Mares Top Defending Section Three Champ L-S January 14, 2019
Solanco's 40-31 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg last Tuesday, January 8, was a classic example of how defense wins basketball games and changes momentum. Tied at 25-25 after three quarters, the Mares came up with a number of big plays and outscored the defending Section Three champs 15-6 to stay in the race for the section crown.
After a stick back by Jade Eshleman, and a missed free throw by the Pioneers, Grace Kreider picked up her third steal of the game, was fouled on the layup, and converted for a 30-26 lead. After a Jess Cabrera jumper, Lampeter's Nora Holmes canned her fourth trey of the game, cutting the lead to one. Both players led with 13 points for each squad.
Kara McClune followed with two straight defensive stops in the paint, L-S turned the ball over, and Eshleman again scored on a miss, giving the Mares a 34-31 lead with 1:38 left.
The Pioneers turned the ball over three more times and Solanco converted six straight free throws, four by Jenna Dombach (7 points, 7 rebounds) to pull away for good.
"Unforced turnovers in the fourth and lack of box outs for put backs at the wrong time hurt," said Pioneer head coach Tony Fink. "They've been chasing us for two years. They want what we don't want to give up, the section title. We can't take anyone lightly."
Both teams came out cautiously, and the first quarter ended in an 8-8 tie. They traded points back-and-forth through the second with neither squad leading by more than two. A pair of free throws (Solanco was 12-for-21 for the game) by Cabrera put Solanco in front, 14-13 at the break.
L-S got going a bit in the third. Holmes hit a pair of threes, the second giving them a 21-16 lead, the biggest of the night. But the last four minutes belonged to Solanco. Dombach drilled a trey that cut the lead to two and Emma Gochnauer, who finished with nine points, followed with a bucket in the paint. But a pair of free throws by Kreider and a steal and a layup by Cabrera tied the game once again, setting the stage for Solanco's fourth quarter takeover.
"Definitely a big win for our program," said head coach Chad McDowell. "And I didn't realize they had a 25 game league winning streak going either. Makes the win a little more special.
"I thought our defense stepped up in the fourth quarter and we were able to contest the majority of their three point shots," he added. "And limiting Gochnauer to nine points was huge. She has had some big games against us in the past."
Rebounding also proved to be key as the Mares hauled in 35 for the game, 13 on the offensive end. They finished with eight second chance points and six came in the second half, all by Eshleman, who netted ten for the game. She and Aleksa Burger (4 points) hauled in ten rebounds each.
"This was a complete team effort," McDowell added. "We have some really big games coming up so we need to use this momentum and we need to be ready to play night in and night out. Section Three is going to be a race until the end.
"An added shout out to the SLC Blackhole and the pep band for their positive support," he said.
The JV team did not fare quite as well, dropping a 43-37 result against L-S. Sammi Jackson led the home team with 8 points. Ilynd Rapant added 6.
The girls' improved to 5-2 in Section Three with a solid 47-34 home win over Cocalico on Jan. 11. With eight players reaching the scoring column, Solanco led from start to finish and outscored the visitors in all but three quarters. Their 12-5 opening quarter provided momentum. After a 7-7 third frame, the Mares finished with a 13-10 run to wrap up the victory.
"It's great when you can get a lot of girls involved within the flow of the offense," stated McDowell. "Grace and Kara had several steals in the second quarter that led to easy transition buckets."
Holding a 34-24 lead after three quarters, Cocalico cut it to 41-34 midway through the fourth. The Mares responded with tighter defense and focus and held the visitors scoreless through the remainder of the game.
"Jess, Paige and Aleksa all hit big three's at key times in that fourth quarter run," added McDowell.
"In addition to balanced scoring, we also measure our team success through the intangibles that do not show up in the scorebook," he continued. "We have players working hard on the boards, playing defense and deflecting passes. They do the work in the trenches that has led to our success."
Kreider, who, like Phillips, finished with 7 points, led with 9 steals. Eshleman was tops with 6 rebounds and, like McClune (2 rebounds, 2 steals) and Kenzie Gladfelter, scored two points. Burger led with 10 points and dished out 4 assists and grabbed 3 rebounds, as did Dombach, who netted 9. Cabrera added 8 points and 4 rebounds.
In JV action, a midcourt steal and layup by Nikki Trout with 30 seconds remaining sparked a 25-24 victory. Trout finished with 5 points and Rapant added 6.
Turnovers reared their head and an experienced Lampeter-Strasburg squad took advantage last Tuesday in a 53-36 home win over visiting Solanco.
"We turned the ball over on three of our first five possessions," said assistant coach Caleb Graves. "And we didn't communicate enough on defensive end during the first half."
The Pioneers converted those turnovers and jumped out to a 19-5 lead after eight minutes and never looked back. L-S held a commanding 31-9 lead at the break which proved pivotal as the Mules tightened things up in the second half and outscored the visitors 27-22.
"We played with better pace and attacked the rim better in the second half," said Graves. "The bright spot was Colesen Shaeffer who started his first varsity game, contributed 11 points and played excellent on ball defense during the second half. Ryan Smith also played good minutes during the second half and scored his first varsity points on a corner 3. They are both sophomores."
Shaeffer scored all of his points in the third quarter and Jalen Henry added six points in the fourth frame. Zach Wiker finished with five, Zed Baker and Dawson Kreider each scored four and Carson Kilgore, along with Smith, added three each.
On the road again Friday, another slow start proved to be Solanco's Achilles heel. Cocalico held the Mules to a combined 20 points over the first three quarters while dropping in 39 points at the other end and settling for a 47-30 victory. The Mules outscored the Eagles 10-8 in the fourth quarter but it was too little, too late.
"We weathered their first quarter lead (24-15) and closed the gap to 56-54 with five minutes left, when Jalen fouled out," recalled Graves. "They went on an 11-0 run, partially due to fouling down the stretch, but losing Jalen, who was a major reason we closed the deficit to two, took away our ability to guard the ball aggressively and attack the paint," he added. "Ryan came in with excellent minutes off the bench."
Kreider led the visitors with 8 points while Kilgore and Baker finished with 4 points each. Sheaffer and Wiker and Dan Herr each hit once from three point range.
In their third straight road game, the Mules battled Palmyra Saturday afternoon as part of the L-L vs Mid Penn Showcase at Manheim Central. Palmyra dropped in four of their nine treys on the day in the first quarter and jumped out to a 24-15 lead. The next two frames were dead even with both teams tallying 30 points each. Palmyra, however, extended their lead with a 15-9 fourth quarter advantage.
Baker, with a consistent day, scored in every frame and finished with 18 points but it wasn't enough to catch Palmyra's Jake Wagner who recorded 24 points, 19 in the first half.
Kreider also reached double figures with 15, Kilgore netted 6 and Henry and Wiker combined for 10.
The Mules, on the road last Wednesday, Jan. 9, secured its second Section One victory with a convincing 49-21 effort against Warwick. Five falls and a pair of forfeits added to the cushion.
"I was thinking the match could go either way, but one we could win if we had everyone wrestle tough," stated head coach Tony Mendez. "We needed a total team effort and for the most part got one. As a coach, you always find aspects we still need to improve on."
After a double forfeit opened the match at 113, two straight falls gave Solanco a lead they would never relinquish. Jackson Houghton pinned Marshall Adams (120) in 2:41 and Chase Charles (126) followed, putting Logan Bortner to his back in 2:21.
Joey Vandegriff's 3-1 decision over Mateo Chacon at 132 provided more momentum. Tied going into the third, the junior scored a takedown to go in front. "That was a big match for Joey and the team," said Mendez. "Once he got the lead, he did a nice job at keeping Chacon on the mat and worked to keep him on bottom."
Warwick forfeited to Ronnie Fulton at 138 and Donavan Myers secured Solanco's third fall of the night, decking Christopher Connor in 2:28, extending the lead to 27-0.
The hosts quickly countered, earning forfeit points at 152 and securing falls at 160 and 170 to cut the lead to 27-18. But Solanco finished strong, winning four of the last five bouts to earn the victory.
Robert Castagna's 9-1 major over Kyle Baker (182) halted Warwick's momentum while a 1:23 fall by Nick Yannutz (195) over Charles Lumene provided momentum and clinched the team win.
The Warriors earned a 7-1 decision at 220 but then forfeited the 285 bout. Dominic Flatt 4:47 fall at 106 capped the scoring.
"The falls helped the team score but also the momentum going into the next match," Mendez stated.
Those pins kept coming on Saturday at the Dutchmen Duals in Annville. The Mules averaged six falls in each match and finished the day with a perfect 5-0 record. They defeated Northeastern 26-9, Middletown 42-31, Annville-Cleona 57-24 and CD East 57-24 to run the table in their pool.
The Comets matched their effort and both were slated to face off in the finals but since the two squads recently met, Solanco took on West York and the Comets tackled A-C. Both squads won with the Mules pushing out to a 27-0 advantage before winning 51-27.
"Our goal, if we all wrestled hard, was to go 5-0," stated Mendez. "I was happy with their performance, but more excited to get most of our guys competitive matchups."
Almost every wrestler in the lineup secured at least one fall on the day. Yannutz, with 4 falls and a forfeit, went 5-0. Flatt also went undefeated with 3 falls and 2 forfeits. Kyle Morrison, Vandegriff (with 4 falls), Fulton, Myers, Castagna and Neuhauser all went 4-1 with a combined 15 falls. Houghton and Charles both recorded 3 pins and finished 3-2.
Young Mules Battle Section-Leading Bucks January 7, 2019
With just four returning starters (Dominic Flatt, Joey Vandegriff, Nick Yannutz, Chase Charles), and enough wrestlers to all but fill the lineup, first year head coach Tony Mendez is putting a lot of emphasis on improvement this year, and not necessarily wins and losses.
"We barely fill a lineup," Mendez, an assistant to former head coach John Little for 18 seasons. "Injuries and illnesses have hurt, especially since we don't have others to fill in. We lost 70% of last year's squad to graduation so we are putting a lot of emphasis on effort and commitment," he continued. "We have a dedicated staff (Matt Jansen, Ed Spiller, Joe Welk) working on improving each wrestler, experienced and inexperienced, as the season progresses."
The Mules, without two starters (one to injury, another to illness) opened the 2019 season with a 51-26 home loss to Conestoga Valley on January 2. Despite the lopsided final, there were bright spots along the way.
Chase Charles opened the night with a 5:04 fall over Cameron Kistler (126). Unfortunately, CV responded with two forfeit wins and five falls. Two of those falls came in the third period.
At 195, Nick Yannutz halted CV's run with a 1:14 fall over Eddie Lopez, cutting the lead to 42-12. The Bucks countered with a 7-2 decision by Leo Marente over Connor Charles before picking up a fall at 285 over Nate Neuhauser.
"Nate hasn't wrestled since seventh grade," noted Mendez. "He is a hard worker and a positive kid. He will continue to improve simply because of his work ethic."
Solanco closed the night with three straight wins. Dominic Flatt (106), down 3-2 in the first period, pinned Trent Ruble 49 ticks into the second period while Jackson Houghton (113) and Kyle Morrison (120) scored back-to-back majors, 10-2 and 16-7 respectively.
"Jackson beat a kid (Keaton Fischer) who is 11-4 on the season," stated Mendez. "He went 1-1 with that same kid last year in junior high. And Kyle, back wrestling after two years out, also beat a tough kid in Rafael Rodriguez."
Solanco closed the 2018 portion of their season at the Trojan Wars Tournament in Chambersburg on December 29. Yannutz finished in 5th place and Flatt was sixth.
"Dominic and Nick both advanced to the semifinals before falling into the wrestle backs and placing," Mendez noted. "Jackson and Ronnie Fulton both battled but lost one round before placing. Chase Charles and Nate Neuhauser also wrestled tough but fell short of placing."
With five returning starters stepping onto the court this season, it should come as no surprise that Solanco has sprinted to an early 8-4 record overall. They wrapped up the 2018 portion of their schedule by winning their own Holiday Tournament December 28-29.
The Mares, after dispatching Penn Manor 67-41, survived Red Lion 39-37 on Grace Kreider's jumper from the elbow with three seconds remaining.
"Grace hit a big shot," said head coach Chad McDowell. "It's a shot she makes all the time at practice and as soon as it left her hand I knew it was in."
The Mares fell behind early in this one. Red Lion jumped out to a 20-13 lead at the half before Solanco engineered their come-back, outscoring the 6A school from York County 13-8 in the third quarter and 13-9 in the fourth.
With 2:30 left on the clock, and the score tied at 37-37, Red Lion ran the clock down to 15 seconds before calling timeout. When both teams returned to the floor, Solanco called time out. "I wanted to set up our defense to defend their offensive set," stated McDowell.
After the timeout, and stingy defense by the hosts, Red Lion failed to inbound the ball and was whistled for five seconds, leaving Solanco with possession and setting the stage for Kreider's game-winning bucket.
"This is a great win for our program," said McDowell. "We needed a complete team effort and got it. We had some foul trouble in the third quarter but the bench stepped up big during key stretches."
Kreider, who poured in a game-high 22 in the win over Penn Manor, netted 11 points and hauled in five rebounds. She was voted as the tournament MVP. Jade Eshleman followed with 7 points and led with 7 rebounds while Jenna Dombach and Aleksa Burger each tallied six points and Jess Cabrera added 5.
After a slim 13-11 first quarter lead against Penn Manor, Solanco turned up the defense, turned numerous Comet turnovers into easy layups and pushed the lead to 42-21 at the half.
Cabrera backed Kreider with 21 points and Dombach hit an even dozen. All three players dropped in a pair of triples. Burger netted six points and hauled in a team high 8 rebounds with Dombach and Ilynd Rapant grabbing seven each.
Rapant, a junior, and sophomores Jade Eshleman and Paige Phillips have played key minutes and are making an impact on the floor, coach McDowell noted.
"We're off to a good start," McDowell stated. "Our expectations are high this season. We need to continue to work to get better in different phases of the game and we need to take care of the things that we can control."
Friday on the road, the Mares pushed their winning streak to four straight with a 62-52 nod over Garden Spot. Solanco sprinted to an 18-9 first quarter lead but couldn't really pull away. The Spartans cut it to 31-26 at the break and both teams netted 10 third quarter points before a strong fourth quarter, 21-16 by the Mares, wrapped up the action.
"We used a quick start to get out to an early lead," said McDowell. "We led the whole game."
The hosts netted three more field goals (22-19) than Solanco but a strong 18-for-27 showing at the free throw line by the visitors proved crucial. Jenna Dombach led that charged with a 7-for-10 effort.
"We converted 11-of-16 free throws down the stretch," noted McDowell. "That has been an emphasis this year."
Kreider led all scorers with 18 points, Burger tossed in 14 and P. Phillips hit a season-high 9. Cabrera added 8 as the Mares improved to 3-2 in Section Three.
"Paige had a solid game and gave us our spark early," McDowell said. "Grace picked up two fouls early and Paige stepped in and did a great job."
The Mares got off to another strong start Saturday afternoon at the West York Basketball Showcase against Spring Grove but a 20-26 effort at the free throw line by the hosts was enough to spark them to a 60-51 victory.
Despite a 20-12 first quarter lead, the Mares were outscored 31-17 in the middle two frames to fall behind for good.
"We just could not buy a basket," recalled McDowell, "and we had too many turnovers. And it didn't help that they got to the free throw line three times more than we did (26-9). When you make more field goal than your opponent (20-17), you expect to win the game."
Cabrera led the double-digit scorers with 17 points, including three treys. Burger added 16 and Kreider netted 11.
"This was a great experience, playing on a neutral court against a quality district qualifying team," said McDowell. "We will use this game to build for future games that have bigger rewards."
After finishing last year with a 4-17 overall record, the boys' basketball will look to senior Derek Kreider for leadership. Kreider, one of four seniors on the squad, logged the most starting minutes last year. But the Mules are small, with just one player, Tyler Whisman, over 6-feet.
In the newly aligned L-L League, now with five sections, the Mules entered 2019 with a 2-2 Section Three mark, already one win better than last year's 1-13 league record. But in the opening game of the new year, Solanco struggled against visiting Garden Spot, suffering an 81-58 loss.
Despite falling behind early, 23-12 in the first quarter, the rest of the frames were more than competitive, with the Spartans never finishing with more than a six point edge. Solanco exploded for 20 fourth quarter points but couldn't hold off the visitors. Spot got 16 from Keontae Nunn, who finished with a season-high 34, and netted 22 for the frame to close out the win.
Kreider poured in a season-high 23, including nine in the fourth quarter, and Carson Kilgore, who netted nine in the first half, settled for 13. Zed Baker and Zach Wiker combined for 14 as the Mules fell to 2-3 in Section Three (3-8 overall).
Solanco, without head coach Scott Long, capped the 2018 season with a 68-64 consolation overtime victory over Conestoga Valley in their own Holiday Tournament on December 29.
"We jumped out to a quick 66-58 lead in the overtime period," recalled assistant coach Caleb Graves who is filling in for Long who is out due to his wife giving birth to their daughter, Brynlee Joy, five weeks early. "Then we missed several easy layups and CV closed the gap. We missed some free throws late as well but managed to hand on for the win."
Early on, it was the Bucks, who did not hit a single three-pointer in the game, that took an early lead, sprinting to a 22-16 first quarter advantage. "We were giving up too many points in the paint," stated Graves. "We talked about that at halftime and in the second half we used our full court pressure to close the deficit."
Kreider, whose 3-ball gave Solanco the lead late in the game, finished with 15 points, including four triples. Zed Baker, however, netting a team-high 18 and Zach Wiker added a dozen.
