Liberty eliminates Middletown, 3-1 Girls soccer

November 06, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

It was top-seeded Middletown's experience and size against second-seeded Liberty's youth and speed last night in the Class 1A-2A West region finals.

When the rain stopped and the fog cleared at Middletown, it was Liberty that was celebrating its second straight region title.

It advances to the state tournament starting next Saturday at Catonsville Community College.

The Lions (9-4-1) overcame shaky starts in both halves to dominate in the end and come away with a 3-1 win.

Middletown (10-4) had a big edge in size and used it to its advantage in the early going, coming out very aggressive in knocking the smaller Lions off the ball. The Lions adjusted and eventually wore down the Knights with their overwhelming speed.

Megan Dunham broke a 1-1 tie 10 minutes into the second half and Kerry Adams added the insurance goal with 24 minutes left to help lead the Lions, who made it look easy from that point on.

"We had some jitters in the beginning, which is a sign of a young team, but settled in nicely," said Liberty coach Lynn Stone.

"In the second half, we were just going with it. Everyone did a great job tonight."

The Lions' defense came up big at the start of the second half with the scored tied at 1.

The Knights came out strong at the start of the second half in much the same fashion that enabled them to take an early 1-0 first-half lead, but the Lions defense did whatever it took to keep the ball out of the net.

Junior defender Amie Rose stayed on the near post on a Middletown corner kick to turn aside a shot and, moments later, Julie Gesuele headed a Middletown shot off the line to preserve the tie.

Goalie Angi Primavera did her share with nine saves in the soggy conditions.

The offense got things into gear when Adams sent a cross that Middletown keeper Melissa Kupferberg couldn't handle. Dunham was there to tap it home to give the Lions the 2-1 lead.

Adams got a goal when she collected a cross along the left side from Shanna Ziegenfuss, let a defender go by her, and then sent a rocket to the near post.

Middletown took the 1-0 lead when Kathy Johnson scored off a rebound of a Nina Mento shot from 20 yards out that Primavera got to, but couldn't hang on to.

Liberty's Haley DeLaurence answered midway through the first half when she collected a loose ball along the right side and fired a shot to the far post from 15 yards out.

Stone praised the efforts of her entire team and particularly Primavera in goal, Adams who scored her first goal of the season and the defense of Melissa Martin, Gesuele and Rose.

The Lions are headed back to states for a second consecutive year with a much younger team led by freshmen standouts Ziegenfuss (11 goals) and DeLaurence.

"It's onward to states and no time to let down now," Stone said.

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