Notes and games to watch for the week in Lancaster-Lebanon League boys soccer.
L-L LEAGUE NOTES
Braves, Crusaders start on top of Section 4
With eight teams in the division, Section Four opened its race a week earlier than the rest of the L-L League's groups. Pequea Valley and Lancaster Catholic soared to the top of the standings, each picking up a pair of wins against section foes. The defending champion Braves (2-0-0 in Section Four, 4-0-0 overall) blasted Northern Lebanon Thursday and Lebanon Friday by a combined score of 19-1. Meanwhile, the Crusaders (2-0-0, 3-1-1) prevailed by the slimmest of margins, defeating Lancaster Country Day, 1-0, Wednesday and holding off offensive-minded Annville-Cleona, 1-0, in overtime Friday. Danny Biondolillo netted the golden goal in the 82nd minute for the Crusaders, who carried the momentum through a 3-1 decision over Eastern York Saturday in their third consecutive victory.
Pioneers' early push
With section play set to begin for the rest of the L-L League, Lampeter-Strasburg looks to charge into the Section Two fray after a successful string of nonleague games. The Pioneers (3-0-1) have outscored opponents 7-1 through their first four games. Last week's slate included a 5-1 victory over Solanco Tuesady, a scoreless tie with also-unbeaten Warwick Thursday and a 1-0 overtime victory Saturday night at Northeastern. Luke Kelly scored Saturday's game-winning goal, goalkeeper Collin Reinacher made 20 total saves for Lampeter-Strasburg, which opens its Section Two schedule Monday night at Manheim Central.
Garden Spot bounces back
Garden Spot finished last season with a with a 1-15-1 record, and the Spartans opened the new season by dropping their first two games by combined score of 7-0. However, the team responded later last week, earning a pair of 1-1 draws on the road, tying Donegal Thursday and Reading Saturday. Levi Sites and Griffin Witmer accounted for the Spartans' goals, and Mike Dariychuk made 17 total saves over the two games.
Thursday's game also featured a display of sportsmanship that made waves on social media through a post from Facebook user Jackie Sabol Andress.
The Spartans visit Ephrata in a Section Two opener scheduled for Monday night.
Lebanon Catholic earns first win
With one win over the last two seasons, Lebanon Catholic jumped back into the win column with a 4-2 victory over Christian School of York Thursday. Albert O'Rawe netted a pair of goals for the Beavers (0-1 Section Four, 1-2-0 overall), and Dominic Folmer made six saves in the victory, which was the team's first since a 1-0 victory over Christian School of York last September. The Lebanon Catholic girls completed the doubleheader sweep over Central York with a 6-1 decision.
Boys complete the sweep over CSY 4-2. Girls won earlier in the day 6-1. pic.twitter.com/AACCrI1eP3— LC-Athletics (@LC_Beavers) September 7, 2019
Hempfield, Lancaster Mennonite remain winless
Two of the L-L League's historically successful programs are searching for their first victories of the season after daunting nonleague schedules to open the season. Hempfield suffered a 7-1 setback to Lower Dauphin Saturday after back-to-back overtime losses to Cumberland Valley and Chambersburg. The Black Knights (0-4-0) visit Cedar Crest Monday in a Section One opener, attempting to break the drought.
Meanwhile, Lancaster Mennonite settled for a scoreless draw against Oley Valley Saturday. The Blazers (0-2-1) dropped their Aug. 30 season opener to Conestoga Valley, 2-1, before Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Salesianum, a Delaware state champion. Lancaster Mennonite visits Donegal in its Section Three opener scheduled for Tuesday.
GAMES TO WATCH
McCaskey at Elizabethtown (Monday, 4:15 p.m.): The Red Tornado (3-0-0) have stormed out of the proverbial gates, winning their season-opening tournament at Reading before a nonleague win over Reading. They challenge perennial contenders in the Bears (2-2-0), who saw their two-game winning streak end with a 4-0 decision against Central Dauphin Saturday. This one could set the tone in the Section Two race.
Pequea Valley at Annville-Cleona (Monday, 4 p.m.): They've scored goals in bunches through the first week of the season. finding the back of the net 27 times and 21 times, respectively. The defending section champion Braves (2-0-0, 4-0-0) and leading goal scorer TJ Hershey (eight goals) put their unbeaten record on the line against multi-sport standout Mac Plummer (nine goals) and the Little Dutchmen (1-1-0, 4-1-0), who look to translate a strong nonleague start into Section Four contention.
Manheim Township at Hempfield (Thursday, 7 p.m.): It's a cliche throw-out-the-record-books clash between Section One titans. After a pair of solid nonleague outings, the Blue Streaks (1-0-1) jump into the section fray with games against Conestoga Valley Monday and Thursday's clash with the Black Knights, who whose week includes a trip to Cedar Crest Monday.