Solanco dropped in 25 field goals on the day and held the visitors to 20. CV, however, drained 18-of-30 free throws to keep the game close.
"I was proud of the team's effort to continue playing hard when the shots weren't falling," said Graves. "It was an all-out team with from start to finish with contributions from underclassmen as well as upperclassmen who have not played as much this season."
The Mules fell into the consolation game after suffering a 56-37 opening round loss to Penn Manor. The Comets outscored the hosts in all four quarters, including a 12-4 second frame run that pushed the lead to 25-14 at the break.
Kreider, with 10 points, was Solanco's only double-digit scorer. Jalen Henry followed with seven and Baker and Whisman added six each.
Mules Blank Waynesboro in District Opener November 5, 2018
With a less than ideal forecast looming and Solanco set to open district play, head coach Tony Cox kept his eye on the radar all week. So they would be prepared for the monsoon like conditions that presented themselves at game time this past Friday night, Solanco practiced with a wet ball all last week.
"We used a wet ball all week and the kids were frustrated that we kept fumbling in practice," said Cox. "But we didn't have a single fumble against Waynesboro and sometimes it was raining so hard I couldn't see across the field."
The Mules shook off a 2.5 hour bus ride, handled the weather conditions and rushed their way to a lopsided 49-0 shutout over their hosts in the District Three Class 5A first-round game.
Waynesboro (6-5) won their last three games to jump to No. 7 in the district bracket. It was the first time in school history that they earned a home playoff game. The Mules, for the second time in program history, and the first since 2015, advanced to the quarterfinals where a rematch against No. 2 seed Cocalico (8-2) awaits this Friday.
"The kids were focused," stated Cox. "They were ready to play. And we're certainly excited to have another shot at Cocalico."
Nick Yannutz spearheaded Solanco's 403-rushing yards with 209 yards on 20 rushes and Joel McGuire added 120 yards on 14 rain-soaked carries. The pair also scored three touchdowns each.
With the rains limiting the passing game, Waynesboro finished with 204 yards on the ground and were led by Quentin Gaskill's 98-yards on nine carries.
The Mules kick started their offense with an early defensive stand. Waynesboro moved the ball to the Solanco 7. After two short gains, the drive stalled and a six yard loss made it fourth-and-goal from the 11. Solanco stopped quarterback Jay Alverez at the one with 8:09 left in the quarter and responded with a 99-yard drive that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown run by Yannutz. Logan Yaletchko's 2-point conversion put the Mules on the board, 8-0.
Solanco's second touchdown of the night was a six-yard keeper by McGuire with a Hayden Fox PAT pushing the lead to 15-0.
The Mules got the ball back on downs at the midfield and needed just one play to add to the score. Yannutz broke up the middle with a 49-yard run and another Fox PAT extended the lead, 22-0.
The defense, led by Hunter Shaw's six tackles, came up big again when Sam Buckwalter picked off a pass at the 44. Solanco needed just four plays this time to hit pay dirt. Yannutz scored from the 11 with 7:24 left in the half.
Waynesboro, on the ensuing possession, fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Yaletchko, who also recorded one sack, recovered on the 28 and McGuire, on third down, took it 25-yards to the house for a commanding 35 point advantage.
The Indians fumbled again, this time on their own 35. After Rashawn Carter's recovery, Solanco, again, capitalized when McGuire plunged in from the one. Fox booted another PAT and the Mules were up 42-0 with 2:32 left in the half.
The only score of the second half was a one-yard keeper by McGuire in the third quarter.
"This was a good program win," said Cox. "Everyone got playoff experience. The kids played with a purpose. They wanted to get a playoff win and they did.
"We win, we keep on going," he added. "We lose, we're done. We're looking forward to this week's challenge."
Mules Fall to Barons But Qualify For Districts October 29, 2018
After a disappointing effort against Cocalico on October 19th, the football team was looking to get back on track last week. Unfortunately they were facing their toughest opponent of the season, the undefeated Barons of Manheim Central. And that challenge was just too tall a task to overcome.
While this game featured the league's top two rushers in Solanco's Joel McGuire and Manheim's Tyler Flick, it was the Barons, with their league best defense, that shined in a lopsided 57-14 final.
Manheim needed just three plays to score two touchdowns and after five plays from scrimmage, they led 21-0 behind 173 yards of offense. The undefeated Barons racked up 367 yards en route to a commanding 42-14 first half lead.
Solanco looked poised to counter Manheim's opening strike, a 75-yard TD run by Flick, putting together four straight first downs in driving inside the Barons' 10-yard line. A fumble ended that threat and set the tone for the rest of the game. The Mules fumbled a season-high three times and tossed one interception, which led to Manheim's second score of the game.
Solanco opened the second quarter with a 54-yard rumble by Nafis Moore and Hayden Fox kicked the extra point, cutting the lead to 21-7. The Barons countered with their fourth score of the game, a 15-yard run by Evan Simon, extending the advantage back to 21 points.
The Mules scored its second and final TD of the night when Moore, who finished with 142 yards on 13 carries, rushed in from three yards out, making it 28-14 midway through the second quarter. The hosts scored again before the half expired and pulled away with 15 second half points, securing its 25th section championship.
Despite the loss, McGuire finished as the league's top rusher with 1,531 yards through 10 games and is believed to be the first quarterback to win the rushing title. He finished with 102 yards against the Barons. Flick settled in with 1, 447 yards, Donegal's Zion Gibbs was third (1,082) and Nafis Moore went over the 1,000 yards mark by four yards.
The Mules finish the regular season at 2-4 but their 6-4 overall mark punches their ticket to the District Three 5A championships which get underway this weekend. No. 10 seed Solanco will take on No. 7 Waynesboro. Both teams are 6-4.
FIELD HOCKEY, VOLLEYBALL and CROSS COUNTRY
Nobody goes out for a sport, or becomes an athlete, because they enjoy losing. The goal is always to win. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the ball just doesn't bounce your way. Does that mean the season was a waste of time? Never. The great thing about sports is that there are always lessons to be learned, win or lose, that will stay with you long after the season is over. The little victories along the way might not be wins in the traditional sense, but smaller goals that were achieved. Individuals learning the game and showing progress or learning lessons about being a part of something bigger and being responsible. It's much harder to go through a losing season than one that cruises along, racking up the wins but there are rewards in those losses.
Many of the fall sports teams have struggled in the win department this year but other successes have popped up along the way. The field hockey team was awarded the Lancaster-Lebanon League Varsity Team Academic Award with a GPA average of 3.704. In addition to that, five players received league all-star recognition. Junior Keirra Laird was a second team all-star while seniors Casey Weder and Dana Landis, along with sophomore midfielders Emma Curtis were honorable mention all-stars. Landis, along with Alta Brandenberger, also received L-L League Senior Academic Awards.
Laird was the team's top scorer with four goals and one assist and played in every varsity game. "Keirra worked very hard and took off this season in her intensity as a forward," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "She is the first player in my coaching career at Solanco to receive second team all-star recognition. She is also the first player as a junior to be awarded as the last two years we have had seniors.
"Emma is also the youngest player in my career to be selected as an all-star," Hawkins continued. "We moved her from defense to midfield where she has shined. She is a versatile player that can switch from defense to midfield and back without skipping a beat."
Curtis finished with one goal, one assist and collected three defensive saves.
The volleyball team also took their lumps this year as a group of underclassmen battled to learn the game and compete at the varsity level. They were led by their three senior captains.
Four-year starter Kara McClune was the anchor for this squad. From her power/outside hitter position, McClune led the team with 86 aces and 113 kills. She also put up 16 blocks and was solid in the back with 223 digs. For her efforts, McClune was selected as a Lancaster-Lebanon League Second Team All-Star.
"Kara's drive and competitiveness were major contribution to Solanco Volleyball," praised head coach Meghan Cross. "She led by example with a positive attitude and was always looking for ways to better her individual and team play. Kara's experience and knowledge of the game were key attributes in her leadership and level of play."
Georgia Ewing, a two-year starter, shared captain responsibilities with McClune. She was tops on the team with 43 blocks and also contributed 71 kills and 26 aces.
"Determination and perseverance are two qualities that Georgia contributed to the team," Cross stated. "She was determined to be a team player and constantly looking to improve her play. She was respected by her teammates and took charge of defending the net and was always helping the younger players."
Solanco's final captain and last senior on the team this year was first year starter and Libero, Bri Langley. A Defensive Specialist last year, Langley led this year's squad with 305 digs and served up 32 aces.
"Bri's enthusiasm and energy on and off the court are two qualities that stand out to me," Cross said. "Bri took charge on defense. She got along with everyone and made sure everyone felt included."
The team finished the season with four wins and 14 losses.
The Cross Country team also struggled this season, coming up with a combined record of one win against 19 losses. As individuals, however, five members of the team competed in the District Three Championships at Big Spring High School this past Saturday. Ben Stickler, Avery Jacobsen, Dan Keller, Colin Althoff and Aubree Roop traversed the muddy course on a chilly afternoon but failed to place high enough to advance to the state championships this weekend.
Stickler, in a field of 270 runners, was off last year's pace of 17:12. The senior led the team but was disappointed with his time of 18:54 and 158th place finish.
Avery Jacobsen, in his biggest race of the season, fell in at 179th place with a 19:05. He was the 20th freshman to cross the line. Senior Dan Keller followed with a 19:49 (238th) and Colin Althoff, a junior, settled in at 257th with a 20:27.
As the only member of the girls' squad to qualify, Aubree Roop ran alone and finished 50 seconds and 21 places behind last year's effort. Roop clocked a 23:03 for 157th place.
Stickler Earns L-L League Medal October 22, 2018
While the cross country team opened the post-season last week, the volleyball team was wrapping up the regular season and the football team continued its trek through section play.
The harrier teams traveled to Ephrata Middle School last Tuesday to compete in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships. And while the final team scores are not what they wanted, the squads put forth their best efforts.
The boys' opened the action at 4 pm and were led by Ben Stickler's 24th place, medal finishing time of 17:13.
"Ben has grown stronger as the season moved forward," said head coach Craig Ausel. "He has been determined to overcome some early season struggles which knocked him out of the L-L all-star contention. We believe he still has his best race ahead of him at the District Three meet (Oct. 27)," he added. "His time was the sixth fastest Solanco time of the LL Championship course," Ausel noted. "Only John Ausel, Liam Hodgson, Noah Brady and Ben himself have run faster times on the course since 2010."
Freshman Avery Jacobsen clocked the next best time with an 18:41 that was good for 80th place. He was the 10th freshman to cross the finish line in a field of 170 runners. "Avery is a fierce competitor and did not back down to many stronger runners," Ausel said. "His time is the seventh fastest Solanco freshman time on the Championship Course."
Tate Fisher ran third for the Mules, clocking a season best 19:00 flat for 103rd place, missing the district qualifying time by one second.
Nathan Eller, also a junior, ran as Solanco's fourth runner for the first time this season. He finished in 113th place with a 19:15 and was closely followed by senior Aidan McBride (118th, 19:22).
"Tate, Nathan and Aidan all ran their best races," noted Ausel.
Rounding out the Solanco lineup was Colin Althoff (19:42), Dan Keller (19:43) and senior Jose Serrano (20:18).
"Dan mounted a strong comeback after a late season injury," Ausel said. "Both he and Colin qualified for districts. We did not beat any of the Section One teams that beat us during the season but we did pick up five wins over Section Two teams," he added. "It was our hope to knock off a couple more."
The Mules finished 18 points ahead of Lampeter-Strasburg, the Section Two co-champs.
The girls' ran the second race of the day and got a strong showing from Aubree Roop. The senior clocked a 22:10 for the 57th fastest time of the day and the 10th fastest time by a Solanco senior on the Championship Course.
"We are looking forward to Aubree running her strongest race of the season at districts," said Ausel.
Chesley Ledesma, attempting to meet the qualifying standard of sub 23 minutes, fell a bit short. She finished in 91st place with a 23:26.
"Chesley ran a strong race and gave a good effort," Ausel stated. "She just fell a bit short. We look forward to Chesley being a huge part of our leadership team next season."
Freshman Halle Brown ran third for the Mares and finished in 98th place with a 23:42, just one second off her career best.
"Halle learned a great deal about training and preparation this season. She will be a crucial link in building our program," Ausel noted.
Sarah Snyder (118th, 24:51) and Hannah Wheeler (127th, 25:25) rounded out the top five.
"Our sixth runner, Evelyn Billings, had an outstanding day, running a career best 25:43 and finishing 131st," Ausel pointed out. "She knocked 4:30 off her first 5K of the season.
Kirsten O'Connell ran 27:26 to round out the Solanco roster.
The volleyball team saved their best for last, winning two of their last three matches of the season last week, improving their overall record to 4-14.
Last Monday, the team defeated Berks Christian 3-2. This one was back-and-forth with the Mares taking a 25-20 first set win. They dropped the second set 22-25, came back to win 25-18 before bowing out 20-25 in the fourth set. With the match on the line, Solanco pulled out the win with a 15-10 final set.
Senior Kara McClune was a huge factor on offense, serving up 11 aces and collecting 11 kills. Bri Langley and Madi Davis combined for 7 aces and 16 digs with Nathaly Molinarez and Jada Dow adding to McClune's presence with a combined 11 kills. Davis also dished out 18 assists with Emma Canale adding 10. Emma Urbine and Georgia Ewing added two blocks each and Alondra Quinonez recorded 7 digs in a total team effort.
Tuesday saw the Mares travel to playoff bound Lampeter-Strasburg for the regular season finale. Though they came away with a 3-1 loss, the Mares pushed the Pioneers. And if it wasn't for some miscues in the serving department, the scores could have been closer.
L-S led from start to finish in their 25-19 first set win. Solanco countered in the second set, tying the score at 17-17, and 19 all before pulling out a 25-21 win as the Pioneers missed a serve and hit into the net on the final two points of the set.
The Mares held that momentum through the first part of the third set, tying things up at 9-9 before the Pioneers, with more error-free play, finished on top 25-16. The hosts controlled the final set, leading from start to finish in a 25-13 result.
McClune continued her strong play at the net with 5 kills but it wasn't enough to offset Lampeter's Betsy Brenneman who recorded 12. McClune also served up 3 aces with Ewing and Urbine (1 blocks) adding 4 each. Davis recorded 13 assists, Langley hustled for 13 digs and Dow added one block in the loss.
Solanco ended the season on a strong note, holding off Lititz Christian with a 3-2 thriller on a night that celebrated senior captains McClune, Ewing and Langley.
This one was exciting from the start as the Mares pulled out a 31-29 first set victory. Unfortunately, Lititz battled back to take the second set (25-18) and pulled out a tight 25-23 fourth set after Solanco forged ahead with a 25-21 third set win. Coming down to the final set, again, Solanco prevailed 15-11.
"That first set went point-for-point and lasted over an hour," recalled head coach Meghan Cross. "The girls persevered through several long volleys and executed crucial points, including Kara's final point kill that gave us the set victory.
"We actually fell behind 0-3 in that final set," Cross continued. "Kara's serves and a few crucial kills, along with Georgia's blocks were what led us to the win. The girls were really solid on defense as well, digging and diving for balls everywhere."
McClune was stellar on defense in this one, collecting 45 digs with Langley (38) and Canale (16) also working hard to deny Lititz. McClune and Ewing led the attack at the net with 13 and 11 kills respectively with Davis (18) and Canale (14) putting up the sets. McClune, Langley and Davis also combined for 7 aces on the night.
"It was a great win for senior night and a great way to end the season," Cross said.
Two fairly evenly matched teams met on the gridiron this past Friday night in Denver but only one went home with a win. In an unexpected turn of events, Cocalico dismantled Solanco 42-7 and improved to 4-1 in Section Two (7-2 overall). Solanco fell to 2-3, 6-3.
"We came out flat," said head coach Tony Cox. "Cocalico definitely wanted it more. They played a lot more physical than we did. A different team showed up for Solanco Friday night, one the seniors hope to turn around as we face Manheim Central this week."
The Eagles held the Mules' typically potent rushing game to just 197 yards and scored the first six touchdowns of the game. They led 28-0 at the half, a lead too large for the visitors to overcome.
Solanco came in as the top rushing team in the league with 3,332 yards and a 458 total yards per game average but couldn't get going.
"We couldn't get into a rhythm and we certainly couldn't stop them," Cox stated. "It was just one of those games. The team agreed they weren't ready to play and that they need to go harder this week."
The Mules finally got on the board in the fourth quarter when Nafis Moore, who rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries, scored on a four-yard burst. Cole Lewis chipped in with 39 yards and Nick Yannutz added 26 while one of the league's best rushers, Joel McGuire, was held to 18 yards. McGuire completed 2-of-7 passes with one interception. Michael Grech was on the receiving end of one of those passes for 34 yards and Lewis snagging the other for 18. Seth Harnish led the defensive effort with eight tackles.
"When you lose a game, you can chose to fix the mistakes and get better or not fix the mistakes and get worse," said Cox. "When we lost to E-town and CV, the kids wanted to fix the mistakes and responded with wins over McCaskey and L-S. We have to fix things this week and get rolling again."
Solanco competed in the L-L League exhibition tournament at Conestoga Valley Oct. 13 and finished in second place in their respective pool. Kelsey Sheets and Faith Rineer each placed second in their singles pools while the doubles team of Maddie Mosley and Perla Bentiez finished second in doubles.
"There were three pools of singles tournaments with eight players in each and one doubles pool with eight teams," noted head coach Todd Brown. "We have a great young group of returning players who have already begun off-season workouts. There will be several large shoes to fill as the seniors graduate, but the underclassmen are rising to the challenge and look forward to their opportunity."
