Ephrata vs Manheim Central-LL Girls Soccer Championships

Ephrata players celebrate with the championships trophy after beating Manheim Central 1-0 to win the L-L League Girls Soccer Championships at Warwick High School Thursday October 17, 2019.

It’s a championship 18 years in  the making.

Senior midfielder Abbie Wiest, who wasn’t even born the last time the Ephrata girls soccer team played for a Lancaster-Lebanon League championship, knocked in the only goal of the match.

A goal that secured the first girls soccer title in school history, 1-0 over Manheim Central Thursday night at Warwick.

Taking a ball from Claire Schwartz, Wiest took a touch, drawing Barons goalkeeper Mia Reed off her line.

“I saw that she came out,” Wiest said. “I touched it around her and played it on the ground.  Simple.”

It was that one, rare moment when the Mountaineers (18-1-2) got the best of Reed, who was outstanding in the nets.

Among her six saves on the night was smothering Reagan McCarty’s penalty kick — after Tylee Stauffer was sent off on a red card — in the 55th minute.

After a furious effort by the Barons (14-5) over the next 12 minutes, Mounts striker Annie Slovak, on a breakaway, lifted a shot from 28 yards that appeared bound for the top shelf.

Aided by a strong crosswind that slowed the shot, Reed got over to the far post in time to punch the ball out of danger.

Four minutes later, Wiest’s moment arrived as she scored her fifth goal of the year.

Playing down a man after Reed’s  PK save, Manheim fashioned nine scoring opportunities with four shots on goal.

“Any time there’s a big play like that, there’s always momentum,” Mounts coach Wes Deininger said.

“Jocelyn (Umana) took care of it and we finally settled that down.”

“They were trying to put up as much pressure as they could,” said Umana, whose shutout will lower her microscopic 0.263 goals against average.

“Our defense was organized and we were talking through," said Umana. "It was just so awesome to see it all come together.”

The first half  was played largely between the 30s, with the Mounts having two good scoring opportunities  in the first five minutes and Manheim getting its moment 10 minutes later.

Makenna Copley challenged Umana, point blank at the doorstep, with the senior keeper coming up with the big save.

“She took advantage of her space,” Umana said. “I was covering my near post and she cut back in.

“I just held my post and hoped to get something on it, because she nailed it.”

On the follow up, Summer Bates tried to thread a shot through traffic, but Kristen Homan was there to clear.

“I’m thankful she was there,” Umana said, “because I was looking for it, but I didn’t know if I was going to be able to find it quickly.”

The Mounts have won many soccer games over the years — and two section titles in the last three years — but had not been to this moment since losing to Penn Manor in 2001 — after falling to Warwick in 1999.

Which made this all the sweeter.

“Obviously, we’ve won a lot of games over the past years,” said Deininger. “To win something bigger than (a section title) is a big accomplishment. And they’re looking for so much more.”