Gladiators take crown with 1-0 win

November 08, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

There were no more miracles for Liberty yesterday in the state Class 2A, Region I boys soccer tournament at Middletown.

The fourth-seeded Lions ran into a highly skilled Glenelg team and were outplayed most of the game before falling, 1-0, in the championship match.

Liberty (7-6-1) had knocked off top-seeded Middletown, 3-1, Boys soccer

Wednesday and was hoping to conquer second-seeded and sixth-ranked Glenelg (11-2-1) last night.

But none of the magic was left from Wednesday night, leaving Glenelg in command of the championship match.

Although the game was scoreless at halftime, Gladiators coach John Bouman said his team was relaxed and confident during intermission.

"We could have been nervous," said Bouman. "But no one was. This was the first game this season that I felt everybody was on their game."

That confidence was backed up in the second half as Glenelg kept the ball in Liberty's end most of the 40 minutes.

With 9:40 gone in the second half, the Gladiators began attacking relentlessly for two minutes, and it paid off with a goal at 11:30.

The only score of the game came off a cross from Jeff Cline to Renard Brown and Dan Gaertner in front of the goal.

Brown tried to kick the ball in the net but it squibbed off his foot to Gaertner, who took advantage of the opportunity.

Gaertner tapped the ball past Liberty goalkeeper Greg Schad for the score and what proved to be a trip to the final four in the state 2A boys soccer tournament.

"I was in the right place at the right time," said Gaertner. "I knew if Renard couldn't get the ball, I would be able to get to it. When I got the goal, I felt we were in great shape because we were strong in the back all night."

When Gaertner, Brown and Jeff Cline weren't controlling the ball on offense, the Glenelg defense was stopping repeated Liberty scoring opportunities.

Liberty coach Lee Kestler said the Lions "got what we deserved."

"We didn't play at the high level we needed to win. They were quicker than us and better in the air, so we needed to compensate by doing other things much better."

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