Faith Redcay, Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy all recorded six singles wins this season while Zaborskiy and Griffonetti teamed for eight doubles wins. Also in doubles play, newcomer Sophia Baker recorded seven wins, partnering with either Kelsey Sheets or Faith Rineer.
Girls' Soccer Tops Donegal in Season Finale October 15, 2018
Last week the lady booters ended the season with two games against Donegal. Tuesday they were on the road and settled for a 1-1 double overtime tie. Gracie Unger, assisted by Grace Kreider, gave the Mares an early lead. Unfortunately, the hosts matched that effort later in the first half.
"We played scoreless the remainder of the game," said head coach Ken Yoder. "Each team had equal play with good chances."
Due to rainouts, the Mares hosted Donegal on Thursday for the last game of the season. After a scoreless first half, Kayden Bedwell, on a nice cross from Alana Yoder, scored the game winner.
"We had the better of the play throughout the match," noted Yoder. "We had numerous chances to score in the first half.
"It was a great season," he added, "unfortunately we fell short of our goals of reaching the post season and having a winning record. We did, however, have one of the better seasons ever for Solanco girls' soccer and increased our win total from six games to seven with a final record of 7-10-1."
In their first, and last, dual meet of the season, the harrier teams traveled to Lititz to take on a pair of Warrior squads that were battling for the section title. Both Solanco teams fell short in the upset, 18-47.
"Warwick boys are the strongest team we've seen in the L-L this season," said head coach Craig Ausel. "Their ladies top five are solid as well. We caught them at a good time. They had another meet this week and took it easy on us.
"This was a fast course and some responded to the opportunity of running faster through the first two miles to put themselves in position for season best times," he added.
Ben Stickler ran a smart race and continued to lead the Mules. He followed four Warwick runners through the first 2.5 miles and then used a strong kick to pass those four runners over the last 400 meters. He was third overall and just 13 seconds out of first place with an 18:05. Avery Jacobson followed four Warwick runners to the finish line and settled for 8th place with an 18:34, his second fastest time of the season.
First year runner Nathan Eller ran third for the Mules, knocking 40 seconds off his best time, running a 19:15 and narrowly missing a qualifying time for Districts. He was 13th overall.
Founding out the top five was senior Aiden McBride (15th) and Colin Althoff (18th) with sophomore Sean Keller a close 19th.
"Aiden continues to improve and we hope he can qualify for districts at the league meet," said Ausel. "Sean ran a season best 20:17 to crack into our top six.
"As frustrating as our 0-10 record is, we have a great deal to be thankful for," Ausel continued. "The underclassmen, on both teams, have learned the importance of summer training. The big challenge will be to see who remembers this lesson next June and July when the 2019 season begins."
Senior Aubree Roop finished her last regular season with a 6th place finish in 22:56. Chesley Ledsma was two places back with a 23:47 with Hannah Wheeler cracking 10th (24:59).
"Aubree has come a long way in four years and has provided great leadership to our small squad," noted Ausel. "Chesley was working toward a district qualifying time but fell short in the last mile. She will give it another try at leagues.
"Hannah, our senior co-captain, is a warrior who races despite many different physical and health related struggles in her life," he continued. "She leads by example."
Halle Brown clocked a 25:05 and finished 12th overall with Sarah Snyder (18th, 26:32) rounding out the top five. Evelyn Billings also chipped in with a 20th place finish.
"Halle continued to learn how to race and will be a giant help to our squad next year with a stronger summer of training," said Ausel.
"The girls finished 1-9 this year but we need to find more than eight ladies for next year's squad.
"As for the post-season, Coach Harrington and every Solanco coach after him has said...Our responsibility is to represent our proud SLCXC tradition by competing with 'Intensity, Courage, and Love.' We want to walk away from the day knowing that we did everything we could do to get the most from our abilities and the work we put into this season," he concluded.
Aubree Roop was the top place winner for the girls, clocking a 22:57 for 6th place overall. Chesley Ledsma was two places back with a 23:47 and Hanna Wheeler finished 10th overall in 24:59.
The boys' soccer team wrapped up the 2018 season last week with back-to-back losses early in the week and another on Friday. The team hosted Octorara on Monday. The Braves took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 21st minute and made it 2-zip 13 minutes later which is where the score remained as the Mules denied the Braves in the second half.
"It was an evenly played match," said head coach Jamie Snyder. "We lost 5-0 to them the first time around so improvement is being made."
Tuesday night they took an early lead against visiting Donegal but couldn't quite hold on. The Indians pulled away with a 4-2 final.
Solanco jumped in front 2-1 with first half goals by Sean Salisbury and Oliver Diaz, who knocked in his first of the season, but the Indians tied the game before the half and pulled away with a pair of second half tallies.
"Jake Smolik (11 saves) stopped a penalty kick in the second half and we built on that momentum," said Snyder. "I thought we outplayed them but fell to some bad bounces," he added. "Everyone played well but Jake's brilliance in goal stood out. The first time we played them we lost 7-0, so again, progress is being made and the program is getting stronger."
The Mules hosted Penn Manor, a Section One squad with just five total wins, on Friday and dropped a 2-0 result.
In the much anticipated battle for the Milk Jug Trophy, Lampeter-Strasburg scored the first touchdown of the night and the last, but in between it was all Solanco as the Mules used a 27 point second quarter to regain the Milk Jug with a 48-27 senior night home victory this past Friday.
Joel McGuire rushed for 225 yards on 16 carries and scored four times to highlight the scoring.
"It was a pretty exciting game," said head coach Tony Cox. "The kids were focused. After last year's embarrassing loss, the kids really wanted this and the senior did a great job leading."
Solanco tied the score at 7-7 with 4:13 left in the first quarter on McGuire's 17-yard strike to Sam Buckwalter and then gained momentum when Logan Yaletchko sacked Lampeter's Sean McTaggart, forcing the visitors to punt with 1:49 left in the frame. The Mules took off from there, scoring four unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter, three by McGuire, two at 60-yards or better.
"Joel really had an outstanding game," said Cox. "He was the playmaker, but the offensive line did a great job too."
Nafis Moore added two scores, one in the second quarter, and one of just two that the Mules scored after halftime. He finished with 62 yards on 9 carries. Cody Lewis and Nick Yannutz both added 67 yards rushing, adding to Solanco's 393-yards total for the game.
McGuire also completed 4-of-5 passes for another 64 yards. Michael Grech hauled in two of those.
"Defensively, Seth Harnish had a big game," noted Cox. "And he's only a sophomore."
Harnish, along with Buckwalter, had seven solo tackles. He also had three assists and one sack.
"We travel to Cocalico this week," stated Cox. "They're a tough nosed team and run the same type of offense we run. It's going to come down to fundamentals and not giving up penalties."
The hockey team wrapped up Lancaster-Lebanon League play last week with three losses. The team traveled to Elizabethtown on Monday looking to move up in the standings against the team sitting just above them in the standings. The Bears, however, were not to be denied, pulling out a 2-1 thriller.
After a scoreless first half, the hosts jumped in front just 2:44 into the second half. Solanco, despite being outshot 23-1, was determined and knotted the score on a goal by Emma Curtis, assisted by Keirra Laird at the 13:25 mark. The Bears, holding a 7-1 edge in corners, knocked in the game-winner with 7:15 left.
In their second home game of the week, Solanco took on second place Manheim Central and came away with a hard-fought 2-0 loss.
"The first time we played them we lost 8-0 so this was definitely an improvement," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "And it might have helped that we played on our grass field!
"My forward line (Keirra Laird, Mariah Stoltzfus and Maggie Hirst) has really begun to excel the past couple of games and luckily they are underclassmen so that is looking great for next year," she added.
The Barons (12-2), with an 8-3 advantage in corners, scored one goal in each half to secure the win. The Mares had a couple of breakaway efforts by Keirra Laird up the left side of the field and into the circle but Solanco just couldn't finish.
And in their last home game of the season, the Mares wrapped up league play with a 4-1 loss to Cocalico. The Eagles scored in the seventh minute and added a second goal with just over one minute left to play in the first half.
They kept up the pace in the second half, tallying two more goals before the determined Mares broke up the shutout with an unassisted goal by Laird in the 21st minute.
The volleyball team took on league foes Ephrata and Garden Spot last week but came up empty in the wins category. Tuesday the team traveled to Ephrata where the Mounts posted a second 3-0 verdict over the Mares, winning 25-13, 25-17, 25-19.
"We could not get into a rhythm against Ephrata," said head coach Meghan Cross. "Georgia played well and protected the net and Kara continues to power through with her serves."
Kara McClune sparked the offense with 4 aces while Georgia Ewing put down 3 kills and Maddie Davis added 5 assists. Defensively, Ewing also recorded 3 blocks while Bri Langley dug up 14 hits.
Two nights later, the Mares hosted the section undefeated Spartans and battled tough in a 3-1 loss. Solanco opened with a 25-23 first set but couldn't keep the momentum as the stronger Spartans responded with a 25-10 win in the second set and finished on top, 25-11, 25-10. In the end, it was too much Shawna Zeiset. The Spartan hitter collected 26 kills leaving her with 200 on the season.
"The girls executed on offense, defended the net and covered on defense," stated Cross. "Their confidence and skills all came together and they played a competitive set against a very good team."
Ewing recorded 2 blocks and 3 kills for the Mares while McClune chipped in the 3 aces and 15 digs and Davis put up 6 assists.
Solanco also competed against Kennard-Dale on Monday and came away with their sixth 3-1 loss of the season, (25-17, 24-26, 25-12, 25-17).
McClune led the way with 8 aces, 7 kills and 6 digs. Langley and Canale, who finished with 12 assists, also collected 6 digs while Molinarez led that category with 7.
"Many of our matches have gone four and five sets," Cross noted. "That is a huge improvement and great accomplishment for this young team. Things are starting to click for the younger players and that is encouraging."
Golden Mule Gridders Thump McCaskey October 8, 2018
After heartbreaking losses to both CV and Elizabethtown, the Mules righted the ship this past Friday night, getting everyone involved in a 64-10 thumping over a 1-6 McCaskey squad. This was only the second time the two teams met. McCaskey won the first meeting 33-12 in a District 3 AAAA semifinal in 1991.
"The defense executed the things they didn't the last two weeks," said head coach Tony Cox. "They did what they were coached and not their own thing. They knocked receivers off the pass and picked up three interceptions (Cole Lewis, Zed Baker, and Sam Buckwalter).
"Football is like life," he added. "You're going to face adversity, and we did these two previous weeks, but the kids stayed positive and worked hard. They were focused this week."
Nafis Moore piled up 210 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 140 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown and returned a kickoff 70 yards to set up another score. Joel McGuire rushed 87 yards on 8 carries, scored two touchdowns and connected on 2-of-4 passes for another 51 yards. Shaneef Carter also scored a pair of TD's, rushing 94 yards on 13 carries.
A Lewis 7-yard scamper pushed the first quarter lead to 21-0, while an 11-yard strike from McGuire to Michael Grech kick started a 24-7 second quarter run and extended the lead to 42-7 at the half.
Moore scored in the third quarter and freshman Zach Turpen and sophomore Ronnie Fulton chipped in with fourth quarter TD's to pad the lead.
"We only had one turnover," noted Cox. "But it led to their only TD of the night."
The Mules rushed for 360 yards with 186 of them coming in the first quarter.
The field hockey team keeps working hard to pad their win column but the going hasn't been easy. Last Monday they hosted the third place team in Section Two and were dealt a 6-0 setback by Garden Spot. The Spartans improved to 9-4-1 overall and are working on their first winning record in three years. Wednesday they faced the undefeated Indians of Donegal and settled for a 14-1 defeat. The Indians have only given up 15 goals to date and two of them have been to Solanco. They capped the week with a disappointing 12-0 loss on the turf at Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday. The Mares dropped a 7-0 result to the Pioneers on their grass field on Sept. 17.
Despite falling behind 5-0 to Garden Spot in the first half, the Mares regrouped after the break, giving up just one goal while pressing to their offensive end with two corners and three shots on goal.
Wednesday's outing was no easier as Solanco faced a Donegal team that has rolled over its opponents, scoring 134 total goals through 14 games. The Indians' lopsided win over Solanco featured a pair of milestones as Lily Saunders scored her 100th career goal while Mackenzie Allessie hit the 300 mark.
Keirra Laird, assisted by Mariah Stoltzfus, broke up Donegal's shutout bid with a first half goal. Alta Brandenberger was busy in goal, collecting 15 saves while Kaley Wilson added two.
In Lampeter, the Mares struggled to slow the speedy Pioneers and were dealt their second shutout of the week. Against an offense that put out 24 shots on goal, Kimmy Beacham recorded 10 saves with Brandenberger grabbing two. The two combined for nine saves against Garden Spot.
The harrier teams competed on the tough Lancaster County course last Tuesday, McCaskey's home course, and failed to pick up a win. Despite a team best fifth place effort from Ben Stickler (18:03), the Mules fell to two of the top three teams in the section, 18-47 against both McCaskey and Hempfield. Aubree Roop was the top finisher for the girls, grabbing 12th place in 24:13. But the Mares also fell short, 18-40 to McCaskey and 15-55 against Hempfield.
"It's not always about the scoreboard," said head coach Craig Ausel. "It's a tough course but all the teams responded well. The team works hard and we get the most from our talent and the work we put in.
"Ben ran well with the leaders," he continued. "And Avery is not afraid to compete and did a fantastic job. We did have four runners sitting out today."
Avery Jacobsen scored a 14th place finish in 19:15, right on the tails of Hempfield's fifth and sixth runners. Colin Althoff (25th, 20:54), Tate Fisher (27th, 20:57) and Nathan Eller (28th, 21:04) rounded out the top five with Jose Serrano (29th), Aidan McBride (30th), Ryan Vanover (32nd) and Angel Daniel (34th) following in a pack.
Chesley Ledesma (16th, 24:52) and Halle Brown (19th, 25:14) cracked the top 20 with Sarah Snyder (25th, 26:12), Hannah Wheeler (29th, 26:31) and Evelyn Billings (32nd, 27:47) rounding out the Solanco lineup.
"Aubree, Chesley and Hallle fought hard early in the race but were separated in the last mile," Ausel said.
While the boys' soccer team is not preparing for the playoffs, they are in fact working hard to move Solanco's program in the right direction.
The Mules opened the week with a 3-0 loss to Cocalico, the fourth ranked team in 3A who secured its fifth straight shutout, on Monday.
"The boys played a solid game, holding them to just three goals for the second time this season," said head coach James Snyder. "Better passing and tighter defense helped in the effort."
Wednesday afternoon the boys dropped a 5-0 result against Lancaster Mennonite (7-1), the second place team in Section Three.
"We lost our game at times and LMH capitalized," said Snyder. "The team is working the ball better than they have in years past and have put a great deal of effort into helping rebuild the program from the junior high up.
"The boys are playing better soccer than they have in the past two or three seasons," he added. "The final scores are not indicative of how they perform on the field. We are working toward strengthening the program, getting better skilled and becoming more competitive."
Friday the Mules gave up a second half, own goal to Elco and dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker.
The volleyball team went 1-2 last week, suffering a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Oxford on Monday before coming back with a 3-0 loss to second place Elizabethtown (7-1) on Tuesday. The Mares capped the week with their first league win of the season, 3-2 over Lebanon on Friday.
Despite a strong presence at the net that featured 19 kills, Oxford rallied to beat the Mares. Solanco, behind Kara McClune's 7 aces, took the first two sets 25-18, 25-23 before the Hornets stung back, taking the next three 25-20, 25-14, 15-12.
McClune also led the way with 9 kills with Georgia Ewing and Nathaly Molinarz putting down 5 each thanks to the setting of Madi Davis (18 assists). McClune was busy in the back row as well, recording 11 digs along with Alondra Quinonez but it was Bri Langley that topped that stat with 16. Ewing and Urbine added 3 blocks each.
"Unforced errors prevented us from taking the lead in the fourth set," recalled head coach Meghan Cross, "and it's always a challenge to come back from two games down."
The Bears, with their sights on playoffs, served up six aces on the night and used a 10 kill attack from Sydney Stewart to spark a 25-14, 25-13, 25-8 win on the road.
Solanco got a strong game from both McClune and Molinarez who both recorded three kills and one ace in the loss. Emma Canale dished out 7 aces, Ewing put up a pair of blocks and Langley hustled for 10 digs.
On the road Thursday, the Mares avenged a 3-2 loss to Lebanon, back on Sept. 11, with a 3-2 thriller and their first section win! Solanco pulled out a 26-24 first set win, but dropped the next two, 19-25, 23-25 before regrouping with a 25-20 fourth set and securing the win with a 15-9 final set.
"This was our best match of the season yet!" exclaimed Cross. "Despite the unforced errors, we regained focus and pulled out the win.
"Emma had a phenomenal game at the net, finishing with 7 kills and giving her hitters some beautiful sets (9 assists) to send back over the net," continued Cross. "Kara was on fire with her serve and recorded 9 aces and Emma Urbine was a machine on the court, moving and covering and making saves everywhere."
Langley led the way with 20 digs with McClune adding a dozen, Davis chipped in with 7 assists and Ewing put up a pair of blocks to add to the total team victory.
Facing the top three teams in Section Three last week no easy task but the Mares buckled down and got to work. Monday's 3-0 loss to Cocalico (6-6-2 overall) was closer than the score might appear. The Eagles held a slim 10-9 edge in shots on goal and led 4-1 in corners.
"We played hard but struggled to finish despite some really good chances," said head coach Ken Yoder. "The difference was that Cocalico finished just about all of their chances.
