L-L League boys soccer semifinals

In this 2021 file photo, Tyler Fegely, left, scored the first goal and helped Ephrata defeat Manheim Central in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two game.

It’s hard for a player to imagine a more perfect scenario. The ball on his foot and the keeper nowhere near the cage.

It was an easy shot, in theory. A lifetime of experience has taught Tyler Fegely it’s also an easy shot to miss.

Before he unleashed his attempt from about 25 yards, the Ephrata senior had to remind himself of a few things. Point his toe. Look at the goal. Look at the ball. The basics.

“You’ve really just got to rely on your touch and stay composed the whole time,” Fegely said. “Don’t overthink it. If you overthink it, it’s going everywhere except the goal.”

Fegely sent it dead center. It was the moment that sparked Ephrata past Manheim Central 2-0 in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two boys soccer game at Mountaineer Field on Thursday night.

Although play was slightly tilted in Ephrata’s favor, opportunities were scarce through the first 50 minutes. Each side was searching for a premium chance.

When Manheim goalie Wesley Bates’ rushed clear went directly to the right wing, Fegely had an opening. He took a few dribbles and let it rip. The goal snapped a scoreless tie in the 57th minute. It was Fegely’s second of the season.

“He’s day and night from last year,” Ephrata coach Rob Deininger said. “He’s grown an awful lot as a senior. He has really sparked our offense. He stayed calm, composed and had perfect placement.”

Fegely is one man Ephrata wants staring at a vacant net. He takes most of his team’s free kicks and corners and created several dangerous chances against Manheim with well-placed balls in the box.

Following his goal, Fegely ran toward the cameras to get some TV face time. He wasn’t even thinking about the game being broadcast live on Blue Ridge Cable until teammate Simon Yoder reminded him.

“I saw the cameras in the corner,” Yoder said. “It was a good opportunity. I told him to get over there to celebrate.”

About 10 minutes later, it was Yoder’s moment to shine. He took a throw-in from Matthew Mathias and cleverly created space by letting the ball bounce through the defender. Yoder then deposited a sharp-angle shot inside the far post. That finish put the game out of reach.

“Honestly I didn’t think it was going to go in,” Yoder said. “I didn’t look at middle. I just looked at the goal. I saw an opening and I went for it.”

Ephrata (3-0 league, 4-1-1 overall) owns wins over Elizabethtown, Garden Spot and Manheim in league play and is tied with Lampeter-Strasburg for first in the section. The Mounts, with Luke Wingenroth anchoring the back line and Chase Willwerth in net, have allowed only four goals all season.

Manheim Central (0-3, 2-4-1) held Ephrata in check most of the night but the Barons only mustered one shot on frame. Aiden Beck was dynamic in the midfield and back third.

Two seniors helped Ephrata find a way.

“They’re here all the time,” Deininger said. “They’re rats. They just love to play. Hopefully they’ll get rewarded this year.”

So far, it has worked out well for the Mounts. It’s hard to beat three league wins and a little bit of camera time.

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