Hempfield outlasts MC for L-L title

By on October 22, 2014
Taylor Hess, a Manheim Central sophomore, heads the ball in front of Hempfield’s Valerie Zawrotuk. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Taylor Hess, a Manheim Central sophomore, heads the ball in front of Hempfield’s Valerie Zawrotuk. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

While Hempfield was going for its eighth L-L crown, the Manheim Central girls were playing in their first-ever League championship game.
A real mismatch, right?
Not so fast.
The Lady Barons had an 8-6 advantage in shots and had the better of play for large chunks of time last Thursday at Grosh Field in rain-soaked Lititz.
In the end, it was a direct kick from Calista Long with 8:43 left in the second OT which ricocheted off the hands of MC keeper Emily Good into the back of the net that proved to be the game-winner, boosting Hempfield to a 2-1 victory for their first L-L crown since 2010.
“I’m very happy with how my team played against a very good, strong Hempfield that never expected us to be in the game, probably,” Manheim Central skipper John Shetromph said.
Both the game-winner and the Lady Knights’ first goal &tstr; a roller from Marah Foltz which squirted through the hands of MC keeper Heidi Strausbaugh with 3:43 left in the opening half &tstr; were opportunities that Central would have liked back.
“I love the way we possessed, I like the fact the fact that we had Hempfield on their heels,” Shetromph said. “Give credit, Hempfield made two shots that went through goalies’ hands. That’s basically what it came down to.”
The rainy conditions no doubt slowed both teams, but the Central girls were able to manufacture a 4-1 edge in shots in the opening 40 minutes. Hempfield goalie KcKenna Zerbe made four of her six saves in the first half. With the clock ticking below 5:00, it seemed that the game might remain scoreless at the break. But Foltz’s goal with 36:17 elapsed put the Lady Knights in front.
In the second half, Hempfield’s Katie Goldsmith sent a header wide left and then Strausbaugh (3 saves) stopped Sammy Helgeson with 27:30 left, leading to a corner kick for the Lady Knights.
Overall, though, MC had a 5-4 edge in corners, including back-to-back chances with just under 20 minutes left in regulation.
“I know that I’m biased,” Shetromph said, “but especially in the second half, we had it in their end most of the time. The thing we didn’t do that Hempfield was good at is that we didn’t get inside their 18 enough.”
The Lady Knights survived both of those Central corners, but not a run down the left wing from MC’s Olivia Novak. The Lady Baron senior, who moved up to offense from her defender’s position with about 30 minutes left with her team still trailing, took a pass from Kiersten Hatch. Zerbe got caught in no-man’s land and Novak made no mistake, burying the game-tying goal into the right corner of the net with 4:57 remaining.
“That was a pretty goal,” Shetromph remarked. “Olivia has size and power, so that was a nice finish. We put her up there for the sole purpose of, get us a goal. We’ve done that on other occasions against some other teams and it’s been successful. Olivia is a top player, no doubt.”
Novak remained in attack-mode into the extra session, and her teammate, Kayla Herr, put a shot on goal which Zerbe corraled, helping to send it to a second OT.
There, Long lined up a direct kick from 30 yards out and caught a break when the ball &tstr; on the Lady Knights’ sixth shot of the game &tstr; found the back of the net for the game-winner. Good got her hands on the ball, but not enough.
“I think if anyone is objective about it, they saw a very good Manheim Central team play that definitely deserved to be in this game,” Shetromph said.

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