"We lost to them 1-0 in overtime the first time around but I felt we played a much more even game this time," he added.
Wednesday the Mares hosted second place Lancaster Mennonite (6-2) for Senior Night and were dealt a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss in overtime.
After pretty much controlling the first half and settling for a 0-0 tie at the break, Solanco jumped in front when Grace Kreider delivered a perfect corner kick to Alana Yoder whose header found the back of the net. Unfortunately, the Blazers matched that effort five minutes later. Both teams challenged through regulation and one overtime period before the visitors finished a shot in the box with just two minutes gone in the second OT period to pull out the win.
"I really thought we won in the first overtime," said Yoder. "Alana headed another shot that looked like it was going in but was just wide. Our girls outplayed them and played great," he added. "We lost to them by one earlier in the season as well.
"Again, not capitalizing on our chances proves to be a deciding factor in these close games against the better opponents," Yoder explained. "We have been connecting passes and building on our attack in the second half of the season but the final piece of finishing in front of the net, against good teams, has proven tricky."
Seniors honored before the game included Reece Curry-Saner, Grace Kreider, Rachel McLaren and Diana Quintino.
The undefeated Elco Raiders swept the series against the Mares, posting a 3-0 final in Quarryville on Friday. After a scoreless first half, the visitors, with a 20 shot advantage, needed 15 minutes in the second half to go in front. They scored all of their goals in a span of 14 minutes.
Gabi Dolan recorded 21 saves on the day, five more than in the Cocalico and LMH games combined.
The tennis team competed in the L-L League Flight Tournament last week but failed to move into second round action. Kerith Paine faced 5th seed Scotland Reynolds, of Manheim Township, and lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1. Playing No. 2, Faith Redcay bowed out with a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Cocalico's Kassie Nichols while Elsie Zaborskiy put up the best numbers of the day in a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Warwick's Selena Orta at No. 4
In doubles action, Paine and Redcay took on 4th seed Reynolds and Nichole Honrade, of Township, and were shut out. At No. 2, Gabby Griffonetti and Zaborskiy put up a good fight before falling short 8-5 to McCaskey's Rachel Graham and Sarah Barnes. Griffonetti had defeated Barnes in Solanco's 4-3 thriller over the Red Tornados back on August 29.
Last but not least, Sophia Baker and Erin Dobinson teamed for an 8-2 loss at No. 3 doubles against Erin Fleurant and Chloe Long.
Mules Challenged By E-town for Homecoming October 1, 2018
For the second week in a row, turnovers (2 fumbles) and penalties (one roughing the passer) proved to be the difference in being dealt a loss or coming out on top. Elizabethtown put a damper on Solanco's homecoming activities this past Friday night as they put together a come-from-behind win over the Golden Mules, a 45-44 thriller.
Solanco pretty much led from start to finish. Joel McGuire (182 yards) scored the first of four rushing TD's on a one yard plunge and Nafis Moore (88 yards on 13 carries) added 4-yarder before Cole Lewis blocked a punt with 3:40 left in the first quarter, leaving the hosts in front 14-12.
The Mules looked to take control in the second frame, outscoring the visitors 30-13 for a 37-19 lead at the break. McGuire opened with a 17 yard TD, and E-town countered before Solanco ran off 16 straight points. McGuire scored on a two-yard plunge, Moore ran it in from 18-yards and Josiah Petersheim tackled Cole Patrick in the end zone for a safety.
The Bears, who did the bulk of their damage in the air (343 yards) denied the Mules in the third quarter while picking up a pair of scores. They started their comeback with a fumble recovery in the end zone and followed with a 70-yard TD reception to Luke Pierson. A second fumble gave the ball back to Etown and, after a roughing the passer call, the Bears converted with another passing TD, cutting the lead to 37-33.
McGuire's 60-yard run opened the fourth quarter and put the Mules in front 44-33. E-town, however, cut the lead to five with a 3-yard run and then denied the hosts. Cole Livingston returned the ensuing kickoff to the Solanco 30 with 1:19 remaining. One play later they were sitting at first-and-goal from the 4. The Mules held, but on fourth down a half-back pass to Livingston in the end zone was all E-town needed to forge ahead.
Shaneef Carter's 91-yards on 12 attempts contributed to Solanco's 427 rushing yards. Seth Harnish paced the defense with 9 tackles, Petersheim added 5 with Lewis, Seth Buckwalter and Daniel Sampson adding 4 each.
The boys' soccer team traveled to Donegal last Tuesday to take on the third place team in Section Three. The Indians maintained their ranking with a 7-0 victory. They scored three times in the first 14 minutes, keeping Solanco goalie Jake Smolik (8 saves) busy.
Saturday's non-league outing pitted the Mules against the top team in Section Four, Lancaster Catholic. The Crusaders held a slim 1-0 lead at the half before erupting for three second half goals and improving to 9-1-1 overall.
Head coach Craig Ausel was anticipating two wins for his squads last week but came away with just one. The girls' picked up a win over Lebanon (15-55) as the Cedars did not have a full squad. They suffered a 15-44 result against CV (6-2).
The boys' managed a tighter score but still fell short, falling 23-33 to both Lebanon and CV.
"The season has provided some challenges and we are working very hard to focus on the factors in our "circle of control," Ausel stated. "I believe both squads showed up to compete. We just got beat by two competitive teams who did all the right things to beat us."
Chesley Ledesma followed CV's top five runner to the finish line and placed 6th overall with a 23:02. Teammate Aubree Roop was 10 seconds behind for 7th while Halle Brown (9th, 24:10) and Hannah Wheeler (10th, 24:13) navigated the soggy course as Solanco's third and fourth runners. Sarah Snyder rounded out the top five in 12th place with Evelyn Billings one place back.
"Chesley ran a strong race, challenging a strong CV squad through the first two miles," noted Ausel. "Aubree ran a strong last mile and Halle, a freshman, continues to improve. Our senior captain, Hannah Wheeler, had one of her best races this year. She has overcome some health issues to continue her improvement and help our squad compete," he added. "Sarah also continues to improve and Evelyn knocked 30 seconds off her season best time."
Ben Stickler continues to lead the boys' and turned in a second place effort with a strong finish over Lebanon's Evan Blymier. Avery Jacobsen finished ahead of three Lebanon runners and placed 7th with an 18:24. Colin Althoff (12th) and Tate Fisher (13th) crossed the line together with a 19:06 while Nathan Eller rounded out the counters with a 17th place time of 19:57. Jose Serrano, Kyle Stively, Brandon Daniel, Sean Keller and Liam Fidley packed it in after that, securing the 19th through 23rd places.
"Ben continues his gradual return to some strong finishes. He turned in a strong kick to hold off Lebanon's No. 1 runner at the finish line," Ausel pointed out.
"Avery continues to impress and ran a gutsy race, challenging the No. 2 runners from both CV and Lebanon," he added. "And first year runner Nathan Eller broke into the 19 minute range for the first time this season."
A handful of golfers competed in the League Championships last Monday on a soggy Conestoga Country Club course. Needing an 88 or better to qualify for districts, Andy Teaman led the Mules with a 102. Greta Plechner (114) and Olivia Lasko (125) needed a 104 score to qualify for the girls portion of the tournament and also saw their season come to a close.
In a tightly contested match last Wednesday, the Mares put up a good fight against Garden Spot, the fourth place team in Section Two but fell short, 4-3.
"What a crazy, close match on senior night," said head coach Todd Brown. "Two of our matches went to tie breakers, which we split. Elsie Zaborskiy and Gabby Griffonetti continue to play great tennis which carries over to their singles matches. They are two of our three captains and are great leaders."
Zaborskiy and Griffonetti put Solanco on the board with an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles and both played tiebreaker matches in singles competition. Zaborskiy won 6-4, 5-7 (8-6) at No. 4 while Griffonetti came up short 7-5, 4-6 (10-3) at No. 3.
Kerith Paine, at No. 1, lost 6-1, 6-4 and Faith Redcay bowed out 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2.
The Mares capped their season in exciting fashion Friday afternoon. Not only did they pull out a 4-3 win over Elizabethtown for their second Section Two victory but did it playing indoors at the Hempfield Rec Center.
"Due to the weather we were forced inside," said Brown. "The ladies responded well to the sudden change, came out strong, and rode the momentum to a victory."
Zaborskiy teamed with Griffonetti for an 8-4 doubles win and posted a 6-4, 6-4 singles victory.
"Elsie continued to lead the team in number of wins," noted Brown. "Sophia Baker and Kelsey Sheets put together a great No. 3 double shutout and Kerith Paine played well. She and Faith won a comeback match 9-7 and in singles play, Kerith pushed her opponent to a tie-breaker set."
The lady booters picked up the scoring last week and tallied back-to-back shutouts, crushing McCaskey 6-0 on Wednesday and coming back with a dominating effort over Octorara one day later, 8-0.
"Everyone played hard and a lot of the reserves were able to get time and contribute," said head coach Ken Yoder.
Angie Cylc led the way against McCaskey with two goals and one assist. Grace Kreider also scored twice, both in the first half as Solanco pushed out to a 5-0 lead at the half. Reece Curry-Saner assisted on three of the six goals scored and Alana Yoder added two assists. Kayden Bedwell and Sammi Jackson, who tallied the last goal, added to the total.
One day later, Grace Unger's hat trick sparked the 8-0 victory over Octorara. The Mares held a 3-0 first half lead with Ryleigh Ferrari, Unger and Kreider all finding the back of the net. A balanced second half effort put the game out of reach. Unger scored twice with Kreider, Hanna Sweda and Yoder contributing. Solanco tallied three of those goals in the final three minutes.
Yoder, Curry-Saner, and Nikki Trout all dished out two assists with Kreider and Jackson adding one.
Facing Octorara again on Saturday, Unger led a 4-1 victory with a pair of first half tallies. Ferrari opened the scoring in the eighth minute and Jackson scored the only goal of the second half with three minutes left. Gracie Jackson chipped in with a pair of assists.
The wins push Solanco's overall record to 6-7.
Trying to move ahead of Cocalico in the standings last Wednesday, the Mares were instead dealt a 6-0 loss. The Eagles, led by Caroline Baum's two goal effort, scored just 46 seconds into the contest but held just a slim 2-0 lead at the break. With four different players scoring, they took control in the second half.
One day later, Solanco grabbed a victory over McCaskey on Maggie Hirst's second half game-winner.
"I think after tying them the first time, the girls wanted to beat them," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "We had many corners we could have capitalized on but with the field conditions, it wasn't that easy."
The Mares took the early lead in this one with Emma Curtis assisting Mylee Smith for her first goal of the season just 6:15 in. The hosts, still searching for their first league win, knotted the score just over two minutes later. Hirst, however, taking the pass from Mariah Stoltzfus, notched the game-winner just 2:01 after the break. Alta Brandenberger earned the win with four saves on the day.
In non-league action Saturday, Solanco improved to 3-7-1 with a 1-0 victory over Spring Grove. Keirra Laird's unassisted goal in the first half proved to be the game winner. Brandenberger earned the shutout with seven saves.
It was another three match week for the volleyball team and while they took both CV and L-S to four sets, they still suffered three losses.
Monday they hosted CV, the second to last team in Section One, and opened with a solid 25-20 win. Unfortunately CV's Savannah Byers and her 20 kills provided enough offense for the Bucks to pull away with three wins, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19.
Kara McClune was solid on the night with five aces and teamed with Nathaly Molinarez for five kills each. In addition to putting up 12 assists, Emma Canale also led with a game-high 4 blocks and Bri Langley picked up 16 digs.
One day later, the team hosted Lampeter-Strasburg. This time they fought from behind, forcing a fourth set with a 25-18 third set win. The visitors pulled out a slim 25-22 win to start the night and dominated the second set 25-13 before capping the victory with a 29-19 final set.
Molinarez led with 7 kills and McClune chipped in with 4 aces to lead the offense. Langley and McClune combined for 15 digs and Canale put up a pair of blocks and 15 assists.
Thursday the team traveled to Manheim Central where they dropped three straight, 25-21, 25-11, 25-12.
McClune and Molinarez each served 2 aces and McClune added 5 kills due in part to Canale's 4 assists. Langley recorded a dozen more digs while Georgia Ewing, Jada Dow and Canale each added one block.
On Sept. 22 the Mares hosted a tri-match with Columbia and William Penn and came away with two 3-0 shutouts. McClune, with a solid performance, finished the weekend with 6 aces, 15 kills and 8 digs. Ewing recorded 14 kills, 1 block and 3 digs and Canale dished out 22 assists and put down 6 kills. Other top contributors included Langley (14 digs) and freshmen Madi Davis (8 assists, 4 digs, 2 aces) and Trinity Erisman (6 kills).
Volleyball, Field Hockey Earn First Wins September 24, 2018
Despite putting forth their best efforts and challenging their opponents, the volleyball and field hockey teams were winless going into last week. That all changed when the spikers worked a 3-0 non-league win over McCaskey on Thursday and the hockey team defeated Elizabethtown 2-0 in Wednesday's battle to stay out of the basement of the Section Two standings.
After suffering a competitive 3-1 loss to Hershey at home on Monday and then turning around and dropping a 3-0 result to Garden Spot, the top team in Section Two one night later, the volleyball team finally worked a win. Thursday in Quarryville the Mares blanked the winless Red Tornado 25-19, 25-15, 25-22 for their first victory of the season.
"Serving was the key in this match," said head coach Meghan Cross. "All around, we had excellent serving."
Emma Canale led the attack with 6 aces. Kara McClune (5) and Bri Langley (4) also contributed.
"We also defended the net well with Georgia Ewing and Cheyanne Cutler combining for seven blocks," she added. "I'm hoping this confidence builder leads to a few more wins."
Other contributors include Nathaly Molinarez with 3 kills and Canale with 9 assists.
The going was a bit tougher against the Spartans who got 11 kills from Shawna Zeiset and 6 aces from Sarah Shirk. Solanco came away with 3 kills from Molinarez and didn't serve a single ace. Langley was busy in the back row with 11 digs, Ewing put up 3 blocks and Canale dished out those 3 assists.
"They were definitely the toughest team we've faced," noted Cross. "The girls went into the game down and had a tough time getting things started."
Against Hershey, the Mares were in the hunt for a win but unforced errors denied that effort. Despite falling behind 7-1 in the first set, they tied the game at 17-17 but fell short 25-21. The visitors led from start to finish in the second set, winning 25-14.
"We tried a new lineup in the first two sets two give us a different option," recalled Cross. "Then we went back to our regular lineup and got into a better rhythm. We've been so close in every game we play."
The third set was tied nine times before Langley served the last five points of the night for a 25-17 win. Unfortunately they couldn't pull out another win. Tied at 9-9 early, Solanco fought from behind after that but managed to knot the score at 21-21 before bowing out 25-21.
"Nathaly was strong at the net with five kills and Georgia defended well with three blocks," Cross noted. "We need to cut down on the unforced errors. When we make our opponent make their own mistakes we play very well."
Langley also scrambled for five digs and Canale put up 11 assists.
The field hockey team sandwiched their first win, a 2-0 shutout over Elizabethtown, around a pair of losses. They opened the week with a 7-0 result against Lampeter-Strasburg and ended it with an 8-0 final against Manheim Central.
Against the Bears on Wednesday, Mariah Stoltzfus intercepted an attempted clear by the defense, gained possession and send a shot past the goalie for a 1-0 first half lead. Keirra Laird made it 2-zip at the 17:39 mark of the second half when she collected a rebound off the pads of ET keeper Alaina Telenko and sent the ball to the back of the cage.
"It was the first goal of the year for both Mariah and Keirra," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "We have put a heavy emphasis on 'what is your role' in different situations and it's starting to reflect in games."
In a game that literally see-sawed back-and-forth from start to finish, it was no real surprise that the end result would come down to the last play. Solanco fought from behind and took a 27-24 lead over hosting CV Friday night with a little more than two minutes to play. The Bucks responded with a 10-play drive and a two-yard run by Keegan Martin to go back in front, 31-27.
The Mules again looked to go in front, moving the ball all the way to the CV 44. But a last second heave in the end zone was broken up as time expired, leaving CV with a wildly entertaining victory.
"I always say the team with the least amount of mistakes wins," said head coach Tony Cox. "We had 16 penalty calls that cost us 135 yards. They had six penalties. I just don't think we were focused enough."
CV went in front on a 10-yard strike from Bradley Stoltzfus to Joe Cardina. Solanco answered with Joel McGuire's 4-yard scamper, tying the score at 7-7 in the first.
The Bucks managed the only points of the second quarter, a 25-yard field goal by Cardina, and led 10-7 at the break.
The Mules went back in front on a 9-yard run by Nafis Moore but the PAT was no good, leaving Solanco in front 13-10. CV returned the favor when Stoltzfus sent a pass over the top to a wide open Cardina with 8:20 on the clock. Cardina's PAT pushed the lead to 17-13.
Both teams continued trading TD's in the fourth quarter. McGuire scored on another 4-yard run and then added a two point conversion. CV went the other way and found the end zone with Martin's 13-yard burst up the middle with 4:58 on the clock.
Down 24-21, Solanco countered and took their last lead on McGuire's one-yard keeper. The two-point conversion failed and set the stage for Martin's 2-point TD and Solanco's last second attempt.
"I probably should have killed more clock," said Cox, "but I didn't want to stop our momentum. This was a tough loss but the kids never gave up. Our frustration leaked over a bit with the penalties and that killed our momentum. We finished with 435 yards of offense but lost over 100 yards in penalties. We need to take care of that."
