One win from L-L League gold

By on October 15, 2014

MC girls reach first-ever final

Until last Saturday, the Manheim Central girls soccer team had never advanced as far as the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff semi-finals.

They achieved that feat with a 1-0 win over Lancaster Mennonite in the L-L’s round of eight.

They were far from content, though.

“Everyone’s happy, but we’re not done,” MC coach John Shetromph said. “It’s something nice to say a year from now, but right now we have a game to play (Tuesday) and we’ll see how it goes.”

Freshman Kayla Herr (right) scored in both the L-L quarter-finals and semi-finals while helping the Manheim Central girls advance to their first-ever L-L championship game.

Freshman Kayla Herr (right) scored in both the L-L quarter-finals and semi-finals while helping the Manheim Central girls advance to their first-ever L-L championship game.

With its first-ever berth in the L-L finals at stake, the MC girls showed just how focused they were, getting second-half goals from Kayla Herr and Taylor Noll en route to a 2-0 shutout of Manheim Township at Manheim’s Elden Rettew Field.

Their seventh straight victory sends Manheim Central (14-2-2) to Thursday’s finals against Hempfield (a 1-0 winner over Penn Manor) in a battle of Section champions at 5 p.m. at Warwick’s Grosh Field.

“I’m absolutely delighted for the kids,” MC coach John Shetromph said.

Herr’s goal with just 2:21 elapsed in the second half was a delight for Manheim Central, snapping a scoreless tie and giving the Lady Barons a lead they never relinquished.

After playing the ball to the outside for much of the first half, they made an adjustment to get inside in the second half, and it paid dividends early.

“We were getting some nice diagonal looks going to the inside,” Shetromph said. “The first goal was a result of having our players playing really great defense and then us having a bounce that went our way.”

Shetromph happened to be looking down at some of the notes he scribbled for adjustments when Herr put the ball behind MT keeper Katy Hollinger.

“Kayla did a wonderful finish on it. I’m told that it was awesome,” Shetromph laughed.

Although the Lady Barons had a slim 4-3 edge in shots, they had the game’s only five corner kicks.

They also got a penalty kick later in the second half, but missed to keep it a one-goal game.

Noll didn’t miss, though, when she put home a nice feed from Jenna West for a key insurance goal with just 2:11 remaining.

“It was real big,” Shetromph said. “Jenna West had a beautiful through ball to Taylor. It was a well-weighted placed ball and Taylor touched it and just finished it off. It was well done.”

So, too, was Central’s overall team effort, one which they hope to duplicate on Thursday against Hempfield for all the L-L marbles.

“”They’ve been working their butts off to get better,” Shetromph said. “Right now, it’s a dream for them and years from now, they’re going to look back on this with a lot of fond memories from what they were able to accomplish. We’re not done yet, though.”

Last Saturday, Herr’s goal in the 65th minute snapped a scoreless tie against LMH and lifted the Central girls to a 1-0 in the L-L quarter-finals.

“Olivia Novak took a drop pass and hit a strong ball and it ricocheted off the goalie (Kate Phillips) and Kayla Herr was able to clean it up and put it in,” Shetromph said. “It was a real nice finish.”

It also allowed the Lady Barons to breathe a sigh of relief. Despite dominating the play – Central had the game’s only five corner kicks and an 11-0 edge in shots – they had nothing to show for their efforts until Herr finally connected.

Adding to their frustration was the fact that Manheim Central hit the crossbar three times behind Phillips (10 saves).

Asked if he was beginning to think that it might not be their day, Shetromph said, “Sometimes you do think that. A coach would lie if he didn’t say that. All coaches that have been around the block for a long time have all experienced controlling a game and dominating a game and then giving up a fluke fastbreak where someone scores. So I was concerned about that, there’s no doubt.”

It was that concern which led to the Lady Barons changing their formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1 in the second half.”(LMH) was man-marking. We often looked at them and they had six back. We wanted to have more players doing overlapping runs going forward that wouldn’t be marked and that would leave them open,” Shetromph said. “And that’s actually what worked for us.”

Indeed, Novak &tstr; normally a defender &tstr; pushed up and started the play which eventually led to Herr’s game winner with just 15:00 remaining.

“We were very pleased,” Shetromph said of his team’s performance. “We moved the ball well, we were moving without the ball. Their goalie played very well, so hats off to them. But we had the better of play as far as attacking their net.”

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