S. Carroll stuns Liberty with OT win

April 30, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

South Carroll did the unthinkable to neighborhood rival Liberty last night. It scored two goals in the final 24 seconds of regulation to force overtime and then won the game, 12-11, on a Tom Luster goal off a pass from John Eaton. South Carroll also won its eighth straight county title with the win.

Luster swept toward the net and took a pass from Easton and deposited the ball in the net with 1:24 gone in overtime, prompting all the Cavaliers to throw their sticks high into the air in a wild celebration.

While the players celebrated, first-year South Carroll coach Jeff Alisauckas just knelt along the sidelines and buried his head in tears of joy and relief.

Alisauckas stepped into a pressure-filled situation this season, replacing Gene Brown who had guided South Carroll to seven straight titles.

Eaton had come up with the ball to set up the winning goal when he intercepted a pass from Liberty's Chris Ridgley who was trying to clear it from the left side of the field about 30 yards from the Liberty goal.

"I can't believe it," said Luster, who had five goals, three assists. "With 41 seconds left in regulation and down two goals, our chances didn't look good."

Brendon Bengermino had apparently scored the one goal Liberty (4-2 in the county, 6-5 overall) needed to wrap up the game in regulation when he swept the ball into the net off a pass from Mark Ozgar, giving the Lions an 11-9 lead with 1:02 on the clock.

But after the Liberty timeout with 41 seconds, South Carroll seemed to gain a new life.

First, Dan Hughes scored with 24 seconds left on a pass from Luster to reduce the lead to 11-10, and then Dave Price controlled the all-important ensuing faceoff for the Cavaliers with 20 seconds remaining.

South Carroll (5-1, 6-3) came down the field and found a way to tie the game at 11 with two seconds left when Adam Whittington slung the ball underhanded into the goal off a feed from Price.

The Whittington goal seemed all too unreal for the Liberty players who buried their heads on the sidelines, moments after they had been ready to celebrate.

South Carroll then carried the momentum into overtime and took advantage of the Liberty turnover.

"We had a breakdown at the end," said Liberty coach Troy Barnes. "I guess maybe we started to celebrate a little too soon. But my heart goes out to these kids. They gave it all and we just couldn't win the game."

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