McGuire finished with 184 rushing yards. Moore added 143 on 8 attempts and Cole Lewis chipped in with 70 yards on 6 carries and hauled in one pass for 12 yards.
Seth Harnish led the defense with seven tackles, Nathan Neuhauser added five and Seth Buckwalter intercepted one pass.
Due to the weather, again, Solanco competed in its second 9-hole match of the season last Monday afternoon at Media Heights and for the fifth time this season, the Mules finished in fifth place, carding a 228 team score.
Andy Teaman (54), Greta Plechner (58), Jesse Spangler (59) and Olivia Lasko (66) accounted for the scoring.
The team was hoping for a home course advantage at Tanglewood on Friday but that wasn't the case as they suffered four more losses. Their 426 team total fell behind Warwick (328), Ephrata (376), Elizabethtown (379) and Garden Spot (391).
Isaac Nadu was low man for the day, carding a 102 while Spangler (107), Teaman (108) and Plechner (109) finished out the day.
In the meat of their schedule, the Mares suffered their third straight loss last Tuesday against a Pioneer squad that worked their seventh shutout of the season.
"Though the score may not show it, we played very well," said head coach Todd Brown. "L-S is a great team and have several returning players who play throughout the year and we were able to play with them through most of the points."
Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy put up the best challenge of the day, dropping a hard-fought 8-5 No. 2 doubles loss. Zaborskiy also battled at No. 4 singles but came up short against Ryan Gerhardt, 6-3, 6-1.
"Gabby and Elsie continue to impress on the courts and are very smart players," stated Brown.
Looking for their second Section Two win, the Mares faced Donegal on Friday but fell to 1-4 with a 5-2 loss. The hosts improved to 2-4.
Griffonetti and Zaborskiy put Solanco on the board with an 8-0 shutout at No. 1 and Faith Redcay earned the second team point with a solid 6-, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles.
At home last Monday, the Mules were dealt their second straight 3-0 loss, this time at the hands of Lancaster Mennonite who sits tied at the top of Section Three at 3-0. The Blazers held a slim 6-4 edge in corners but outshot the hosts 10-3 en route to the win.
Jake Smolik recorded seven saves in goal.
"The varsity team put in a great performance against the most formidable team in Section Three over the past years," said head coach James Snyder. "The boys executed their game and held the Blazers to just three goals.
"Even in the loss, the boys are playing better soccer and are putting the skills we work on in practice to into use," he continued. "I'm pleased with their play and the effort they are putting in to make the program stronger, and eventually, more successful."
Friday's 1-0 loss to Elco was their tightest outing to date. After a scoreless first half, Elco snuck in the game-winner after the break.
24-hours later, the Mules notched their first win of the season over Section Four opponent, Lebanon (2-7). Evan Boule and Sean Salisbury found the back of the net and provided the punch Solanco needed up front while keeper Jake Smolik anchored the defense with seven saves.
The lady booters faced the top two teams in Section Three last week and came up empty both in the wins department and goals scored. Monday they battled the second place Blazers of Lancaster Mennonite and for 54 minutes it was a scoreless. The hosts, however, snuck in the game winner at the 54:22 mark and the lone goal stood.
Gabi Dolan recorded seven saves in goal while her counterpart, Kaeleigh King, needed just one to preserve the shutout.
In a night game at Elco on Thursday, the Mares were looking for an upset of the undefeated Raiders (7-0-1 overall) and were encouraged after giving up just one goal in the first half. The hosts, who have given up just three goals on the year, broke the game open with two goals scored in a five minute span midway through the second half.
Dolan again recorded seven saves while the Mares challenged Elco's Maddy Bailey who needed three saves to preserve the Raider's third straight shutout.
The Mares went out of section play on Friday night to take on Penn Manor (1-8) and came home with a 1-0 loss. The Comets scored the game-winner midway through the second half.
Less than 24-hours later, they capped their four games in six day week with a 3-2 non-league thriller over Kennett Saturday morning, pushing their overall record to 3-7.
With all five goals scored in the first half, this one was entertaining early. The visitors went in front ten minutes into the game. Solanco knotted the score seven minutes later when Alana Yoder found the back of the net. Five minutes later, it was Sammi Jackson working her way into the scoring column and pushing the lead to 2-1 Solanco. Kayden Bedwell added an insurance goal in the 35th minute which proved to be the deal breaker for Kennett. The visitors cut the lead to 3-2 two minutes before halftime. Neither team scored after that.
Dolan recorded nine saves on the day while Yoder and Jackson both dished out assists.
Harrier Teams Host PM, ET and Ephrata September 17, 2018
On a damp and soggy field, and through some light rain, Solanco's harrier teams hosted Penn Manor, Elizabethtown and Ephrata last Tuesday in their only home meet of the season. And while the results did not include a single win across the board, the teams are moving in the right direction.
"Both teams ran better than they did a week ago," said head coach Craig Ausel. "The E-town girls (who beat the Mares 15-45) earned the second, third and fourth fastest times on our course and the top two boys (Ephrata's Andrew Foster and Penn Manor's Graham Thomas) registered two of the top five fastest times," he added. "I was surprised the leaders ran as fast as they did on the very muddy lower portion of our course."
Ben Stickler (19:10) earned Solanco's highest finish of the day, 14th, with freshman Avery Jacobsen close behind (16th, 19:20). Colin Althoff (18th, 19:54), Tate Fisher (20th, 20:05) and Dan Keller (21st, 20:14) rounded out the home team's top five.
"We're just struggling to run fast enough at the top to win," stated Ausel. "Our 3rd, 4th and 5th runners beat Ephrata's No. 5 but they put three runners in front of our No. 1. That was the team I felt we had the best chance to beat and we lost 25-30."
Leading the way for the girls was Chesley Ledsma (15th, 23:55) and Aubree Roop (18th, 24:22) with freshman Halle Brown (25th, 25:36), Hanna Wheeler (26th, 25:53), Sarah Snyder (31st, 27:08) and Kirsten O'Connell (37th, 30:27) rounding out the lineup.
"Our last four runners worked hard over the last mile," said Ausel.
Despite going up against a team with zero wins to date, head coach Tony Cox did not want his team to take Garden Spot lightly. So the focused Mules came out with a fast and furious start against the Spartans this past Friday night and before you knew it, they led 28-0 in the first quarter en route to a 48-21 final result.
"You can't take anyone in the section lightly," stated Cox. "We had a good game plan and came in very focused."
The Mules, who scored three times on first plays from scrimmage and ran a kick-back back for another, were led by Joel McGuire and Nafis Moore. McGuire, the leading rusher in Section Two, scored four touchdowns, three in the first half, and piled up 234 yards on six rushes. Moore also added three first half scores and racked up 129 total yards.
"Our offensive line did a great job blocking," said Cox. "And we were able to get the younger guys in early. This was a great program win because everyone had an opportunity to play."
Defensively, Sam Buckwalter led the way with seven tackles while Cole Lewis and sophomore Mason St. Clair added five solo tackles and one assist each. Hunter Shaw and Daniel Sampson were both credited with sacks.
"Sam did a great job on defense," lauded Cox.
McGuire's 38-yard TD run early in the third quarter started the mercy rule running clock and led to Cox substituting freely. The Mules finished with 445 rushing yards on the night.
Mother Nature conspired to delay the start of Solanco's field hockey season to last week! Playing in their first game of the season, the Mares dropped a closer-than-the-score might indicate, 5-1 result at Garden Spot on Tuesday. The Spartans held a slim 9-8 edge in corners but managed to outshoot the visitors 15-4.
Spot took a 2-0 lead after ten minutes of play and made it 3-0 before Solanco got on the board. Maggie Hirst turned a Lauryn McNutt assist into Solanco's only goal of the game just 3:06 before the half.
"Since this was our first game we definitely had some jitters to get out," said head coach Whitney Hawkins. "But I think we picked it up in the second half and settled into our game."
Alta Brandenberger recorded 10 saves goal.
Not only did they just play their season-opener but Solanco faced one of the top two teams in the L-L League on Thursday in Donegal. In what was supposed to be a home game, the Mares traveled to Mt. Joy due to soggy field conditions. It was there that the Indians, who were second in the state last year, secured its fifth win of the season with a 10-1 result.
"They are just a well-oiled machine," said Hawkins. "But we were pumped that we scored against them. Maggie, a sophomore, scored her second goal of the season. I would say she's off to a good start."
At home on Friday the Mares, searching for their first section win, went toe-to-toe with visiting McCaskey but settled for a scoreless tie. Solanco worked eight corners to the visitors ten and held a 5-4 edge in shots on goal but neither team could find the back of the net. Brandenberger was credited with four saves on the day.
Solanco's opening game last week against McCaskey was actually a shortened game. Having been rescheduled from August 31, the game started 11 minutes in. The Red Tornado was probably wishing the game was even shorter as the Mares, with a balanced attack, unleashed an 11-0 victory.
Reese Curry-Saner (1 assist) scored her first two goals of the season, including the first goal of the game a quick 60 seconds in. Grace Kreider also netted a pair and dished out three assists while Sammi Jackson (1 a) added two second half goals. Alana Yoder (1a), Kayden Bedwell and Kaylin Fowler (1a) also found the back of the net while Grace Unger and Angie Cylic dished out one assist each.
Returning First Team all-star Gabi Dolan did not need to make a single save in goal to earn the shutout.
On Friday the Mares were wishing they had one of Tuesday's goals to spare as they came up short, 1-0 in a double overtime contest at Cocalico. The visitors were held to two corners and two shots on goal but defended the Eagles 13 shot, 5 corner effort before the second OT game-winner was scored.
Back at it less than 24 hours later, Solanco secured its second win of the week with a 5-2 victory at Oxford. Tied 1-1 at the half, Bedwell score twice and Kreider and Jackson each scored in a span of five minutes to pick up the win. Yoder's first half goal knotted the score.
Whoever said 'all good things must come to an end' probably wasn't thinking about winning streaks. But, as the saying goes, Solanco, after extending its winning streak to six straight on Tuesday, suffered its first loss of the season, 6-1 to Cocalico Thursday afternoon.
"They were probably the toughest team we've faced," said head coach Todd Brown, "a solid, well coached team similar to McCaskey."
The doubles teams put up the toughest challenges of the day and prevented the shutout when Sophia Baker and Kelsey Sheets outlasted Ally Hieneisen and Allie Dickson 8-6 at No. 3 doubles.
Kerith Paine and Faith Redcay came out on the short end of the same score at No. 1 while Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy fell short 8-5.
"We led, at times, in all of the doubles matches and in a few of the singles as well," said Brown. "Unfortunately, we couldn't keep hold of the momentum."
Griffonetti, at No. 3 and Zaborskiy, playing 4, also mounted the toughest singles performances despite losing 6-2, 6-4 and 6-3, 6-3 respectively. Paine dropped a 6-0, 6-0 challenge at No. 1 and Redcay lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2.
On Tuesday the Mares had little trouble in blanking Lebanon for their second shutout of the year. Giving up just ten games on the day, Solanco cruised to victory. Griffonetti posted two shutouts in the win, teaming with Zaborskiy for an 8-0 result in doubles and winning 6-0, 6-0 in singles.
Paine and Redcay won 8-2 in doubles and 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-0 respectively in singles play while Baker and Sheets put up an 8-3 win.
Playing their third match of the week on Friday, the Mares suffered another 6-1 defeat, this one at the hands of Manheim Central. Baker and Sheets cruised to an 8-0 win to prevent the shutout.
The volleyball team played three times last week and while they came up empty, they were on the verge of at least two wins. At Catholic High on Monday, Solanco lost 25-14, 27-25 and 25-22. One night later, at home, they battled Lebanon in five sets before dropping a heartbreaker (25-13, 25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 8-15).
"That loss to Lebanon was a tough one," said head coach Meghan Cross. "Our passing was key in the first two wins. It allowed the setters to give the hitters good balls to attack the net. We were also setting up blocks and shutting down their hitters.
"We relaxed a bit and let Lebanon come back with a few too many points in the third and fourth sets," she continued. "Unforced errors prevented us from pulling ahead and finishing out that fifth set," Cross added.
With five aces, five kills and two blocks, Georgia Ewing had a great game, the coach noted. And Kara McClune anchored the defense with a match-high 21 digs and also contributed 4 kills. Also with a strong presence at the net was Nathaly Molinarez with 6 kills and Madi Davis dished out 8 assists.
The Mares opened the week with a tough effort against the Crusaders. Despite dropping the first set 25-14, Solanco challenged. An ace by Molinarez put Solanco in front 24-21 in the second set but unforced errors reared their ugly heads. Tied again at 25-25, the Crusaders prevailed.
The third set was almost as close. Tied at 22, the hosts used strong serving to pull away.
McClune led with a dozen digs and 3 kills. Bri Langley (2 aces) and Alondra Quinonez each hustled for 11 digs and Ewing and Emma Canale (2 aces, 5 assists) put up two blocks each.
At home again Thursday against Ephrata, the Mares got 5 kills and 5 blocks from Ewing but it wasn't enough to offset Brielle Brock's 11 kills and 2 blocks. The Mounts prevailed 25-16, 25-10, 25-14.
Additional stats included Langley with 14 digs, Canale putting up 7 assists and McClune serving a pair of aces.
The boys' soccer team, on the road Tuesday night, directed eight shots on goal, three of which were good scoring opportunities, but came up empty, 5-0 against Octorara.
"We came out a little flat in the first half but played much stronger in the second half," noted first year head coach James Snyder. "And we didn't get much help. There was a blown call that resulted in one goal and another foul against us that I did not agree with that resulted in a second goal," he explained. "Not to place blame on the officiating, we beat ourselves, but those two incidents did not help our cause."
The Braves led 3-0 in the first half and picked up two more after the break.
In Denver on Friday, the Mules dropped a 3-0 result against Cocalico after giving up two second half tallies.
Tennis Team Currently Undefeated at 5-0 September 9, 2018
What a difference a year makes. The tennis team concluded the 2017 season with just four wins. They did not have a single senior on the team. Fast-forward to 2018. With last Wednesday's 5-2 win over Section One's Penn Manor, tby he Mares stand undefeated at 5-0.
In a match that started on Aug. 31, Solanco capped the away victory, winning two of three doubles and three of four singles matches.
Kerith Paine and Faith Redcay opened with an 8-5 win at No. 1 and Gabby Griffonetti and Elsie Zaborskiy followed with an 8-6 win. Solanco almost came away with a clean sweep as Sophia Baker and Kelsey Sheets battled before bowing out 8-8 (7-5).
The Comets knotted the scoring at 2-2 with a win at No. 1 doubles but Solanco responded with strong singles play to remain undefeated. Redcay posted a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 and Griffonetti won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3. Zaborskiy capped the scoring with a 7-5, 2-1 (retired) No. 3 result.
"Gabby and Elsie are having a phenomenal year," said head coach Todd Brown. "Both are undefeated in singles matches and are a fierce doubles team. They both play a very strategic match."
The Mares opened the 2018 season with a pair of 6-1 wins over Octorara and Oxford. They added a 7-0 non-league win over Columbia before holding off McCaskey 4-3 on Aug. 29.
"McCaskey was undefeated in Section One coming into the match," noted Brown. "In 95 degree heat, Gabby, Kerith and Elsie all won tie-breaker matches to secure the 3 hour and 17 minute match."
The harrier teams opened the 2018 league season with a tri-meet at Manheim Township last Tuesday. The Mules battled the heat in addition to Cedar Crest (17-48) and the hosting Streaks (15-54) but when all was said and done, fell short of a team win.
"We got beat by two very good teams," said head coach Craig Ausel. "Township should win the league this season and Crest should be in the top three. Our No. 1, Ben Stickler (16th, 19:28), struggled a bit but will bounce back," he continued. "Freshman Avery Jacobsen picked up the slack, finishing as our No. 1. He amazes us with his determination to race.
"The heat was a factor but everyone faced the same conditions," noted Ausel of the start time being moved back to 6:15. "Some responded to the challenge. Some did not."
Jacobson, with an 18:49, was the only Solanco runner to place in the top 15. He was 11th.
Tate Fisher (26th), Colin Althoff (27th), and Dan Keller rounded out the top five.
The girls' team faced similar fate, suffering losses to two teams (MT 15-55, CC 19-37) with more depth.
"We have just eight runners but our ladies gave everything they had," said Ausel. "They responded well to the tough conditions."
Junior Chesley Ledesma was the top finisher for the Mares, placing 15th with a 24:17.
"Chesley and senior captain Aubree Roop (18th, 24:22) continue to improve," noted Ausel. "IF freshman Halle Brown (26th, 26:05) can start to run with them, we will be much improved. We're also glad to have Hannah Wheeler back this season and we hope to get Anna Stickler and Sarah Snyder healthy soon."
Also placing: Wheeler (30th), Evelyn Billings (36) and Kirsten O'Connell (37th).
The Mules were looking to cap the non-league season at 3-0 with a victory this past Friday night. Visiting New Oxford, fresh off a 25-24 thriller over CV, was looking for their second straight win and seemed to be on track after chewing up five minutes of the clock on their first possession and taking the lead with a passing TD. The Mules were held scoreless in that first quarter but finally got into gear, scoring 36 points over the middle two frames, and finishing with a solid 43-28 win.
"Anytime you get scored on, it's a concern," stated head coach Tony Cox. "They caught us a couple of times on third and long but then we made some defensive adjustments and we stopped the run better. Offensively we just kept doing what we do. We kept moving the ball and chunking time off the clock."
After turning the ball over inside the ten late in the first quarter, the defense held and Solanco knotted the score early in the second frame on a five yard run by Nafis Moore (61 yards). The Colonials responded with a 35 yard passing TD with 4:10 left in the half. It was their last lead of the night as Solanco buckled down with four straight scores to take control.
