The Carroll boys lacrosse picture had a different look this year when Westminster ended South Carroll's run of 10 straight county championships during the regular season.
The trend continued last night in Eldersburg, where the Liberty Lions got a goal from Zach Dietrich with 29 seconds left to sneak past South Carroll, 11-10, in a Class 3A-4A West region opener.
It was the first Liberty win over South Carroll since 1991, ending a 13-game slide. The Lions (6-9) advance to meet Westminster, a winner over Seneca Valley last night in another Class 3A-4A West game.
"We haven't beaten South Carroll the whole time I've been here," said Liberty defender Ryan Pagels, a four-year starter. "This is a nice time to do it. There were times when I walked off the field physically sick [after losing to South Carroll]. They're always so close, but there was always one link missing. This time we put it all together."
In South Carroll's two regular-season wins over Liberty, three goals were the total difference. Last night was no different with each team's biggest lead two goals in the steady rain.
With the score tied at 8 to start the fourth quarter, Liberty got goals from Dietrich (four goals) and Pete Eppig to take a 10-8 lead with 7: 51 left.
In typical South Carroll fashion, the Cavaliers (8-5) answered late with consecutive goals from Will Gunther, the last coming with 2: 43 remaining.
It was Dietrich and the Lions, though, who had the final answer. Tom Freedman picked up a ground ball at midfield and found Dietrich up top, who bounced one past South Carroll goalie Nick McCready.
"It was time to step up," Dietrich said. "It usually happens on those unsettled situations. You have to put those in."
While Dietrich was the Lions' hero on offense, goalie Brice Sauers was the story on defense. He finished with 16 saves, a number of them off South Carroll shots from right in front.
"[Sauers] was the difference. We had a lot of close-range shots," said South Carroll coach Jeff Alisauckas, who got a fine performance from his goalie McCready (14 saves).
"We had an outstanding season. We're young and we'll be back," said Alisauckas. "I asked my guys if they gave everything they had and didn't leave anything left out there on the field. They all said 'yes' That's all you can ask for."
Pagels was a standout defensively and also had two assists. Nick Waldner also had three goals and two assists for the Lions.
South Carroll got two goals each from Mike Rabinovitz, Ryan FTC Blair, Jason Weisenborn Charlie Cibson and Gunther.
Pub Date: 5/09/97