Elizabethtown Edges Whittier in Defensive Affair

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - It was evident early on in Tuesday's non-conference game that goals were going to be at a premium. Elizabethtown got its third and final goal of the game on a rip from Donnie Krausse (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) midway through the fourth quarter and then watched goalie Brendan Corcoran (Hershey, Pa./Western Reserve Academy (Ohio)) stop everything thrown his way in a 3-1 victory over Whittier (Calif.) at Wolf Field.

Not only were the Blue Jays up against a team that entered with a 5-1 overall record, they were shorthanded for large portions of the final quarter after receiving 3:30 worth of penalties. That's where E-town's senior stopper came in. Corcoran was bombarded by shots from the Poets (5-2). The visitors outshot E-town 16-2 in the final 15 minutes, but Corcoran was perfect against all nine shots on goal in making 16 saves.

The possession game within Tuesday's game resembled a chess match. Both teams were diligent and prompt with their offensive zone movement. The defenses were unwilling to allow players into prime scoring areas. The outcome was the fewest number of combined goals scored in a game in E-town history.

Eric Omri finished off a pass from Tommy Andrews with just 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Poets their only goal -and only lead- of the game.

Elizabethtown (5-3) tied the game at one 2:07 into the second quarter with Sean O'Neill's (Philadelphia, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) seventh goal of the season. Cory Boushell (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) set up O'Neill, and the Chambersburg-born Boushell would be rewarded with his eighth goal of the spring 10 minutes later.

Neither team could put a ball in the net during a third quarter in which only 11 combined shots were taken. Whittier middies Sam Russell and Foster Cunningham made up for that in the fourth though, taking repeated attempts towards the Blue Jay goal. Russell finished with a game-high 10 shots, Cunningham had eight.

As much as Russell and Cunningham tried to get the '1' off the scoreboard for the Poets, it was E-town who came through with an insurance goal that seemed monumental with the way the game was playing out.

Dan Patton (Media, Pa./Penncrest) fed Krausse from behind the Whittier net and Krausse beat Poets' goalie Robert Bazlen high over his right shoulder for a 3-1 lead. Patton's assist was his second of the day.

Whittier finished plus-20 in shots (36-16), but Corcoran and the Blue Jays' defense stood tall. Junior Nick Thompson (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) is making the most of his opportunities with the team this season. He caused a team-best three turnovers and collected another seven ground balls to run his season total to 36. The visitors got a team-high six ground balls from leading scorer Hunter Hall, who E-town held pointless for the first time this season.

The Blue Jays held Whittier 10.5 goals below their 11.5 goals per game average. The Poets came in having scored 10 goals or more in 4 of 6 previous games. E-town will now look to carry the momentum of a fantastic win into Saturday's Commonwealth Conference opener against Lebanon Valley. Game time from Wolf Field is set for 1:00 p.m.


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