WESTMINSTER — On paper, last night's Liberty-Westminster boys soccer match had themakings of a defensive battle.
Liberty's goalie Bill Reigel came into the contest with five shutouts this season, while Westminster's Mark Myers had four.
It was just that. Meyers finished with 12 saves while Reigel had 10, as Liberty and Westminster fought a 1-1 overtime. The tie leaves Westminster's record at 7-3-1 (4-1-1 in the county), while the Lions are 8-2-1 (3-1-1 county).
"These last couple of games are important for us as far as regional playoffs are concerned," said Liberty coach Lee Kestler, whose Lions are second in the Class 2A-1 region. "It could be the difference between finishing first with home field advantage or third."
Both teams had solid scoring opportunities in a physical first half, but only Liberty was able to muster a goal.
TheLions capitalized on an indirect kick just outside the box on the left side when John Monar scored his seventh goal of the season on a header off a Aaron Bassoff chip. The goal came with just over 18 minutes to play.
Westminster's best scoring chance in the half came withjust less than three minutes left. Senior forward Chuck Breidenbach stole a pass intended for goalie Reigel and sent a shot that hit the near post and slowly went across the goal.
Breidenbach got anotheropportunity three minutes into the second half and made good on it to tie the score, 1-1.
He scored his seventh goal of the season on a rebound of his own shot. Reigel had come out of the goal, making the shot more difficult, but the ball came right back to Breidenbach and he hammered it home.
Liberty had a number of chances to win in the second half. Midway through the half, Pat Gagen hit the top of thecross bar with a shot, and minutes later the Lions had a corner kickthat went just wide of the Westminster goal.
The Lions had to play the final 12 minutes of regulation and overtime shorthanded, after Darryk Modracek was ejected from the match after an altercation in front of the Westminster net.
The Lions will close out the regular season against a visiting North Carroll tomorrow night, while Westminster travels to South Carroll.
The Liberty junior varsity team improved to 7-2-1 on the season with a 2-0 win.
The loss drops Westminster's mark to 5-2-3.
The Lions got goals from Mike Knoerlein and Corey Ziegenfuss, while goalie Josh Gursky recorded five saves for the shutout win.