Warwick’s scoring woes continue in 1-0 L-L loss

By on October 18, 2017

Warwick senior midfielder Alex Kerek concentrates on gaining control of the ball in the L-L quarterfinals against Ephrata last Saturday. (Photo by Steve Heydt)

Ephrata’s Andrey Patrushev put the ball exactly where it needed to be.
Ellis Martin did the rest.
And when the Mounts put home a picture-perfect goal with 17:16 left in the first half, the Ephrata boys had what proved to be the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Warwick last Saturday in a Lancaster-Lebanon League boys soccer quarter-final playoff game at Cocalico’s Talon Field.
Patrushev made things happen on the play when he beat a Warwick player to the ball on the right wing, turned and lofted a pretty feed to Martin, who was cutting to the net and one-timed the ball into the back of the net.
“That was a perfect soccer goal, exactly what you want to see happen,” Ephrata coach Rob Deininger said. “For a soccer purist, that’s what you want to see. Andrey just made a fabulous pass to the back post and our outside midfielder, Ellis Martin, came running in and got it. It was fun to watch that.”
“First of all, Andrey puts the ball about the only place it could,” Warwick coach Gordy Cowher said. “We had good coverage and it’s just sometimes, another team makes a play, you just say, ‘Hey, hats off to them.’”
With the win, Section Two runner-up Ephrata (15-3-0 overall) advanced to Tuesday’s L-L semi-finals to play Lancaster Mennonite, a 6-1 winner over Manheim Township.
“It will be a huge task for us,” Deininger said, “but we get to move on to another day, and at this time of season, that’s what you want.”
Section One runner-up Warwick (11-5-2 overall), meanwhile, will now begin preparations for its District Three 4A opener next Tuesday, Oct. 24.
Make no mistake, the Warriors know exactly where they need to improve. Saturday’s loss marked the fifth time this season &tstr; and the second occasion in four games &tstr; that they were shut out.
Possessing the ball and creating scoring chances wasn’t a problem for Warwick.
Finishing, however, was.
“We played well, we did a lot of good things,” Cowher said. “We just can’t put the ball in the back of the net, and that’s kinda been our modus operandi, if you will, for most of the season. So we’ve got 10 days to kinda sort that out.”
The Warriors had four weeks to think about a 5-0 loss to Ephrata in a non-league game on Sept. 16.
Deininger expected a “nail-biter” in the rematch, which is what it turned out to be. But the Mounts, who welcomed back Aaron Cummings following an injury which cost him three or four games, went back to the same game plan.
“(The strategy) was to attack, put pressure on them and see what happens,” Deininger said. “Cummings is cleared to play and he wanted to give it a shot to see where he was at, and I think he’s pretty close (to full strength).”
The Warriors came pretty close on the game’s best scoring opportunity early on, as senior forward Jason Ciampaglia shot just high over the crossbar with 30:06 left in the opening half.
Just over 10 minutes later, Patrushev and Martin worked their magic to put Ephrata up 1-0.
“That guy is just an incredible young man &tstr; he really is,” Cowher said. “Skilled and I think his decision-making is exceptional for a high school kid &tstr; when to pass, when to dribble, and not only when to pass, but to whom. He’s a heck of a ball player.”
A short time later, Peter Kitchen shot just wide right of the net hoping to double Ephrata’s lead.
That was one of six shots for the Mounts, to Warwick’s three. But it took a brilliant save by Ephrata goalkeeper Cole Hummel with 10:54 remaining in the first half against Ash Deery &tstr; who was targeting the upper right corner &tstr; to keep Warwick off the scoreboard.
“It was back and forth,” Deininger remarked, “both teams had their opportunities. The second time around, it’s always exciting to play them and they did a great job on us.”
Taking note of the wider dimensions of Talon Field, compared to their own, the Warriors looked to play the ball wide and to exploit Ephrata in the midfield with Alex Kerek and Garett Springer.
At the half, Warwick also flip-flopped wingers Ciampaglia and Brandon Perezous.
“Zous is left-footed and we play him on the right because then he can cut in with the left, but because this field is so wide,” Cowher remarked, “we said, ‘Let’s go out there (to the left) because then you’ll have room to go deeper.’ I thought we put great pressure on them in the second half &tstr; we just couldn’t crack the goal.”
Hummel stopped Warrior junior forward Robbie Heckman from close range in the opening minute of the second half, but then Ephrata countered with back-to-back corner kicks. Overall, the Mounts out-cornered Warwick 5-0 in the game.
“We didn’t want to lay back,” Deininger said. “We were trying to get that second goal, and we thought we had it a couple of times, but we didn’t.”
Warwick keeper Connor Cowher certainly deserved credit for denying the Mounts a second goal, robbing Ephrata’s J.T. Truskey not once, but twice on the doorstep with 5:00 left. Cowher and Andrew Acebo combined for five stops.
“We had a couple of nice plays to keep them out and there at the end,” Deininger said. “they had two fabulous saves to keep us out.”
Although Cowher’s saves kept the Warriors close, however, they were never able to get the equalizer.
“I think they’re hurting because we played well,” coach Cowher said, “and when you play well, you have an expectation of hopefully coming away with a W. We’ve just got to figure out how to put the ball in the back of the net. If we can do that, I think we’re going to be alright. If we can’t, well … it’s tough to win soccer games if you can’t score goals. We’ve got a good group of kids and I’m confident that they’re going to work on it.”
*****
Last Thursday, Brandon Perezous scored a pair of goals and the Warwick boys knocked off Manheim Township 3-2 in their regular-season finale in a Section One game in Neffsville.
The win improved Warwick’s final L-L record to 9-2-1 this season.
The Warriors wasted little time taking the upper hand, as Perezous connected in the opening minute, and the Warriors took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Robbie Heckman’s goal in the 49th minute doubled the advantage and Perezous’ second goal of the game just five minutes later put the Warriors comfortably in the driver’s seat, 3-0.
For the game, Warwick outshot the Blue Streaks 10-4. Manheim Township got close in the final 25 minutes on goals by DiSomma and Velozwong, but Warrior keeper Connor Cowher finished with two saves to record the win.

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