s impressive backfield corps keeping Boiling Springs away from its defensive end of the field, the Lady Barons pushed the attack at the other end of the field.

“That’s a great comfort,” Shetromph said. “If you know that you have a good defense behind you &tstr; and we have a good defense &tstr; then you can play a nicer game. no doubt about that.”

Anna Middleton, despite not battling illness, hit the crossbar not once, but twice in the second half, and Taylor Noll rang a shot off the right post.

In the end, though, Herr’s first-half goal was all they needed.

“I don’t have any magic quotes for you other than I’m very proud of my girls and I love their work ethic, I love the fact that they just keep on chugging along,” Shetromph said. “When there should be a panic, they don’t seem to do that. They just stick to the script.”


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