Liberty Vs. N. Carroll In An All-county Final

October 30, 1991|By Ed McDonough and Jeff Seidel | Ed McDonough and Jeff Seidel,Staff writers

Saturday night's Region II boys soccer final will be an all-Carroll County competition.

Liberty, which knocked off North Hagerstown, will meet North Carroll, which upset Middletown in last night's Class 2A Region II first-round competition.

The Panthers' Gary Burrows scored with just over 15 minutes to play as North Carroll stunned previously unbeaten host Middletown, 1-0.

A shot by the Panthers' Bob Windsor bounced off the post and right to the waiting feet of Borrows, North Carroll's leading scorer.

The Panthers then had to withstand a barrage of late shots by the Knights to hold on for the victory.

The best chance for the home teamcame with 3:30 to play, when a shot by forward Brian McMahon went just wide.

North Carroll goalie Scott Reaver also made several spectacular saves in the waning minutes.

Middletown entered the game asthe region's top-seeded team with a 12-0 record, while North Carrollwas the fourth seed with a 7-5 mark.

Middletown actually outshot the Panthers, 18-14, but Reaver turned aside eight, including severalfrom close range.

The Knights also had a chance to pull ahead sixminutes into the second half, but a shot by Andrew Derr bounced off the post.

Before the game, North Carroll Coach Ed Powelson said the key for his team would be to control the ball.

"We've got to getto the ball," Powelson said. "We've got to get them out of their passing game."

And that's just what the Panthers did during much of the first half.

Middletown dominated early in the contest, but North Carroll was on offense though the later stages of the first half.

The result was a 0-0 tie and a 9-9 draw in the shooting department in the early going.

In Eldersburg, host Liberty High School used goals from John Monar, Ryan Dunham and Kevin Henderson to score its first boys soccer playoff victory in 10 years, a 3-1 decision over North Hagerstown.

The Lions' last boys soccer playoff victory came in 1981 against Williamsport of Washington County in a regional playoff.

Liberty has never before advanced past a regional final.

Second-seeded Liberty (10-2-1) dominated play most of the game. The Lions kept the pressure on from the start and fired eight shots before the third-seeded Washington County team (8-4-1) even got one off.

The Lions jumped on top early. With 25 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first half, Aaron Bassoff sent a corner kick into the box, and Monar headed it past North Hagerstown goalie Rob Ford.

Then, with 13 minutes left in the half, Dunham scored the second goal. While racing down the right sideline, he beat Ford with a severely angled 20-yard shot.

North Hagerstown answered with 7:02 left in the half. Dan Bratcher, who nearly scored earlier on a direct kick, did so this time. His direct kick appeared to deflect off a Lion and into the net.

The Lions answered, though, with 59 seconds left in the half, when Kevin Henderson ended a wild scramble by knocking one in from the doorstep. Pat Gagen got the assist.

Still, Coach Lee Kestler said his Lions could have done a bit better.

"They were good goals we got, I'll take them," Kestler said. "We weren't going to the ball. We weren't finishing the corner."

Liberty had even more chances in the second half, but the Lions were unable to finish again.

The best opportunity came when Chris North was awarded a penalty kick. North missed, though, as his shot nicked the top of the crossbar and flew over.

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