Bright future should buoy Liberty boys lacrosse team


May 04, 1994|By BILL FREE

Even the coldest outsider had to feel a little compassion for the Liberty boys lacrosse team last Friday night.

Consider this scenario.

In the previous seven years lacrosse has been played in Carroll County schools, Liberty has never come close to winning the boys title. South Carroll has won all seven titles, with Westminster its chief contender.

The Lions have been something of an afterthought.

But they had played well enough this season to gain a one-game, winner-take-all duel with the Cavaliers last Friday at South Carroll.

Certainly the Lions had visions of a championship when they took the field. And when they stood toe-to-toe with the Cavaliers at halftime with a 6-6 tie, Liberty's collective adrenalin had to be flowing faster.

The Lions must have been almost ready to reach out and touch the championship when Brendon Bengermino gave Liberty an 11-9 lead with 1:02 left in regulation with a goal off an assist from Mark Ozgar.

And no one could really fault Liberty if the players began to celebrate a little during a timeout with 41 seconds left and the score still 11-9.

But the next 41 seconds turned out to be a nightmare that the Lions and their coach, Troy Barnes, won't soon forget.

South Carroll scored two goals in the final 24 seconds to tie the game at 11, forcing overtime against a crushed Liberty team.

The Lions threw a pass away, trying to clear from 30 yards in front of their goal, and South Carroll came up with the ball and scored three seconds later for a 12-11 victory.

Tom Luster scored the winning goal off a pass from John Eaton 1:24 into overtime, touching off a wild, stick-throwing celebration by the Cavaliers.

Considering the magnitude of the moment and how close they were to losing the title for the first time in eight years, South Carroll deserved to be ecstatic.

But what about Liberty?

The Lions deserved a better fate. They were just done in by a neighborhood rival that refused to quit.

Tears and anger could be forgiven. A little of both were shown by the Liberty players.

In all, the Lions and Barnes took the bitter defeat with a lot of class and one has to believe they will be back next year to make another strong run at South Carroll.

First-year South Carroll coach Jeff Alisauckas had to consider himself the luckiest man on the field that night.

South Carroll girls on the move

Three days after the boys showdown on that same South Carroll field, the Cavalier girls lacrosse team administered a 20-8 beating to Howard High.

The win in the final regular-season game for the South Carroll girls Monday night gave coach Stacy Stem's players six wins in their past seven games and a 7-5 record.

It was hard to believe that they were the same girls who didn't put up a fight against fifth-ranked Mount Hebron in the season opener and later lost to North Carroll.

Stem has more than lived up to her reputation again this spring as an excellent teacher of lacrosse and field hockey.

The Cavaliers now head into the 3A-4A regional playoffs as the third seed and will most likely meet a strong Mount Hebron team May 13.

Last year, the South Carroll girls lacrosse team won eight straight before losing to defending 3A-4A champion Severna Park in the state championship game.

Cavs fight for baseball playoffs

It would be a bit unfair if the South Carroll baseball team doenot make the 3A regional playoffs.

All the Cavaliers have done all season is play one of the toughest schedules in the state and give a strong account of themselves.

South Carroll is 11-6 overall, 6-4 in the Central Maryland Conference and 3-1 in Carroll County.

But as of yesterday, the Cavaliers stood fifth in the 3A West region with a rating of 4.0 points. Only four teams go to the playoffs.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase (Montgomery County) is first with 6.72 points, Paint Branch (Montgomery County) is second at 5.0 points, Thomas Johnson (Frederick County) is third at 4.66, and Seneca Valley (Montgomery County) is fourth with 4.08.

The top five South Carroll hitters all can burn opponents, beginning with leadoff hitter Tim Beck and continuing with Brad Schulze, Kile Maxcy, Jeremy Hancock and Brian Herche. Maxcy and Schulze are also excellent pitchers.

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