Boys Soccer

Blazers finish 3rd in MDCC playoffs

The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers finished third in the Mason Dixon Christian Conference boys soccer playoffs by defeating Grace Academy 3-1 Saturday in the consolation game.

The Blazers (13-6-2) wound up in the consolation game by losing their semifinal game to eventual conference champion Calvary Christian in penalty kicks.

In Saturday’s game, the Blazers fell behind fourth-seeded Grace 1-0 early in the game. However, they tied the game when Cort Stouffer went about three-fourths of the length of the field with the ball and beat Grace’s goalie with a well-placed shot into the left side of the net.

The Blazers took a 2-1 lead a few minutes later when Nollin Egolf scored from right in front of the net.

They added a second-half goal when Gage Brookens scored on an assist from Stouffer.

In Thursday’s semifinal, after a scoreless first half, Calvary went ahead 2-0 with goals at the 15- and 25-minute marks of the second half, but the Blazers responded with a pair of goals. The first came on a penalty kick by Stouffer, and the tying goal came in the final two minutes when Sam Hepler directed a cross from Brookens into the net.

“What a game — from start to finish high intensity,” Blazers coach Stan Hott said. “The boys did not quit. Bradley (Stayman) had a beautiful shot from the wing that banged off the bottom of the crossbar and popped out. Sam followed and the ball hit the hand of a CCA defender. Cort finished the PK to bring us back within one. With two minutes left, Gage broke free and gave a wonderful cross that Sam finished into the back of the net.”

The teams battled through two scoreless 10-minute sudden-death overtimes before having to go to penalty kicks.

After the first five kicks, the score was 4-4. Calvary finally won the shootout 6-5 on the seventh round of kicks.

Hitting penalty kicks for the Blazers were Landon Kellogg, Stouffer, Preston Hammond, Finlay Smith and Aaron Minnier.

“(Goalkeeper) Gabe (Beckering) stepped up and stopped the first shot, and their keeper stopped our fifth,” Hott said. “In the second round of PKs, we hit the first and missed the second and they hit both. The boys played the way we knew they could play all season.”

Calvary defeated Shalom 2-0 in Saturday’s championship game.