WINFIELD — When South Carroll upset Liberty earlier this season in boys soccer,it sent a wake-up call to the Lions.
Since then, Liberty has beenon a roll, ripping City College of Baltimore, 6-0, and losing a hard-fought 1-0 overtime battle to highly regarded Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore.
Last night, the Lions scored a measure of revenge for that early season loss to the Cavs with a 7-1 victory over South Carroll.
"I think we're a little better prepared tonight," Liberty coach lee Kestler said before the start of last night's game.
His words turned out to be prophetic.
Liberty's players were a bit faster, their passes a little sharper and their set plays more effective.
In fact, the Lions first two goals came off set plays.
Shannon Patterson headed in a corner kick off the foot of Rob Hobson to give the Lions a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the game.
Less than two minutes later, Aaron Bassoff booted a free kick with his left foot that landed on the head of Pat Gagen, who scored goal No. 2.
And the rout was on.
Chad Norfolk added two more and John Monar and Mike Syzmanski had single tallies to put the Lions up, 6-0, before Andy Thompson scored with 3 minutes, 5 seconds to play to avert a shutout for the Cavs.
Kevin Concha added another insurance goal for the Lions with
less than a minute to play.
The Lions have gone 5-1 since that loss to South Carroll on Sept. 19, and Kestler said the defeat may have been a blessing.
"That could turn out to be a good thing," Kestler said. "Since then, we've had more guys going to the ball."
That was evident last night, when the Lions swarmed to every loose ball.
The result was an 18-4 advantage in shooting and a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks, not to mention the obvious scoring margin.
The win gave theLions a 7-2 overall mark, a 4-0 Central Maryland Conference record and a 3-1 county mark.
South Carroll dropped to 4-4-2, 2-2 and 2-1-1, respectively.
Perhaps more important, the Lions solidified their grasp on second place in the Class 2A, Region I standings, with theplayoff looming in about 10 days.
South Carroll still appears in contention for one of four berths in the Class 3A, Region III tournament.