Allen's 2 goals spark well-rounded Liberty over Perry Hall, 4-0 Lions gain region final against Thomas Johnson

November 04, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Liberty coach Sam DeLaurence has worked on improving different parts of his team throughout this season.

DeLaurence, after losing several offensive stars from last year's Class 1A-2A co-state champion, stressed defense early. Next came the midfield. Most recently, the Lions have focused on the attack and scoring more goals.

Perry Hall saw the fruits of Liberty's recent labor last night. The No. 2-ranked Lions had their second-best offensive output of the season, as Michelle Allen scored two goals to help Liberty top the visiting Gators, 4-0, in a Class 3A-4A West Region semifinal.

Liberty (15-1-1) advances to the region final tomorrow at Thomas Johnson (15-1-1). The Patriots topped Westminster, 2-1, in double overtime last night and will play host to the Lions tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Liberty dominated Perry Hall (9-4-1) after a slow start. The Gators double-teamed Allen, and kept the ball away from her during the first 20 minutes, but the Lions made some adjustments that freed the talented sophomore.

"We figured out how we wanted to do our offense," said Allen. "We wanted to spread it out."

DeLaurence also said the Lions used the center midfielders to stretch things out a bit. They forced the Perry Hall defense -- which had jammed the middle early -- to come out more toward midfield, springing Allen and friends for scoring chances on the wings.

Liberty's ball possession also kept putting more and more pressure on Perry Hall. The Lions kept the ball for much of the game and eventually wore down the Gators.

"We possessed the ball as well as any team I've coached at [the high school level]," said DeLaurence. "Watching this team, I'm stunned."

Meredith Priddy nearly put the Lions up in the first minute, lofting a high 30-yard shot that bounced off the crossbar. Priddy then put Liberty on the board with 10: 36 left in the half on a 20-yard direct kick that Perry Hall goalie Erin Fugate got her hands on, but squirted over the line.

The Allen show then began. Tiffany Williams played a nice ball to Allen, who came down the left wing and left four Gators in her wake. Allen then put a 10-yard shot past Fugate with 2: 06 left in the half.

Allen stretched it to 3-0 with 28: 53 remaining. Colleen Cox pushed a ball to her on the left side, and Allen fired a perfect 10-yard shot just inside the far post.

Thomas Johnson 2, Westminster 1, 2 OT: Senior Samantha Meyers scored with seven minutes left in the second overtime to lead the Patriots (15-1-1) to a home victory over the Owls in a 3A-4A West semifinal game.

Middletown 4, North Carroll 1: Junior Anne Rieser and senior Meghan Marcantonio each had a goal and an assist to lead the host Knights (15-2) to a victory over the Panthers in a 2A-3A West semifinal game.

Pub Date: 11/04/97

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