Joel McGuire led the charge, rushing for 191 yards and scoring five touchdowns. "He also had to come in on defense to fill some spots a couple of times," noted Cox. "He's been doing a great job and is a leader by example."
With Nick Yannutz adding 171 yards on 24 rushes, the Mules finished with 434 rushing yards on the night and lead Section Two opponents with most points scored (127).
"I think the whole defense did a nice job and made the adjustments they needed to make," stated Cox. "Seth Harnish and Hunter Shaw, in particular, combined for 25 tackles. They stepped up.
"We're happy to be 3-0 but this week we start Section Two play with Garden Spot," he continued. "Everyone in the section is good so we need to stay focused."
At Foxchase Golf Course last Wednesday the linksmen competed in their fourth Section Two match this season and due to the heat, played just nine holes instead of 18.
"Our goal was 195 and we finished with a 204," said head coach Greg Minnich. "Freshman Andy Teaman led the way with a 46 but he had a tough day putting. Jessie Spangler was able to shoot 50 even with hitting two balls out of bounds. Greta Plechner played well and was our No. 3 with a 53," he continued. "And Isaac Nadu carded a 55.
"We are improving," stated Minnich of his young squad. "We shot a 400 at Honeybrook and our team goal was 405. Jesse (98), Greta (109) and freshman Olivia Lasko (111) all carded personal bests in competition."
Sophomore Tyler Sellers also competed.
"We're a young squad with just one senior so this has been a season of setting individual goals and looking to improve each week as we build for the future," he added.
The Mules are 4-16 to date.
With the move to Section Three, the thinking is that the girls should be in the hunt in every game this year. "In terms of opponents, Section Three doesn't get any easier, but we are excited to make our mark and feel we are ready to compete with them," said head coach Ken Yoder.
The Mares return three all-stars in Grace Kreider, Reece Curry-Saner and Alana Yoder and add cross country standout Hannah Sweda to anchor the defense.
Solanco opened its season with a 6-3 non-league loss to Kennard-Dale on Sept 1 and last week battled L-S and Garden Spot.
The opening 33 minutes against the Pioneers looked good as Solanco denied a team that went deep into the post-season last year. Unfortunately, L-S broke things open with four goals in a ten minute span and held that lead to halftime.
"At that point, our goal was to win the second half and we did," said Yoder. "Yoder scored on a beautiful free kick from about 30 yards out and freshman Maya Dolan made a great finish on a nice cross from Nikki Trout. If we can avoid mistakes in the back and start doing a little better in finishing in front of the net, we will at least give some teams more than they are bargaining for," he added.
The going was similar against K-D as Solanco gave up four early goals and never recovered. Yoder recorded two goals and one assist and "freshman Grace Unger chipped in the third goal to score her first of hopefully many high school goals," said Yoder.
After a scoreless first half against Garden Spot on Saturday, Solanco gave up two goals within a minute and another with five left on the clock and suffered a 3-1 defeat. Yoder's goal in the 76th minute prevented the shutout.
With just one starter back, head coach Meghan Cross will look to rebuild this season. "We have seven sophomores and 12 freshman," noted Cross, "but we have a lot of potential."
The Mares opened the season last Tuesday against Manheim Central and took one set from a traditionally strong Barons' squad. After pulling out a 25-22 first set thriller, Manheim regrouped and regained control, winning 25-17, 25-10, 25-11.
"We got into a rhythm that first set, were moving and communicating," said Cross. "But our passing dipped after that, Manheim made a couple of runs and we lost our confidence.
"Kara McClune (6 kills, 1 ace) was a leader on the court with a brand new lineup," she added. "Not one of these girls have played in a rotation all together before so we are working hard to make it work. Brianna Langley, our libero, also played a great defensive game with 32 digs (1ace)."
Cheyanne Cutler chipped in with 3 blocks, and Emma Canale added 6 assists.
On the road Thursday, Solanco fought off a 25-13 first set loss and almost pulled out a second set win, falling short 25-22. E-town prevailed in the third set as well, 25-11.
"The scores don't indicate the many long rallies that could have gone either way," said Cross. "This was a great game and showed the potential of this young team."
Langley scrambled for 20 digs and Canale (5 assists) and McClune (4 aces, 16 digs) each put up three blocks to spark the defense. Nathaly Molinarez added two kills.
With the hopes of building success, the Mules find themselves in Section Three this season but opened the year with a handful of non-league losses, 4-1 against Kennard-Dale and 8-0 against Lampeter-Strasburg last Tuesday. The Mules return eight starters from a 1-14 record last year and look to move up in the standings.
"We are attempting to build the program from the junior high up," said first year head coach Jamie Snyder. "We have no freshman at the high school level this season."
Snyder coached the junior high boys at L-S for 12 years and was the JV coach at Solanco the past eight seasons.
"We started out playing our game against L-S but a few goals went in and took the steam out of us," he added. "The heat was also a factor and they had a little more depth.
"We have struggled with scoring for years," Snyder continued, "so I'm trying to incorporate more shooting drills to improve our accuracy. We are also working within a different system that we have not used before, so it will take some time."
Mares Cap Best Season Ever in PIAA Semifinals June 17, 2018
24 wins. 3 losses. Another Section Two title. Co L-L League Champs. Third place in District Three and PIAA semifinalists. Sounds like a pretty impressive season. Unless you're a Solanco fan and you dwell on that third loss, a 6-4 result against neighboring Lampeter-Strasburg in the PIAA Class 5A semifinals last Tuesday at Millersville. While the two schools border each other, the Mares and the Pioneers rarely meet. In fact, over the last ten years, they've met just once. Solanco won that round 7-5 last year in the L-L League quarterfinals.
While last Tuesday's loss ended Solanco's season, it shouldn't blemish their accomplishments. The Mares had never won a state playoff game before this season. They finished with more wins than any other L-L League team this season and had the fewest losses.
A school record 24 wins. "It was a tremendous season," said head coach Brett Miller. "It was a frustrating ending but we have to move on. L-S is a quality team, a quality program. We performed well, even though we weren't given the opportunity to exploit our advantages."
In front of the largest crowd of the season, L-S went in front early. Cam Byler walked with one out in the second inning. With two outs, No. 8 hitter Daisy Frank singled to right field. Typically a routine catch for outfielder Skyla Townsley. But on this particular day, the sun proved to be more than enough to handle. Byler scored and Frank settled in at third before Hanna Phillips coaxed a pop out to end the inning.
The Pioneers, who left two runners on in both the third and fourth innings, made it 2-0 in the fifth. Hanna Garber singled with one out, took third on a two-out, dropped infield popup and scored on an error at short.
Solanco finally got on board in the fifth, putting an end to Brynne Baker's (4K, 0W, 5 hits) perfect game. Jade Eshleman doubled to right field. Jocelyn Branco had the same 'sun' troubles Townsley did and Eshleman wound up on third when Branco bobbled the ball. Sierra Dean followed with a run scoring base hit and Townsley redeemed herself with a triple to the fence that tied the game at 2-2.
"I was really proud of the way Skyla came back and hit the ball after two rough plays in the outfield which were not to her doing," said Miller. "But I can probably say that about all the girls at one point or another during the season. They battle back."
With one out, bunt specialist Alyssa Henretty put down a safety squeeze that was thrown over first base, scoring Townsley with the go ahead run, 3-2. Ally McDowell reached on another bunt that was misplayed. This time it was the Pioneers responding. Kara McClune's shallow pop to center field was caught by Summer Peters who then fired to second, doubling off McDowell.
Lampeter used that momentum to regroup and forged ahead, 4-3 in the top of the sixth. Chloe Blantz tripled in the leadoff spot and Julz Garber not only beat out a bunt but took second when no one covered the base. Miller elected to walk Hanna Garber intentionally, loading the bags and setting the stage for Baker who collected her first hit of the night, a two-run single up the middle and putting L-S back in front, 4-3.
Solanco countered with one run in the bottom half. With two outs, Dean singled past short and Townsley blooped a shot into right field, tying the game at 4-4.
Then, in the seventh, Byler worked a walk, Phillips' seventh (2 intentional), and Gabby Drumm singled to center. With two outs, J. Garber connected for a two-run single up the middle before a groundout ended more damage.
Solanco, hoping to rally, went three up, three down to end the game.
"Hanna pitched as well as she could," said Miller. "She doesn't average five walks a game. She was making excellent pitches and trying hard to find the strike zone but when you can't..." he added. "They're too good a hitting team."
Phillips finished with five strikeouts, seven walks and scattered six hits.
The seniors (Alyssa Henretty, Ally McDowell, Liz Mowrer and Randi Rambo) finished their four year career with a 72-23 record. Rambo and Mowrer, along with Phillips, freshman catcher Jade Eshleman, Kara McClune (2B), and Dean were all selected as first team all-stars. Eshleman and McClune were also recognized as All-Section One and Two.
"You have to thank the seniors for their contributions to the program," said Miller. "Their personalities and maturation I will remember the most.
"This season is something they will never forget."
Solanco Advances to First Ever PIAA Semifinals June 10, 2018
Solanco knocked off a pair of district champs last week and advanced to the PIAA Class 5A semifinals. Not too shabby for a team making just its third appearance in the state tournament.
Tuesday afternoon at Avon Grove High School, the Mares faced one of the best pitchers in the state in Bishop Shanahan's Devon Miller in their PIAA opener. Miller, the Player of the Year, collected her 300th strikeout of the season in the fourth inning. She finished with 11 on the day and did not walk a batter.
But Solanco's Hanna Phillips was pretty impressive herself, striking out eight batters in a one-hit, 5-0 victory. She was also effective at the plate, collecting three of Solanco's six hits.
"Hanna definitely out-pitched Devon Miller," said head coach Brett Miller. "Her strikeouts were at the right times, and the hit she gave up was a bunt late in the fourth inning."
Solanco scored all the runs they needed in the third inning. Phillips opened with a leadoff single and moved all the way to third when Alyssa Henretty's sacrifice bunt was thrown away. She scored on a wild pitch to lead-off hitter Kara McClune, who then singled in Henretty for a 2-0 advantage.
The Mares picked up three more runs two innings later. Phillips singled past second and moved up on Henretty's sacrifice bunt. McClune's triple plated Phillips and Randi Rambo doubled in McClune. Liz Mowrer's grounder was misplayed, scoring Rambo for the third run.
Backing Phillips defensively were some solid efforts. "Skyla Townsley tracked down a long fly ball, in the second inning, to the sideline. That's a double, maybe a triple if it's not caught," noted Miller. "And Rambo made a diving catch in the hole at short. Defense like that made the field even smaller and put more pressure on Shanahan.
"This was our first-ever state playoff win and it pushed our school-record wins total to 23," he added. "The girls worked hard to get 23. I told them 24 would be better."
Two days later, Solanco made the long trip to Patriots Park in Allentown to face District Two champ Pittstown Area. The 6 pm slated start got underway over an hour later but the final result still favored Solanco, 1-0.
And that one run came early. McClune opened with a triple over the third baseman's head and Rambo connected for a base hit to right field. Mowrer's double off the third baseman's glove scored McClune for what proved to be the game winning run in an inning the Mares left the bases loaded.
"To get the one run in is huge," said Miller. "We were hoping for two, but in a 1-0 game it's always better to have the 1."
After that, Phillips, who tossed a two-hitter, went to work. She struck out six at one point and struck out the side in the second and fifth innings against a team that was coming off a 10-2 win over West Chester Henderson. She finished with 14 strikeouts and two walks.
The Patriots left a runner stranded at third in the third inning and Alexa McHugh doubled off the fence in the fourth but was left stranded. Their biggest threat came in the sixth inning. Lexi Felinski singled with one out and McHugh walked. Phillips, however, slammed the door with a pair of strikeouts, 11 and 12 to end the opportunity. She picked up two more strikeouts in the seventh and induced a game-ending popup to catcher Jade Eshleman.
"Hanna pretty much took control," noted Miller. "Except for that double off the fence, which didn't cost us. She made the pitches she needed to make."
Phillips doubled to start the fourth, chasing starting pitcher Nina Cencetti for McHugh. The two finished with a combined five strikeouts and scattered seven Solanco hits.
Mares Finish Third in District Three Class 5A June 4, 2018
Solanco continued its run through the post-season with two games last week. Unfortunately their quest to reach their first District Three Class 5A finals came to an end Tuesday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to No. 4 Twin Valley. With little time to lament, the Mares rebounded one night later with a 5-3 win over Spring Grove to claim third place in the district.
"This matches our highest finish in the district tournament," stated head coach Brett Miller. "We were fourth in 2014 and 2007 and third in both 1998 and '96. And our 22 wins currently ties the most wins in a season."
Tuesday's game at Warwick High School featured a pair of junior pitchers. TV's Grace Marsalo allowed just four hits and a walk, and struck out 10 batters to edge the top seeded Mares (22-2). Hanna Phillips gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked four.
The Raiders, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, scored the only runs they needed in the top of the fifth. Sophia Palyan leaned into a pitch, reaching base with no outs. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second and with two outs, Emily Shumacher's blooper to left plated the first run.
Coach Miller elected to intentionally walk Marsalo (2-3) and, after a second hit batter, Hannah Norton worked a bases loaded walk for Twin Valley's second run.
"We spent a lot of time trying to find the strike zone," said Miller.
"Their pitcher threw very well and we did have some aggressive contact hitting but we needed to generate more opportunities," he added.
Solanco did threaten in the seventh when Skyla Townsley and Phillips (2-3) connected for back-to-back singles and moved up on Alyssa Henretty's sacrifice bunt. The key hit, however, never came.
Having already qualified for states, Wednesday's matchup against Spring Grove was for seeding. Under the lights at Millersville, Solanco took an early 3-0 lead, survived a three-run rally and prevailed 5-3 to finish in third place.
McClune opened the third inning with her second hit of the day, a double. Randi Rambo added a base hit and Liz Mower followed with a two run double. Sierra Dean's one out blooper over short plated Mower, who moved to third on a passed ball.
Both teams went three up, three down in the fourth and McClune fired up the troops with a diving stop at second and threw Spring Grove's No. 8 hitter, Sara Jones, out from her knees. A strikeout and a popup quickly ended the fifth.
Solanco picked up a single run in the bottom half on a Rambo base hit and an error, pushing their lead to 4-0 before Spring Grove's sixth inning rally. The Rockets batted around, collecting a leadoff triple and back-to-back singles. A one out error plated the second run of the game and a two out single down the right field line closed the lead to one, 4-3. Phillips walked the No. 9 hitter and Rambo scooped up a bases loaded grounder to end the inning.
The Mares seemed unconcerned with the Rocket rally and responded with another single run. Townsley tripled to the center field fence and scored on Henretty's fielder's choice.
"We had another shaky inning," said Miller. "We need to play better defense behind Hanna. We exchanged a run for an out but you can only do that so often.
"But we responded well to their rally," he added. "And Hanna performed well (7K, 1W, 8H). The humidity and heat on Tuesday was very draining.
"Third place is another accomplishment and now we have the opportunity to compete in States," he added.
The baseball team celebrated the end of its season with the announcement of all-stars and team award winners. Junior third baseman John Murray was a first team section two all-star. He batted .383 with 11 RBI's and six doubles. Second team all-stars included senior outfielder Trent Myers, junior pitcher Corey Stively, junior infielder and pitcher Dawson Kreider, junior DH and catcher Hunter Shaw and junior outfielder Tim Fetterman.
Head coach Tom Fish then announced the team award winners. Murray was Offensive Player of the Year, Kreider was Player of the Year, and Myers received the Harold 'Pete' Suter award for the top senior.
"John did it all for us at the plate," said Fish. "All season long, hitting in the middle of the order, he was a tough out and our team leader in extra base hits, and RBI's.
"Dawson played great at short this year," he continued. "He led the team in stolen bases, runs, on base percentage and saves. He's one of the toughest kids I've ever coached. And he always took the ball for us when we needed him on the mound. He also led our team in hit by pitches.
"And Trent. I will miss Trent," said Fish. "He earned three varsity letters and is a fearless kid, never intimidated. He played hard, practiced hard, ran the bases hard and swung the bat hard and has a canon of an arm from right field. He hopes to continue playing baseball at Cecil and I hope we prepared him for that. He has a lot of attributes that will serve him well at the next level."
Mares Advance to District Semifinals May 25, 2018
Solanco's softball team had plenty of time to prepare for the District Three 5A tournament which got underway last Wednesday afternoon with a home game against Northern York. Their last game, a 5-2 L-L League semifinal win over Warwick, took place May 14. It took the Mares a little bit of time to settle in but once they did they made short work of the visitors, blanking them 10-0 in five innings.
"With the time off, we needed to figure what level of intensity we needed to be at," said head coach Brett Miller.
Northern threatened right from the get go. They opened with a base hit, moved the runner with a sac bunt and then stole third. Freshman catcher Jade Eshleman was heads up on a wild pitch that quickly bounced off the backstop and back toward the plate. She collected the ball and put the tag on the runner stealing home for the second out of the inning. After a second walk by Hanna Phillips, Skyla Townsley snagged a pop out to get out of the inning unscathed.
Solanco went in front for good in the second inning, scoring five runs with two outs. Phillips started the rally with a one out double. Alyssa Henretty worked a two out walk and Phillips scored on Ally McDowell's liner to left. Kara McClune followed with a two RBI blooper to center and Skyla Townsley's grounder to short was misplayed. Liz Mower and Jade Eshleman followed with back-to-back run scoring base hits that pushed the lead to 5-0.
