Soccer team holds LMH to a tie, downs Cedar Crest to close regular season

Lampeter-Strasburg vs. Lancaster Mennonite: October 15, 2015

On a cool evening close to home, the Lampeter Strasburg Pioneers took on the Lancaster Mennonite Blazers, a school noted for its soccer prowess, having won state championships in recent years. As the game began, each team tried to get a feel for the other. Lancaster Mennonite took the first shot in the first 10 minutes, and Jake Klecko ran out and slid to intercept the ball. L-S quickly moved the ball down field and were awarded a corner kick. Jordan Bishop used this play to take a shot on goal, but the Blazer's goalie caught the ball.

In the 23rd minute, Lancaster Mennonite took a shot from the middle of the L-S half of the field. Klecko was ready and made the save. Less than a minute later, LMH made another shot from the top of the box. Klecko again made a great save. He punted the ball back into play, and L-S took it up the field. Matt O'Neil passed the ball from the outside to Derek Eckman, who took a shot on goal at the 26 minute mark. The LMH goalkeeper put the ball back in play, and the team kept possession, bringing the ball into our defensive third and making a shot at the top corner of our net. Klecko jumped and snatched the ball out of the air.
The team lines up on the field before the game

With 10 minutes left in the first half, LMH took another shot that went over the net. Klecko took the goal kick. With 5 minutes left in the half, L-S moved the ball upfield and Tyler Thorius took a shot from the outside corner. The game continued to increase in intensity, as a LMH player was awarded a yellow card in the last 2 minutes of the first half. 
L-S began the second half with the first shot. Jordan Bishop shot from the center of the Lancaster Mennonite half 4 minutes in. Mennonite took L-S's early shot as a challenge, and stepped up. The Pioneers stood ready. LMH launched a shot 2 minutes after ours, and Klecko ran out to meet the ball, catching it with ease. 16 minutes in, LMH drove the ball into the L-S space, and the Pioneer's defense deftly cut the play off, dishing the ball back out to our midfield. The next minute, LMH brought the ball into the L-S 18 yard box. The defense tried to clear it out, and Klecko snatched the ball from the players’ feet. 
In one of the most exciting plays of the game, Matt O’Neil received the ball in a breakaway, and dribble upfield, making a shot from the center of the Blazer’s half of the field. LMH's goalie, however, caught the ball, keeping the score at 0-0. Klecko made 4 more saves before the half finished. The final score of the second half was 0-0, sending the game into double overtime with sudden death. In the first 10 minute overtime, L-S held strong. 
Lancaster Mennonite only got off 2 shots, which Klecko saved with ease; the first of which was made in the final 2 minutes, and the second made with 8 seconds remaining on the clock for the first overtime. The second overtime period held 3 shots and 1 card. 6 minutes into the overtime period, Nate Patterson passed the ball to Alex Knarr from the outside. Knarr turned and shot, but the LMH keeper was ready for him. At the 5 minute mark, another card was awarded, this time to L-S. 2 more shots were made on our net before the game ended. Klecko saved both. The final score: 0-0.
Photos available here.

Lampeter-Strasburg vs. Cedar Crest: October 19, 2015

On Monday afternoon, L-S took on Cedar Crest in the last game of their regular season. As the game began, the Pioneers were swift on the attack, moving the ball up the field and getting a shot off in the first four minutes. Matt O’Neil took the corner kick and Derek Eckman headed the ball at the goal, however the Cedar Crest goalie caught the ball. Serving the ball onto the field, Cedar Crest took the ball into the L-S half and launched a shot towards Jake Klecko, who was ready for the shot and caught it. He punted the ball onto the field, and the Pioneers took advantage. Nate Patterson made a shot 9 minutes into the half. Within the next two minutes, Peyton Denlinger made a cross into the 18 yard box, but once again the play was intercepted by the Cedar Crest defense. L-S didn’t give up. 

Klecko played two strong games for the Pioneers in goal
Eckman, collecting the ball, crossed the ball to Alex Knarr 14 minutes into the half in an attempt to score. However, the referee called Knarr off sides, and awarded the ball to Cedar Crest. Using their advantage, the Falcons made their way towards the net, taking a shot on Klecko. Snatching the ball out of the air, Klecko made the save before dishing the ball back out onto the field to our team. Peyton Denlinger took the ball upfield and massed to Nate Patterson who made the first goal of the game at the 18 minute mark. 
Cedar Crest was not dissuaded, and came back with a shot in the 23rd minute. No match for the Pioneers' goalie, Klecko made the save and put the ball back into play. Tyler Thorius took the ball up on a breakaway and made a shot, only to have the ball rebound off of a Cedar Crest player. Jordan Bishop collected the ball and made the shot. L-S won the ball again off of the Cedar Crest punt, and Steven Hollern made a shot from the corner 27 minutes into the half. Matt O’Neil followed with a shot in the next minute. 
Using the punt from their goalie, Cedar Crest took the ball into our defense and made a shot that was effortlessly saved by Klecko. L-S retained possession of the ball, and in the final 6 minutes, Alex Knarr had possession in the Cedar Crest defense. Faking out the goalie, Knarr took his shot. Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the Cedar Crest defense was there, and the ball was cleared. Determined to take as many shots as they could before the half ended, L-S kept pressure on the Cedar Crest defense. After Derek Eckman was tripped inside the 18 yard box, L-S was awarded a penalty kick. Matt O’Neil took the kick, skillfully putting the ball into the lower right corner of the net, making the second goal for L-S before the half ended. 
The second half began with a quick start from Cedar Crest. They made 2 shots in the first 7 minutes, both of which were saved by Klecko. The team worked the ball up the field, feeding it to Knarr on the outside who made a run towards the goal, taking his shot 9 minutes in. L-S took a corner kick in the next minute. Peyton Denlinger took the corner, sending it into Jordan Sweigart. The ball bounced around in the Falcon 18 yard box, until Logan Heister collected and shot the ball directly into the net, making the third goal for L-S. 
Matt O'Neil corrals the ball in the second half
The teams battled for the ball for most of the second half, with the next shot taken by Cedar Crest at the 19 minute mark. L-S held Cedar Crest off until the 28 minute mark, when Klecko made a save, putting the ball back into play, only to have Cedar Crest gain possession through a throw in. In the next minute, Cedar Crest made a goal off of their throw in. L-S continued to play well, in spite of Cedar Crest now being on the board. 
Adam Lichty had two shots, both on goal and both retrieved by the Cedar Crest goalie. Knarr took a shot, sending the ball far wide but still in play. Derek Eckman collected the ball, stealing it from the goalie. The goalie fell, and Derek took his shot, making the fourth and final goal for L-S In the last 8 minutes, Klecko had 2 saves, and 2 attempts on goal were cleared by the defense; 1 clear by Jordan Bishop and one by Noah Patterson. L-S played an aggressive game, bringing back the fire from the Solanco and LMH games. They earned this win: the final score was 4-1.

Photos available here.

--Lauren Mast, Soccer Reporter

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