L-L LEAGUE GIRLS' SOCCER: Black Knights' Reineberg warms up to the big stage - LancasterOnline: Sports

L-L LEAGUE GIRLS' SOCCER: Black Knights' Reineberg warms up to the big stage

The sophomore forward’s first varsity goal proves decisive in a 3-2 win over Penn Manor in the resumption of a suspended game

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Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 11:03 pm | Updated: 11:03 am, Fri Nov 1, 2013.

In recent weeks, life on the varsity level hasn't exactly been glamorous for Ana Reineberg.

"I've been bench-warming a little bit," Hempfield's sophomore forward said with a grin.

But given the chance Friday afternoon, Reineberg warmed up to the big stage rather quickly - and, in the end, burned Penn Manor.

Getting the gamewinner from Reineberg with 1:13 left in the match, Hempfield outlasted Penn Manor for a 3-2, Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One girls' soccer victory in Landisville in the final game of the regular season.

Friday's game, which began Thursday night before being suspended by lightning at halftime with the score tied at 1, resumed at the start of the second half.

"We thought of it as a blessing in disguise," Reineberg said of the suspension. "We thought now we have a few hours to get our heads clear."

What the Black Knights ultimately did was clear up the L-L playoff picture.

While, in that regard, Friday's win had no impact on Hempfield (11-2-1 L-L, 12-2-1), which had already clinched the section title and the section's top seed for next week's league playoffs, it had damaging repercussions for Manor.

Trailing Cedar Crest (9-4-1, 9-7-1) by three points for Section One's second and final league playoff spot, the Comets (8-5-1, 10-5-2) needed a win Friday to forge a tie with the Falcons, who would have lost the final spot to Manor via the tiebreaker system.

Instead, the reigning L-L champion Comets will miss the league playoffs for just the third time in the last 16 seasons.

"They threw everything at us," Hempfield coach Keith Nagley said of Penn Manor. "They came to win. We took their best game today."

And came out on top, ironically, thanks to the most unlikely of sources - Reineberg, a recent junior varsity call-up who estimated her total varsity playing time to be about 36 minutes, including the last six minutes of Friday's match.

A little over four minutes after she checked in Friday, Hempfield had the gamewinner.

After a dangerous Hempfield blast was knocked away by Comets goalie Carolyn Weber, Reineberg punched the leftovers into the left side of the net for a 3-2 Manor advantage.

It was the first varsity goal of Reineberg's career.

"I feel like I worked hard and I made my way up (to varsity)," she said. "And when I had the shot, I took it."

And simultaneously took the wind out of the Comets.

Fact is, Reineberg's goal came just 55 seconds after Manor's Logan Kramer took a feed from Katie Carle at the top of the box and rifled a shot inside the right post to tie the game at 2 with 2:08 left to play.

"We were on our last leg," Comets coach Jason Hottenstein said. "We were totally deflated (prior to Kramer's goal). And then I said 'OK, we have a new breath of life.' "

Despite holding a 7-1 advantage in shots and creating five dangerous scoring chances to Manor's one in the second half, Hempfield's first real breath of life didn't come until there was 12:51 remaining in the match.

During a skirmish for a loose ball in front of the left post, an official ruled that Weber, lying on the turf, had grabbed the leg of Hempfield's Emily Lanser, resulting in a penalty kick.

Knights' goalie Lauren Trower took the freebie and buried a rocket into the left side for a 2-1 Hempfield edge. It was the first penalty kick attempt of Trower's career.

But in the end, it was another first - Reineberg's - that made the difference.

"I'll remember it," Reineberg said, "but I hope it's not the highlight of my season. Hopefully I'll score better goals."

Good place to start, though.

jfulginiti@lnpnews.com

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