They tacked on three more runs in the third inning on four hits, including McClune's triple, and capped the scoring with a two-run fourth.
"After we scored those five runs we came back and retired them in order, with Hanna getting two strikeouts," recalled Miller. "Then we scored three more runs.
"I thought we responded well for being off for so long and for rearranging the lineup," he added.
The rearranging including Skyla Townsley leaving the outfield and stepping into the shortstop slot.
"She's played short before," noted Miller.
"Our hitting was the big key," he added. "We finished with 11 hits and a couple key hits came with two outs. We've been pretty good with that all year. Hanna has been hitting well and I believe Ally McDowell has a hit in every playoff game."
Phillips finished with five strikeouts against four walks and gave up just three hits.
One night later, in the quarterfinals at Millersville University, the Mares faced the team that handed them their only loss of the season, Garden Spot.
After suffering a 16-7 loss to the Spartans on May 1, the Mares were looking for revenge but they couldn't get the bats going. Instead of a slugfest (Garden Spot pounded out 14 hits in their earlier meeting with Solanco), this one turned into a pitcher's duel. Phillips and Garden Spot's Elizabeth King kept the bats quiet for the most part. Solanco managed just two hits through eight innings, singles by McClune and Sierra Dean, while the No. 9 Spartans collected four, two of them in the first inning.
It wasn't until the bottom of the ninth inning that Solanco finally broke through. Dean collected a one out single and Phillips followed with a base hit to right field. Both moved up on a passed ball. With two outs, Henretty, out of the No. 8 slot, smacked a grounder down the third base line. The ball spun off Emma Stoltzfus' glove, pinch runner Noelle Schneider raced home with the game-winning run and Solanco punched its ticket to the PIAA tournament.
"We hit a lot of fly balls," said Miller. "We needed to put the ball on the ground and make them make plays. I think we only hit two ground balls in the first six innings."
Garden Spot was poised to jump in front early. A one out bunt, a double to the fence and an intentionally walked batter loaded the bags. Phillips buckled down and got two infield popups to get out of the inning unscathed.
She fought back from a 3-0 count to the first batter of the fifth inning and recorded her fourth strikeout of the game. Then, in the seventh, with two runners on and two outs, Phillips worked another key strikeout. In all, the junior fanned 11 batters.
"Hanna showed a lot of maturity," said Miller. "She made the pitches she needed to make."
Garden Spot's King was just as impressive, striking out ten, walking two and giving up four hits.
Solanco, Donegal Declared Softball Co-Champs May 21, 2018
Solanco had a little bit of extra motivation as they headed into the Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals last Monday night where they faced Section One runner-up Warwick. After league officials decided not to continue to use the Garrett Park fields in Willow Street, Warwick was the hosting site. Need we say more?
The Mares came in focused and, for the second time this season, came away with a win. The Section Two champs blanked the Warriors 11-0 back on April 26. This time a 5-2 result pushed them into the League finals for the second straight season, opposite Section Three runner-up Donegal, who pulled out a hard-fought 2-1 win over Garden Spot.
"The girls played with a mature confidence," said head coach Brett Miller, "and that's what you need in the playoffs."
Both teams traded runs early. Warwick jumped in front with a two out walk and a RBI double by Danielle Jones in the first inning. Solanco countered when Kara McClune singled and moved up on a wild pitch. Randi Rambo followed with a four ball walk and Liz Mower collected a two strike, run scoring single. The Warriors, however, turned a double play, throwing Rambo out at home and Mower out at third and regained some momentum.
Warwick loaded the bases in the top of the third as Hanna Phillips, uncharacteristically, struggled from the circle, walking three. She did pick up two of her 12 strikeouts, including the final out of the inning with the bags loaded.
"It took Hanna a little bit to settle in," said Miller. "But she came up big when she had to and when we needed her to. She keeps stepping up big."
The Warriors took their second lead of the game in the top of the third inning on Katie Brubaker's two out single. Solanco returned the favor in the bottom half. Rambo blooped a two out shot over first base and scored on Mower's base knock to left.
Both teams came up empty in the fourth and Warwick left two on in the fifth before Solanco took their first lead of the night. McClune (3-4) lined a shot to center field and moved up when Rambo reached on an error at short. After a groundout by Mowrer, McClune raced home on a wild pitch. With two outs, freshman catcher Jade Eshleman responded with a run scoring single that padded the lead, 4-2.
Warwick left one on in the sixth and Solanco extended their lead in the bottom half when McClune doubled in Ally McDowell who crushed a two out triple to the center field fence.
"Our top four hitters combined for nine hits," Miller noted. "That keeps constant pressure on. And those insurance runs are always big," he added of McDowell and McClune collecting those extra base hits in the sixth."
The Mares (19-1) collected 13 hits on the day and Phillips scattered six against five walks.
Unfortunately, the weather, which has caused numerous play date changes this spring, reared its ugly head once again. The League Championship game against Donegal slated for Wednesday was postponed twice and eventually cancelled. And so, for the first time in the history of the tournament, two teams will share the title as Solanco and Donegal were declared co-champs.
"They played all season to put themselves in the position to receive this recognition," said Miller of his team. "I'm proud of them. And while we would certainly rather play the game, the safety of the players is the top priority. Now we start a new season," the coach added of this week's District Three playoffs. "We have to win the first one. There isn't a second if we don't win the first."
The Mares (19-1) enter district play this week as the top seed and take on Northern York. "We have been the top seed before," Miller stated. "But it's been awhile."
Four student-athletes represented Solanco at the District Three Track and Field Championships this past weekend at Shippensburg University. Two came home with medals. One qualified for states.
Anna Cooney, seeded second with a career best 43-0.5 toss of the shot put, settled for a bronze medal with a 38-0.5 on Friday afternoon. The senior was fourth in districts last year.
"Anna threw well but still has more in her," said head coach Ivan Haines. "She is determined to do well at states. She wants to follow in her brothers footsteps."
Alana Yoder settled for seventh place in the 800 meter run, beating her seeding time of 2:19.84 with a 2:18.61. She was the second sophomore to place, following E-town's Katie Locker who clocked the winning time of 2:13.52.
"Alana ran well but fell short in the last 100 meters," Haines said. "Her time off when she was injured came at the wrong time in her training."
Also competing was Dylan Sheaffer and Logan Yaletchko, both in the shot put. "Dylan would have needed a PR to place in the top eight," said Haines. "He finished 10th (47-07.25).
"Logan had an off-day," he continued. "He fouled on all of his throws. Inexperience and first year jitters came into play. But Alana and Logan both have next year to look forward to and learned a lot from their experience this past weekend.
"These four athletes gave a lot to the team and accomplished a great deal," he added. "We are proud of them."
Phillips Sets Record, Mares Advance in Playoffs May 14, 2018
The softball team opened last week with a more than solid 10-1 home win over Conestoga Valley on Monday and ended the week with not only a win over Annville-Cleona but a school record performance by Hanna Phillips Saturday afternoon in the L-L League opener.
"Monday was a big game," said head coach Brett Miller. "It was senior day and we were playing for a district seeding. Plus it was CV. We only beat them 2-1 the first time around. The team came in with a lot of focus and determination," he added. "It was the kind of game we needed before playoffs."
Kara McClune set the tone early in this one, launching a lead-off home run and sparking a seven-run first inning. With two outs, Jade Eshleman singled to left and Sierra Dean followed with a hit just past third base. Skylar Townsley and Phillips added back-to-back run scoring singles that pushed the lead to 3-0. Alyssa Henretty's grounder to short was misplayed, plating the fourth run while Ally McDowell and McClune, in her second at bat that inning, collected doubles with McDowell's plating two runs.
Three innings later, Liz Mowrer tripled and scored on Dean's one-out base hit. Phillips added a run scoring single but the Mares left the bases loaded with a pop out and a groundout.
Phillips gave up her only walk of the game and her second hit in the fifth inning as CV cut the lead to 9-1 on a two out bloop single.
Solanco, however, capped the scoring in the sixth. With two outs Phillips, who finished the game with ten strikeouts, and Henretty walked and McDowell's grounder to short was misplayed, pushing in the final run.
Saturday afternoon the team traveled to Manor Middle School for the opening round of the L-L League playoffs opposite Section Four runner-up Annville-Cleona and setting the stage for Phillips to set a new school record with her 500th career strikeout. Needing nine K's coming in, Phillips fanned A-C's Lexi Long in the fourth inning to reach that magical number. She finished with 12 strikeouts on the day.
"It's a remarkable achievement for the junior," said Miller. "She has worked very hard. And it's not just the strikeouts," he added. "She makes the pitches we need for the defense to field the ball.
"We've had a lot of good pitchers, but it's pretty rare for a freshman to come in and pitch for four years for me."
The Mares jumped ahead with two first inning runs. McClune and Mowrer singled and Dean (2-4, 3 RBI) followed with a two run base hit.
Annville got one back in the third but the Mares plated four more runs over the next three innings.
Phillips had a no-hitter going before Annville's Grace Renninger singled in the sixth. She settled for a two hitter, giving up that one earned run.
"We left double-digits on base, which we haven't been doing," Miller noted. "We were getting one run instead of four.
"Ally McDowell came up big in the fifth inning, reaching with a triple and scoring on a McClune single that gave us a four-run advantage.
"Offensively we did enough of what we needed to do to get the result we wanted," he added. "We took care of business."
While the baseball team has struggled to string wins together this season, they did wrap up the year with a pair of victories against a 7-3 loss to West York last week, leaving their final record at 8-12 overall, 6-10 in Section Two.
The final three games in a row opened with a 10-5 win over Conestoga Valley on Monday. The Mules pounded out a season-high 15 hits, including four doubles, scored twice in the first inning and never trailed.
"It was a nice win to finish off the regular season," said head coach Tom Fish.
Solanco scored twice in the first inning. Dawson Kreider doubled and scored on John Murray's two out double to center. Trent Myers followed with a run scoring base hit.
Sam Buckwalter cracked a RBI double in the second inning and scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Joel McGuire.
The Bucks closed the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the second but never got closer.
"They got to Corey Stively a little in that second inning," said Fish, "but he recovered and completed six solid innings for the win."
Solanco pushed the advantage to 8-3 with three in the top of the sixth due in part to RBI singles by May and Buckwalter. Myer's two-run single in the seventh capped the scoring. Kreider, Tim Fetterman, Murray, Myers, Hunter Shaw and Buckwalter each recorded two hits on the day.
Tuesday, with four straight base hits by McGuire, Kreider, Fetterman and Murray, Solanco got off to a great start against West York. Shaw's RBI single later that inning gave the Mules three runs and five hits. Unfortunately they managed just four hits after that.
"We had baserunners in every inning but could not push another run across," noted Fish. "Sophomore Grady Unger pitched three-plus innings and got stuck with the loss. He pitched well but you have to credit West York," he added. "They're a playoff team and they kept fighting, ultimately taking the lead for good in the top of the fourth."
Wednesday the team traveled to Dallastown to face the York League regular season champs and the top ranked team in District 3 6A. Despite falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Solanco shook off Tuesday's loss, and battled through six innings before breaking the game open with a seven spot in the top of seventh.
"This was a fun and really cool way to end the season," remarked Fish. "I pushed hard to make sure we got this game in because I wanted to see how we stacked up against one of the top teams in the state. And especially since we return so many players next year," he added. "This game was a highlight for us. The guys took Dallastown's best punch early, and kept their composure as things got wild late. It was our best win of the season."
After giving up a triple and a base hit to start the game, and falling behind 2-0, Solanco responded by tying the score in the top of the second. Murray reached on an error, Myers followed with a walk and both scored on May's double.
"That ball would have cleared any fence on any field we play on but they do not have a fence in left field," Fish noted. "Regardless, that got the dugout excited.
The Mules took the lead in the top of the third when Kreider's base hit plated McGuire, who singled and stole second.
"The key to the game may have been Hayden Fox," Fish said. "He held Dallastown in check until he reached his pitch count limit after six innings. He had a career high eight strikeouts, worked around a couple of errors and ended his day of a 4-6-3 double play when it appeared Dallastown was primed to take the lead," he added.
Tied at 3-3, the Mules rallied in the seventh. McGuire singled and both Kreider and Fetterman were hit by pitches, thus loading the bags. An error and a fielder's choice pushed in two runs before Shaw was also hit by a pitch. Buckwalter added a two run double and Fox completed the inning with a two run single.
"That was a remarkable inning that showed incredible selflessness and teamwork as we strung together one quality at bat after another," touted Fish. "We did what we needed to do reach base. The first nine batters reached base and seven of them scored! It was an awesome way to end the season."
Last Monday the track teams hosted Manheim Central in what proved to be the school's first 'night' track meet. Throwing events got underway at 5pm while the runners took to the track at 5:45 pm. As for the final results, the Barons (7-2 overall) defeated the Mules 86-64 while the girls' dropped a 94-56 result.
"The teams did what they could against two strong squads," stated Haines. "Again, they improve with every meet as indicated by an impressive number of PR's - 16 for the boys' and 12 for the girls'."
Senior Jack Boomsma led the scoring. He clocked an 11.2 to win the 100, raced 23.5 to take the 200 and anchored an exciting 4x100 relay with Colin Althoff, Mikey Grech, and Will Paredes-Jimenez. He also cleared 5-6 in the high jump for third.
"He's a first time senior sprinter," said Haines of Boomsma. "And he set PR's in both the 100 and the relay."
Grech went on to win the long jump with a 19-6.5.
But it was the jumpers that had the most success, outscoring the Barons 21-6. Logan Yaletchko set a new personal record to win the shot put with a 48-5. Dylan Sheaffer followed with a 47-10.75 and Alex Hindman provided the sweep with a 43-4.5.
Sheaffer also won the discus (130-9) with Yaletchko taking second (119-4).
"The throwers are a group of seniors who will be missed next year, however, there is a talented group of underclassmen ready to fill their place," Haines stated. "The whole team, in fact, performed to the best of their ability and did not give up."
In the javelin, it was Dylon Sturgill taking second (144-4) and Wyatt Urbine getting third (143-9).
The Mules also got a first from Ben Stickler in the 3200 (10-21.5) and Daniel-Morales in the 400 as they finished Section Two action at 3-3 and were 3-4 overall.
The girls' team only won five events but all five were PR's and one set a school record. Cooney's throw of 43-0.5 in the shot put broke a record set back in 1991 by Missy Wenger.
Hannah Sweda opened the PR firsts with the top time in the mile (5:32.8) and Yoder followed with a district qualifying time in the 400 (59.4) and the 4x100 team of Faith Roth, Casey Weder, Elizabeth Keeler and Aleska Burger) did their best 53.1.
In the field, Jenna Frey jumped her PR, a 7-6, to lead the pole vaulters.
Burger went on to grab seconds in the 100 (13.3) and 200 (28.2) meter dashes. Other second place winners included Sophia Baker in the 110 hurdles (16.8), Jenna Brown in the 400 (1:06.2), Greta Plechner in the high jump (4-6), Troyanna Miller in the shot (33.3) and Lydia Fetterman in the javelin (96-3).
"Most of the points were earned by the underclassmen," Haines noted. "With their continuous improvement and gaining experience, next year they should prove to be very competitive."
The girls' finished 2-5 in Section Two.
On Saturday the teams competed in the League Championships and came away with four medals and more personal records.
Cooney was the big winner of the day, anchoring her top seed in the shot put with a gold medal throw of 41-9.2. Miller backed her with an 8th place throw of 33-6.
For the boys, Althoff, Paredes-Jimenez, Grech and Boomsma raced to a 7th place finish in the 4x100 with a 44.81 while Sheaffer and Yaletchko tied for seventh place in the shot with identical throws of 46-8.5.
"The teams did well," said Haines, "and the PR's again, were outstanding. Aleska Burger in the 100, Aubree Roop in the mile, Hannah Sweda in the 3200, Greta Plechner in the high jump, Georgia Ewing in the triple all collected personal records as did Colin Althoff in the 200, Angel Daniel-Morales in the 400 and the 4x400 relay of Wood, Daniel-Morales, Martinez and Althoff."
Four members of the team will continue their season this weekend at the District Three Championships at Shippensburg University. Cooney is seeded second in the shot put. Alana Yoder will compete in the 800 and both Sheaffer and Yaletcho will compete in the shot put.
Youth Soccer Camp Announced May 7, 2018
Solanco's boys' and girls' soccer team will hold a 'Kickin' it with the Mules' Soccer Camp, Monday through Thursday, June 18-21 from 6-8 pm at the High School soccer fields. The camp is open to boys and girls entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
The varsity boys' and girls' team players will volunteer to help in teaching the younger generation with oversight from head boys coach Jamie Snyder and head girls coach Ken Yoder.
"This is a great way to build the program," said Yoder. "The camp gives our current players a chance to mentor the younger players coming up in the district."
The teams will also hold a camp August 6-9 from 6-8 pm for junior high and high school boys and girls.
Pre-registration is encouraged to be guaranteed a soccer ball and t-shirt. You can also register the first night of camp.
For more information, or to register, contact Ken Yoder at 717-278-9150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Track Teams Improve Despite Loss to Ephrata May 7, 2018
Sometimes you go into a meet fairly certain that it would take a miracle to pull off the upset. In times like that, winning gets put aside and other goals are put in place.
"Ephrata has two very tough and deep teams," said head coach Ivan Haines. "Our main goal was to improve our individual marks and times. The boys earned 14 personal bests on the day and the girls picked up five. I cannot express how proud the staff and I are of our teams. They did not give up," he added. "They used these two good teams as a motivation to do better."
