Number Lions among lacrosse's elite

CARROLL SPORTS

April 06, 1994|By BILL FREE

On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon last week at the Mount Hebron Easter tournament, the Liberty High School girls lacrosse team took its game to a higher level.

By scoring 10 straight goals for a 15-4 victory over highly touted C. W. Baker of Baldwinsville, N.Y., and playing fourth-ranked Mount de Sales tough before losing, 15-10, the Lions proved they were no longer just another outstanding Carroll County team that would fold against the top girls lacrosse teams.

No. 7 Liberty now must be considered among the full-fledged elite girls lacrosse teams.

"We put Liberty on the map," said Lions coach Courtney Vaughn.

Even Mount de Sales coach Bill Held went out of his way to compliment the Lions.

He said, "Liberty is underrated. The way they played today [in the championship game of the Mount Hebron tournament] they could have beaten us by five as easily as we beat them by five."

Held said he was beginning to wonder just how strong Liberty was after watching it beat C.W. Baker by 11 goals and then seeing C.W. Baker get off to an early two-goal lead over then second-ranked Mount Hebron in Saturday's consolation game.

Mount Hebron came back to defeat C. W. Baker, 12-7, in that game.

The major problem Liberty had against Mount de Sales was getting accustomed to the Sailors' swarming defense and aggressive checking.

But it is safe to assume that Vaughn will correct that problem as much as possible to be prepared for future opponents who play the same kind of defense against the Lions.

Vaughn was especially pleased with her team's effort against C. W. Baker, praising her players for an excellent transition game, strong performance on ground balls, outstanding defense and having confidence in themselves.

Vaughn admitted she thought Liberty was in trouble against C. W. Baker in the opening-round game.

Baker had a 44-5 record over the past three seasons and was New York State Intersectional runner-up in 1992.

Also, Baker had a first-team high school girls lacrosse All-American in senior goalkeeper Chris Lindsey.

Lindsey was brilliant in the first 10 minutes, stopping almost everything Liberty threw at her, including two straight shots from point-blank range by Lions' standout attacker Kym Frey.

Frey shook her head a little in disbelief when Lindsey made the second save.

But Frey, the Carroll County Player of the Year in 1993, and her teammates soon discovered a way to beat Lindsey.

They were shooting high early but started going low late in the first half when the 10-goal burst started.

Senior attacker Nathalie Skovron turned out to be the big scoring star for Liberty against C. W. Baker, scoring six goals and getting three assists. Skovron had played in the shadow of Frey in the first three games.

One of the major positives for Liberty, in addition to proving it belongs with the best, in the C. W. Baker game was the uncovering of an outstanding sophomore goalkeeper in Heather Carter.

Vaughn was forced to play Carter in the net when starting goalkeeper Lyndsey Pohlit came down with the flu.

Pohlit is only a freshman, giving the Lions two super young goalies.

Carter made 15 saves against Baker, just one less than the All-America Lindsey did for the losers.

Carter didn't play quite as well in the championship game (seven saves) against Mount de Sales, but neither did any of her teammates.

The Lions were sky-high for C.W. Baker and it was only natural that they would have a bit of a letdown in the championship game.

"We were a little flat," said Vaughn. "We had to sit around for three hours in the sun and wait for the championship game and that didn't help.

"There was just no way we could play as well against Mount de Sales as we did against Baker."

Of course, Mount de Sales also might have had a mental letdown because it had just knocked off second-ranked Mount Hebron, 12-8, one hour before Liberty upset C.W. Baker.

However, the Sailors answered every Liberty charge with goals and basically had too much height for the Lions.

There was also the presence of Audrey Powers in the net for Mount de Sales that created trouble for Liberty. Powers made 11 saves, limiting Frey and Skovron to a combined five goals.

In all, it was a super day for a team that had entered the tournament, according to Vaughn, just "to have fun and get some experience."

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