Ten minutes into Saturday morning’s L-L playoff quarterfinal at Cocalico’s Talon Field, Annie Slovak’s breakfast began causing her some distress.
Not nearly as much distress as she, and her teammates, caused Annville-Cleona.
Slovak scored a goal and added an assist as the Mountaineers (16-1-2) advanced to Tuesday’s league semifinals with a 2-0 victory over the Little Dutchmen.
In Saturday’s second game at Talon Field, Conestoga Valley (11-4-2) scored three times in the space of twelve minutes of the second half and went on to top Elco, 3-1.
They will meet in the first game of a doubleheader at Manheim Central, Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m. Cocalico and the host Barons play in the 7:30 nightcap.
Tuesday’s winners advance to the championship game, Thursday at Warwick, at 7:30 p.m.
In a rematch of the 2018 title game, won by Elco 2-1, the Raiders (13-4-1) and Buckskins renewed acquaintances.
Elco struck first, in the 24th minute, as Natalie Swingholm took Tanisha Grewal’s pass, chipping it over the head of Bucks keeper Ally Riggle.
The goal seemed to waken CV, as the Bucks — to that moment largely spectators — began to create opportunities.
They carried that momentum over to the second half, sparked in part by a reminder from Gabbie Barone and captains Maddie Delgado and Dana Wentz.
“We said, ‘This is how the game started last year.’ ” said Barone. “ ‘We were up 1-0, and they came back to win. We can do the same if we put the heart and desire into it.’ ”
With just under 25 minutes to play Barone sent a ball ahead to Delgado at the top of the 20.
Delgado turned and fired, her shot initially stopped by Raider keeper Madi Bailey, before squirting through her hands and into the net.
Seven minutes later, off a Delgado corner, Delainey Varela-Keen found a narrow opening and headed in the gamewinner.
“All I was focused on was the ball and the goal,” she said. “I just knew it had to go in.”
Five minutes after that, Barone’s 40-yard free kick skidded through Bailey — who likely thought it would bounce up — to ice the victory.
Ephrata 2, Annville-Cleona 0
In the opener, Ephrata was too much for the Dutchmen (11-5-1), making their first playof appearance since 2015 and on the short end of a 39-4 disparity of chances.
Still, they did a great job of keeping the deficit at two goals after the Mounts scored twice in the first seven minutes.
Two minutes in Slovak served a beautiful cross from the left wing to Mya Mahlandt, who pounded it home.
Five minutes later, Abbie Weist sent a through ball to Slovak, challenged by keeper Alyssa Ulrich.
Slovak touched the ball ahead, past Ulrich, then finished it.
“We’ve been working all season on moving off the ball,” Slovak said. “And, transitioning from offense to defense. I think that really helped us today.”
In quarterfinal matches at Lampeter-Strasburg:
Cocalico 2, Hempfield 2 (3-2 pks)
After starting the season 0-4-1, Cocalico rode a 10-1-1 streak into Saturday’s quarterfinal, the Eagles first since 2015.
Hempfield (12-3-1) was 10-0-1 in its last eleven starts.
Something had to give.
It wasn’t Eagles keeper Adrienne McGallicher who, after allowing two first-half goals, settled in and came up with the game-winning save in the penalty kick phase of the morning.
The Black Knights held the early advantage as Lauren Weaver scored off Abby Burdyn’s corner service in the eighth minute and Jess Weinholdt finished Weaver’s corner in the 35th.
In between, Lydia Burton’s free kick in the tenth minute hit the crossbar, coming to Kaia Martz who finished it.
After the Eagles Maddie Mattos was fouled in the box with 13 minutes to play, Saige Musser converted the penalty and it was on to overtime.
Hempfield dominated the first OT, but couldn’t finish, and the second was a little more even.
In the PKs, two of Cocalico’s first three converted, as did two of Hempfield’s first three.
When Cocalico’s number four, Jayden Sweigart, scored and McGallicher made her stop, the celebration was on.
Manheim Central 2, Lancaster Catholic 0
Rachel Nolt scored in the 36th minute for the Barons (13-4), assisted by Kaylee Neff who, in turn, scored in the 67th minute, assisted by Tori Fahnestock.
Central’s defense held the prolific offense of Catholic (15-3-1) to two corners and two shots on goal.