Despite a 91-59 loss to the Mounts, Solanco's throwers dominated, giving up just four points on the day. Wyatt Urbine threw a ten foot PR and captured his first victory in the javelin with a 148-6. Dylan Sturgill followed in third.
Fellow senior Dylan Sheaffer threw the discus 131-10 for a first and followed sophomore Logan Yaletchko, who won the shot with a 40-.5 toss, for second in the shot. Alex Hindman provided a shot put sweep with a third place 41-2. Yaletchko finished second in the discus (120-6) and Dylon Sturgill was third in the javelin.
Michael Grech was the only double winner of the day. He long jumped 20-2.5 for first and ran the leadoff leg of the 400 meter relay with Colin Althoff, Jack Boomsma and Will Paredes-Jimenez contributing to the 44.9. Grech was also second in the triple jump.
Boomsma placed in three events, grabbing seconds in the 100 dash and high jump and third in the 200. Yannutz was third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300's as Solanco's only other multiple scorer.
The girls' team, dropping a 119-31 result, found the going a bit tougher. They won just two events and secured 13 place winners overall.
"The girls were led by district qualifiers Anna Cooney with a first and PR (41-6.5) in the shot and Alana Yoder in the 800 (2:26.9)," said Haines. "This team of young girls have a good future. Their commitment and hard work is paying off as they earned needed experience for their last dual meet and leagues."
Aleksa Burger was the only member of the team to place in two events. The junior was second in the long jump (15-0) and third in the 100 (13.2).
Other second place finishers included Sophia Baker in the 110 hurdles (17.0), Hannah Sweda in the mile (5:49.4), Aubree Roop in the 3200 (13:14) and Ally Glomb in the pole vault (6-6).
For the second time this season, the softball team played five games in five days. Three weeks ago the final results were two shutouts, two one run victories and a ten run blowout. Last week's results were not quite the same. Each game brought new meaning as to where the season was headed.
"Monday we got the result we expected," said head coach Brett Miller of Solanco's 20-3 rout over Lebanon. "Tuesday we suffered our first loss (against Garden Spot). Wednesday was a chance to see how we'd bounce back and Thursday we clinched the Section Two title."
And Friday they notched another shutout, this one over Ephrata.
Sierra Dean pitched Monday's win over Lebanon, striking out six, walking five and scattering three hits.
Offensively, Solanco's ten run second inning played into the game ending in five innings. They added five more in the top of the fifth. Kara McClune and Skyla Townsley sparked the 10-hit effort with four RBI each.
Tuesday, after 13 straight wins, Solanco hit a hiccup. In a game that featured a combined 13 walks and five errors, it was Garden Spot's 14 hits that were a key factor in the Spartans' 16-7 upset win.
"The majority of their hits were just out of our reach," said Miller. "But for two quality pitchers, who don't normally walk batters, to have 13 walks between them says something. Our first run of the game came in on a bases loaded walk to Kara."
Spot scored one in the bottom of the first and Solanco responded with six in the top of the fourth, highlighted by Randi Rambo's grand slam, only to give up an astounding 13 runs in the bottom half. Garden Spot sent 17 batters to the plate that inning. The Mares had only given up a combined 14 runs in their first 11 games.
Hanna Phillips started in the circle but when pitch count became a factor was relieved by Ally McDowell.
"Ally came in and did well," said Miller. "It's always a battle with Garden Spot. I guess historically it was one for the books," he added. "So we lost. Now it was a matter of how do we respond? It was probably a good thing we had E-town on Wednesday. It forced us to refocus quickly."
The Bears are also known to bring their 'A' game against Solanco. In their first meeting the Mares picked up a 7-5 victory. This time around, it was all Solanco and Phillips. The Mares pounded out ten hits and Phillips struck out eight and gave up just two hits.
After two scoreless frames, the hosts jumped in front for good, scoring four in the third. Liz Mowrer's triple plated McDowell and McClune who reached with a base hit and a double, respectively. Dean singled in the third run and Townsley, trying to stretch a triple into a home run, was called out but not before pushing Solanco's fourth run across.
Two innings later, three straight base hits by Mowrer, Jade Eshleman and Dean made it 5-zip.
"E-town helped our ten hits along with four errors," Miller noted. "But defensively every one of our infielders made the plays they needed to.
"This was a big game to bounce back with," he continued. "E-town has been scoring runs against quality teams so to get a shutout was a big deal."
At home again Thursday, Solanco put together 14 hits, Phillips tossed a no-hitter, and the Mares blanked Township 10-0 to clinch the school's 18th section title.
"This was an important game," said Miller. "We needed to win one of the next three to clinch the title and we took care of that."
Phillips struck out the first 12 batters of the game and, of 15 outs, fanned 13 batters for the win.
"On top of that, in the bottom of the fourth, Dean, for probably the tenth time this year, picked up a two out RBI single," Miller recalled. "Townsley added a single and Hanna's shot to center field pushed in two runs to get us to ten."
Friday afternoon Phillips, with eight strikeouts, pitched her second straight no-hitter and the Mares worked their second straight shutout (tenth of the year) with an 11-0 result against Ephrata. Rambo went 3-3 with a two-run second inning homer and also hit a triple. Eshleman also went 3-3 with a homer in the second inning.
Solanco (14-1) wraps up the regular season this week and opens their post-season run in the L-L League playoffs which get underway Saturday. The Mares take on the No. 2 seed out of Section Four.
The baseball team also played five games in five days last week and came away with two wins and three losses, dropping their record to 6-11.
"It was kinda fun to run out there each day to see what we could do," said head coach Tom Fish.
The Mules got off to a good start, picking up an 11-6 come-from-behind win over Donegal on Monday. The visitors opened with three runs in the top of the first inning. Solanco battled back, scoring two in the second and one in the third before taking the lead with runs in each of the next three frames, including four in the sixth.
"We went up against the same pitcher that beat us 4-3 the first time around," noted Fish. "Hayden Fox (2K, 4W, 4H) got the start for us and I was incredibly proud of how he rebounded, and ended up pitching six strong innings to earn the win."
Dawson Kreider had a big day at the plate, going 2-2 with a double, a single and two walks. He scored four times and stole four bases. John Murray also went 2-2 with two walks and two RBI. Trent Myers chipped in with three hits and reached base four times.
"Trent is a senior and is having a really nice season for us," noted Fish. "Mike May, a sophomore, added two hits late and drove in three runs to help us put the game away."
Tuesday the Mules battled the second place team in Section Two, L-S, and dropped a 5-2, eight inning heartbreaker. Corey Stively started on the hill and pitched into the sixth inning. Kreider pitched in relief and suffered the tough luck loss when the Pioneers tripled in two runs in the top of the eighth.
The Mules scored runs in the first, third and fifth innings and Hunter Shaw was a big part of each. The junior went 4-4 at the plate with one RBI and one run scored.
"Mike and Murray each singled to put runs on the board for us," said Fish. "We had a chance to win in the seventh, but it just wasn't our day. A lot of the guys were really disappointed, maybe none more than myself. I take responsibility for the loss," he continued. "A couple of decisions made during the game just did not end up working out. It was one of those games where I felt I got in the way a little bit. But hanging tough with one of the league's best teams really showed what this baseball team is capable of."
Despite two runs in the top of the seventh, the Mules dropped a 7-2 outing against E-town on Wednesday. Gabe Horn scattered ten hits and took the loss on the hill. The Mules managed just one hit on the day.
In non-league action Thursday, and in a game that celebrated the seniors, Solanco topped Exeter 3-2. "It was a well-played game on a beautiful day," said Fish.
Senior Coleman Dow started on the hill and pitched into the fourth inning. Sophomore Grady Unger, in his pitching debut, tossed three shutout innings before Kreider came on in the seventh. "Dawson came on with two men on in the bottom of the seventh to get the final out, a groundout to the pitcher, and earned the save," Fish recalled.
A sac fly by senior Trent Myers plated Kreider, who reached on a base hit, with the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. Exeter took the lead with single runs in the second and fourth innings before Solanco rallied in the bottom of the fourth.
John Murray reached on an error, Myers singled and Hunter Shaw was hit by a pitch. Murray scored on a passed ball and Myers came in on May's sac fly.
"Each of our six wins have come at home," Fish noted.
Friday the Mules battled the top team in Section Two but were denied 11-1. Tim Fetterman collected two of Solanco's five hits with Joel McGuire, Murray and Sam Buckwalter also contributing.
Fox and May saw action on the hill and combined for two strikeouts and four walks.
Eshleman's Homers Fuel Crossover Wins April 30, 2018
Jade Eshleman cracked a pair of timely home runs and Hanna Phillips pitched a pair of gems to lead Solanco past Hempfield and Warwick last week. The 5-2 nod over the Black Knights on Monday and the unexpected 11-0 shutout over the Warriors on Wednesday leaves Solanco as one of just two undefeated teams in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Mares sit on top of Section Two with a perfect 10-0 mark and Donegal, at 9-0, heads up Section Three as the regular season is quickly winding down.
"We were preparing for these big games," said head coach Brett Miller, "and confident that we would get a good result. I anticipated Hempfield scoring more runs and that Warwick would settle our bats. Against Hempfield, we found a way to win."
That finding a way was the result of shaking off the two runs Hempfield scored in the bottom of the first inning. Solanco opened the third inning with a leadoff walk by Alyssa Henretty. Alli McDowell followed with a sacrifice bunt and Randi Rambo put the Mares on the board with a run scoring base hit.
But it was the fifth inning that keyed the win. Mirroring the third frame, Henretty worked a walk, moved to second on McDowell's bunt and scored on Rambo's double. But the Mares weren't finished. Liz Mower was intentionally walked and she and Rambo (2-4, 2 RBI) scored on Eshleman's (1-3, 3RBI) round-tripper.
"I was not surprised they walked Liz," said Miller. "And Jade took a 3-1 pitch to dead center. We are confident in her ability."
That pushed Solanco's lead to 5-2 after five complete innings. But Hempfield was ready to close the gap. The hosts loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning but Phillips collected her tenth strikeout of the game to end the threat. Phillips issued two walks and scattered seven hits to secure the win.
At home on Thursday, the Mares again took care of business, this time pounding out 15 hits against Section One leader, Warwick, and recording a five-inning shutout. Phillips got the win with a one-hit effort from the circle, striking out nine batters and giving up just one walk.
"Hanna threw exceptionally well," said Miller. "She has been working very hard and is getting better with her location. She struck out two in the first inning and the side in the second."
Solanco took the early led in this one, scoring two in the first inning. Mowrer tripled in Kara McClune who opened with a base hit and Sierra Dean (3-3, 3RBI), with two outs, blooped a single to plate Mowrer.
"That two out hit is always a big hit," noted Miller, "and Sierra has had several of those this season."
After a scoreless second, Eshleman's (2-4, 3 RBI) second homer of the week scored Rambo (single) and Mowrer (walk) and pushed the lead to 5-0. And they picked up another run when McDowell (2-3, 2BI) , with the bases loaded, singled in Dean, who walked and advanced on a Skyla Townsley base hit and Henretty's bunt base hit.
Solanco capped the scoring with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Henretty reached on a one out single, moved up on McDowell's base hit and scored when McClune's popup was dropped. Rambo's groundout plated McDowell and Mower's (2-4, 2RBI) base hit pushed in McClune for a 9-0 lead. Eshleman singled, stole second and followed Mowrer home when Dean (3-3, 3RBI) connected for a two-run walk off single.
"The top of our lineup is hitting but Alyssa Henretty and Alli McDowell, batting eighth and ninth, are getting on base and beating out grounders and that plays in as well."
Weather depending, the Mares face another five game week.
"The story will be told this week," said Miller. "We can't overlook anyone. We're up three with six to go so we need to take care of business. No one is going to give it to us," he added. "We have to take it."
The baseball team played three crossover games last week and finished with just one win. But that one was a thriller.
Facing a 6-4 deficit in their last at bat, Solanco rallied. John Murray singled with one out and Hunter Shaw, with two outs, reached on an error. Sophomore Grady Unger worked a walk and Sam Buckwalter was hit by a pitch, closing the gap to 6-5. So now, with the bases loaded and facing two outs, junior Joel McGuire smacked a hard liner to left field, scoring two runs for the walk off win.
"What a great team win! I was happy for the guys," said head coach Tom Fish.
The Mules fell behind early in this one, giving up one in the second and two more in the fifth before a four run rally in the bottom half gave the Mules new life. Buckwalter got things going with a full count single, McGuire reached with a base hit and Hayden Fox knocked in Buckwalter with a double. An error on Tim Fetterman's at bat cut the lead to 3-2. Murray worked a one out walk and Shaw's clutch two out base hit gave the Mules the lead, 4-3.
Unfortunately, two errors and a walk contributed to Hempfield coming back with three runs in the top of the sixth.
"At that point, senior Gabe Horn (1K, 1W) relieved Dawson Kreider," recalled Fish. "I thought Dawson (7K, 2W) pitched a very strong game. He battled. And Gabe tossed a clean, shutout inning to pick up the win."
Thursday's road game in Lititz, however, was another story. Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead after 2.5 innings, the Mules gave up 11 runs, nine of them coming with two outs.
"We just could not get out of the inning," said Fish. "Some balls fell in and we made some mistakes. That inning pretty much decided the 14-2 loss."
Solanco scored one in the first when Murray doubled home Fetterman, who reached on a single and stole second. Two innings later, Buckwalter walked, stole second and scored on a groundout by Trent Myers.
In a rare Saturday morning game, the Mules faced yet another Section One team in Manheim Township and came away with another five-inning loss, 12-2.
"Township jumped on us early, scoring four in the first, two in the second and four more in the third," Fish noted.
Solanco did manage two runs it the top of the fifth but the Streaks came back with two of their own to seal the deal. Buckwalter, who walked, scored on a McGuire single and a Fetterman base hit plated McGuire.
Kreider, Corey Stively, Mike May, Horn and McGuire all made an appearance on the hill and combined for five strikeouts and six walks. They gave up 11 hits.
"We have five games this week so I'm anxious to see how we bounce back," Fish stated. "Sometimes playing every day can help get over two losses and get us back on track. We still have eight games left so we'll keep plugging along."
With the goal of coming away with two wins, Solanco's track teams traveled to Lebanon last Monday afternoon, turned in two solid team performances and achieved their goal. The girls' squad dominated the Cedars 110-40 while the boys' came away with a solid 84-66 result.
"We finally had great weather for a track meet!" said head coach Ivan Haines. "The girls' team did an excellent job. The sprint and distance groups picked up many points where they were not able to before this meet. A number of different girls were able to score points, which shows a good future for the team," he added. "They earned 10 personal bests and are coming together very nicely."
The girls' showed their strength on the track, winning all 11 events contested and sweeping four of them. Sophie Baker emerged as the only double winner on the day as the girls shared the wealth with a balanced effort in the win. Baker won the 110 hurdles (17.7) and 300's in 58.0 to lead the scoring.
Aleksa Burger (14.1) led a sweep in the 100 with Faith Roth and Elizabeth Keeler following in second and third. The trio joined Casey Weder for a win in the 4x100 relay as well.
Aubree Roop (6:15) scored a first in the mile with Taylor Weaver and Dana Landis completing the sweep. She and Weaver also ran first and second legs of the winning 4x800 relay with Emma Curtis and Chesley Ledesma wrapping up the win.
Hannah Sweda won the open 400 (1:06) and Alana Yoder captured the 800 in 2:26. They also joined forces with Jenna Brown and Lauryn McNutt to win the 4x400 relay in 4:33.
Also on the track, the 200 meter sprint team of Keeler, Nathaly Molinarez and Greta Plechner swept the Cedars while the 3200 meter team of Mariah Stoltzfus, Mylee Smith and Elaina Kreider went 1-2-3 as well.
In the field, Anna Cooney was a winner in the shot put (38-11.25), Troyana Miller was tops in the discus, throwing her best this year with a 104-3 and McNutt, with a 13-2, led a sweep in the long jump with Weder taking second and Burger grabbing third.
Solanco also got a pair of seconds from Plechner in the high jump (4-4) and pole vault (7-0).
The boys' team won nine of 18 events, including two relays, and pulled away with their depth.
Christian Stead, Damian Martinez, Tate Fisher and Angel Daniel-Morales set the tone with a win in the 4x800 relay in 8:54. Ben Stickler followed up with a first in the mile (4:53) and Santo-Morales added the top time in the 400 (53.2) with Austin Woods taking second.
Colin Althoff, who was third in the 100, added a win in the 200 (23.5) and anchored the winning 4x400 relay with Woods, Daniel-Morales and Mike Grech leading off.
The Mules also worked a sweep in the 3200 run with Patrick Workman (11:20), Dom Messano (11:40) and Ian Brown (11:44).
In the hurdles, David Harvey added a pair of seconds, going 21.0 in the 110's and 49.2 in the 300's.
In the field events, the Mules gained some distance with Dylan Sheaffer (125-2 PR), Logan Yaletchko (117-9) and Nate Neuhauser (109-2) sweeping the discus. Yaletchko also won the shot put (47-7.5 PR) with Sheaffer grabbing second while Harrison Bauer (141-3 PR) and Wyatt Urbine (138-3) went 1-2 in the javelin.
"The throwers earned 25 of 27 possible points," Haines pointed out. "The boys earned 15 personal bests, a sign of continuous improvement. And it is nice to see that the underclassmen are stepping up and earning points as well. I feel the boys have the talent to develop into a successful team but we must continue to work and perform harder if we are to reach our goal."
Lebanon had the most success in the jumps, outscoring the Mules 28-8. Grech interrupted their run with a second in the long and Aaron Jones added a second in the pole vault.