Liberty works OT to trip Severna Park, 1-0 Lions' unbeaten streak extended to 23 games as Williams converts

September 14, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Liberty needed a little extra time last night to extend its unbeaten streak to 23 games.

Tiffany Williams scored after a perfect cross from Kate Hannon 41 seconds into double overtime to give No. 4 Liberty a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Severna Park in the Anne Arundel Invitational Soccer Tournament championship game at Broadneck.

South Carroll (2-1-1) won the consolation game, topping Broadneck, 3-0. Katie Gardner, Sandy Lagana and Chrissy Murphy scored a goal each for the Cavaliers.

Liberty, which went 15-0-3 last year while taking a share of the Class 2A-3A state title, improved to 5-0 in a game that seemed more like a state playoff dual between two evenly matched teams.

Both teams had many scoring chances, but the Lions finally won it in the first minute of the second 10-minute sudden-death overtime.

Hannon raced down the right sideline and crossed a perfect ball to Williams in front, and she just volleyed it past goalie Kerry York.

"I was just trying to get a piece of it," said Williams. "I just wanted it get it past her."

Said Hannon: "I sent it over and just hoped it would get there and it did."

This was Liberty's fifth game in nine days, something that concerned coach Sam DeLaurance. But despite playing flat at times early, the Lions stayed in the game by playing with the emotion DeLaurance loves.

"I was a little concerned about whether we could mentally prepare ourselves to play Severna Park," said DeLaurance. "One of the big keys for our team is we play with passion, and [that helped]."

Severna Park (3-2) outshot Liberty, 17-11, and came up with a number of scoring opportunities. But Liberty goalie Gina Cinquegrani (12 saves) repeatedly frustrated the Falcons with spectacular saves.

Cinquegrani's best save came midway through the second half. Jen Cielewich broke through the Liberty defense after Meghan Young sent a perfect pass ahead of her, but the goalie raced out to make a sliding stop.

The Liberty defense, led by Colleen Cox, Kelly Knutson and Erica Gordon, repeatedly cleared loose balls. When the ball did get through, Cinquegrani often sent booming clearing kicks.

Severna Park also got solid efforts at both ends of the field from several players. Lindsey Nauman marked Williams well throughout the game and made many clears. Tricia Vukovich, Bre Benton, Meredith McAlister, Young and Cielewich all sparked the offense.

But in the end, Liberty took advantage of its edge in speed. Williams nearly got breakaways several times in the game, including two close calls in the final moments of regulation.

Williams did break free with about 16 minutes left in the first half, racing past the Severna Park defense, but her shot banged off the left post. She didn't miss her next chance.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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