GIRLS' SOCCER: Knights, Penn Manor deadlocked in key battle - LancasterOnline: Sports

GIRLS' SOCCER: Knights, Penn Manor deadlocked in key battle

Game will continue Friday since playoff berth is on the line

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Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 11:50 pm | Updated: 10:51 am, Fri Nov 1, 2013.

Aside from earning bragging rights in the latest installment of their long-standing rivalry, both teams had plenty to play for Thursday night.

They still do.

Following a lightning delay of nearly an hour, Thursday night's Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One girls' soccer showdown between Hempfield and Penn Manor was suspended at halftime with the score tied 1-1.

The two teams will resume the game Friday at 3 p.m. on Hempfield's quad, which sits across the street from the stadium.

"I was kind of confused," said Black Knights coach Keith Nagley, who had no problem with the decision. "I thought once it hits halftime its an official game. But I guess I don't understand the rule. I'll plead ignorance to the lightning rule."

Nagley wasn't the only one confused.

After making a call to L-L Soccer Chairman Mike Miller Thursday night, the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era was initially informed that the game - since it reached halftime - could not be resumed and would therefore officially be declared a tie.

But upon taking a deeper look at Rule 7-1-3, Miller eventually found the game could be continued since neither team was leading at intermission - assuming both teams agreed to it.

With all that was at stake Thursday night, Hempfield (10-2-1 L-L, 11-2-1 overall) and Penn Manor (8-4-1, 10-4-2, 25 points) both felt finishing the match was the best option, from a sportsmanship standpoint.

While Hempfield had already secured the section title with Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Manheim Township, a win Friday could get the Knights back into the top-8 in the District Three Class AAA power rankings. The top eight seeds earn home-field advantage in districts.

Meanwhile, there's a whole lot more at stake for Penn Manor, which entered Thursday night tied with Cedar Crest for the section's second and final L-L playoff berth.

Crest (9-4-1, 9-7-1, 28 points) went three points ahead of the Comets with its 4-0 victory over McCaskey Thursday and would receive the final playoff berth with a Penn Manor tie or loss Friday.

But should Manor win Friday to again forge a tie with Crest, the Comets would be awarded the section's final playoff spot based on the first tiebreaker, which is head-to-head record.

Manor beat the Falcons 1-0 in overtime on April 9, before battling Crest to a 0-0 double-overtime tie Tuesday.

"We're still in it," Comets coach Jason Hottenstein said.

As the Comets were against Hempfield Thursday, despite being outshot 8-3 and outcornered 3-0 in the first half, during which the Knights created five quality scoring chances to Manor's three.

And, despite having to start a brand new goalie in junior varsity call-up Carolyn Weber (five saves), a replacement for Abby Schlegelmilch, who suffered a leg injury Tuesday.

While Weber saw her share of tests in the early going, it was the Comets who got on the board first thanks to Logan Kramer, who picked up a loose ball at the top of the box 15:21 into the match and fired a laser into the left side for a 1-0 lead.

Hempfield got the equalizer with 15:59 left in the half.

Trying to clear a long ball that had been sent into the Comets' box, the ball squirted out of Weber's grasp and onto the foot of Hempfield's Emily Lanser, who pushed a pass to Maddie Burkhardt on the left wing.

Before Weber could retreat back to the goal mouth, Burkhardt had chipped a rainbow in the center of a wide-open net to tie it.

"It was a pretty back-and-forth game," Nagley said.

One that isn't over yet.

"It's like an extra-long halftime," Hottenstein said with a laugh.

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