ELDERSBURG — Liberty's field hockey team didn't spend much time on Glenelg's sideof the field in the first half of the Class 2A Region II playoffs last night.
But the time the second-seeded Lions did spend on the Howard team's side was time well-spent in the 2-1 win.
The Lions scored two goals in the five minutes they had the ball in the third-seeded Gladiators' territory. They advance to face Middletown of Frederick County at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the semifinals. Top-seeded Middletown knocked off Damascus of Montgomery County, 2-1, in double overtime.
"We were trying to be intense and have two on the ball at all times," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "This late inthe season, it all comes down to who wants the game the most. And tonight it was us."
Vaughn's team didn't dominate play in the first half, but took the lead with 7:07 remaining in the half when junior attack Shelly Reichl got a ricochet off a Gladiator in a crowd in front of the goal.
"I don't know who assisted me, but I got it off herpad," said Reichl. "I missed the first, then got it."
Her goal was the last either team would score.
In a reverse from the first half, Liberty spent more time in Glenelg territory in the second half than the Gladiators spent on Lions ground.
The Lions had seven shots in the second half and kept the ball away from the Gladiator offense for all but seven minutes.
"I told them at the half that they would have to play catch-up in the second half," said Vaughn.
Liberty's first-half statistics mirrored Glenelg's second-half stats.
Glenelg had five corner shots the first half; Liberty had none. Libertyhad seven corner shots in the second half; Glenelg had two.
Liberty goalie Melanie Aprile had three saves for the game, with two in the first half. Glenelg's goalie Kristen Turner had five saves, four inthe second half.
With all the topsy-turvy play, the Liberty offense was the anchor. The Lions wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard.
Lisa Yealdhall scored off an assist from Lori Hagood one minute into the game.
"It was a free hit, and I was waiting for it andput the stick down and pushed it," said the senior attack of the opening goal.
Glenelg's goalie, Kristen Turner, came out of the goal to stop the Lion threat and paid the price.
The Lions were on defense for the next nine minutes. In that span, the Gladiators had two corner shots and two shots for goal.
Nothing happened for the Gladiators until Heather Inkman took a long hit from Katie Stermer for theonly Glenelg goal with eight minutes left in the first half.
"They were well spread out, did a lot of stick work," said Gladiator coach Ginger Kincaid. "Nothing special, just straight-up hockey."