0-0 tie gives Liberty share of title, but is unsatisfying end to big season Ziegenfuss, Lions control flow, but fail to find the net vs. South River

3A-2A girls soccer

November 17, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Liberty Lions had just finished dominating a game just as they had done so many other times this year.

They had just completed the finest season ever by a Carroll County girls soccer team, reaching the season's final day and not once leaving the field on the losing end.

But it took a while after yesterday afternoon's 0-0 double overtime tie against South River for the Lions to appreciate what they collectively accomplished on the day and for the entire season.

The No. 5 Lions closed out their season 16-0-3, sharing the Class 3A-2A state champioship with a South River team they outshot 20-8 on the afternoon. There are no shootouts in the championship round after the two 10-minute overtime periods.

Liberty coach Sam DeLaurence couldn't have asked for anything more from his players.

"I'm proud of my kids, we were the better team. Everyone who played, their buckets were empty when it was all done," he said. "We were on, starting from the back and doing beautiful things. We did everything right, but didn't put it in the net."

A Liberty flurry in the final minutes of the first half that produced no results was an indication of what yet to come.

Senior midfielder Brigit Becker sent a volley just high over the crossbar. Standout forward Shanna Ziegenfuss hit the post twice and had another shot turned aside by South River junior goalie Erin Graham, who stayed busy throughout the day with 13 saves.

"I've been coaching a long time and seen a lot of games and, at that point, I thought it may be one of those games where there seemed to be plexi-glass in front of the goal," DeLaurence said.

South River played a more physical second half and the Lions drifted away from their game looking to match the challenge. A number of yellow cards were issued and Liberty's Trish Young was sent off with a red card early in the first overtime, but the Lions continued to doiminate despite playing a player down.

Ziegenfuss, who finished the season with 26 goals and closed out her career as Carroll County's all-time scoring leader, created chance after chance in the two overtime sessions despite being heavily marked, but couldn't find the net.

"It was pretty frustrating, but we all tried our hardest and are proud of what we accomplished," she said. "The frustrating part was playing against a team that did a lot of hacking while we had the skill."

The season brought a special reward for senior midfielder Haley DeLaurence, who returned after missing the last two seasons with consecutive anterior cruciate ligament surgeries.

"It was definitely a great feeling when we walked out on the field today as a team," she said.

The Lions left the field state champions. It was the first state title for a girls soccer team in Carroll.

"As for our county, I'm convinced on any given day any of our Carroll County teams can go out and play with any team in the state," Sam DeLaurence said.

"As for our program, we have arrived and are prepared to continue to play at this level."

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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