Liberty needs OT to advance to semifinals

November 09, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN -- It will go in the books as a 2-1 overtime win and a third straight trip to the state playoffs, but Liberty's narrow victory over Catoctin in the Class 1A-2A West region finals yesterday was so much more.

Liberty coach Chuck Martin was expecting to use a lot of his players against a Catoctin team that was clearly overmatched.

Instead, the No. 9 Lions ran into a Cougar squad that came in with a very good game plan and an even better goalie, Dana Bollinger.

It wasn't until Shanna Ziegenfuss knocked in a rebound three minutes into overtime that the Lions could breathe a major sigh of relief.

The Lions came back from a surprising one-goal, second-half deficit and later saw a Catoctin direct kick go in just after the whistle blew to end regulation.

"Sweating bullets -- how 'bout that one," Martin said.

Bollinger came up with her 32nd save of the night when Brigit Becker fired a shot from the left side that was headed for the opposite post early in the overtime.

Ziegenfuss, as has been the case for much of the season, was right where she needed to be in finishing on the game-winner. It was her 22nd goal of the year.

"Brigit likes to cross the ball, but we told her to take the far post shot and she did," Martin said. "The keeper made a great save and Shanna was at the right place."

The Lions (13-2) will be at home on Saturday for the semifinal round of the state playoffs. A time and opponent has yet to be determined.

"The last game [against Middletown] we were down one at the half and I was confident because we were playing well," said Martin. "This time it was 0-0 and I was worried as anything because they were able to pack it in and their keeper was playing phenomenal. You have to give credit to the other team."

When the whistle blew signaling halftime with Liberty thoroughly dominating, Catoctin assistant coach Kathy Stinefelt let out a big scream as her players came to the bench. The 0-0 halftime score was a moral victory for the Cougars (8-6-1) and something to build on in the second half.

Catoctin's Jessie McIlrath broke free up the middle and scored on the Cougars' second shot of the night -- 4:27 into the second half -- the improbable appeared more and more likely.

Finally with 10:43 remaining in regulation, Liberty sophomore Heather Fincham scored on the Lions' 34th shot, dribbling in from the right side before beating Bollinger from 12 yards out.

Before overtime, Liberty senior Natalie Hannibal had a header off the post, another shot skim off the top of the crossbar and another one go just wide.

Regulation came to a close just after McIlrath fired a direct kick from 40 yards out that went in the Liberty goal seconds after the referee blew the whistle.

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