Saints go marching' in but miss No. 3 Liberty, 3-2 Young St. Mary's reduces 3-goal deficit in 2nd half

September 05, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

No matter the sport, experience often can be the difference, particularly early in a season.

That was certainly the case last night in Eldersburg, where a more experienced Liberty team got a three-goal head start on young St. Mary's -- just enough to come away with a 3-2 win in both teams' season opener.

With six new starters, the No. 6-ranked Saints from Annapolis understandably were opening with some jitters, while the third-ranked Lions -- led by junior Michelle Allen and senior Trish Young -- weren't about to miss on any early opportunities.

Allen got the scoring started from 15 yards out 10 minutes in and, just a few minutes later, found Young to provide the Lions with a fast 2-0 lead.

Senior Meredith Priddy's goal off a direct kick early in the second half proved the difference for the Carroll countians, because as the second 40 minutes ticked on, the Saints became more comfortable and scored twice.

First, freshman Kerie Sample side-stepped a couple defenders before shooting near the 18 to make the score 3-1.

Two minutes later, she sent in a cross from the right side that Morgan Thaleneberg finished, and suddenly, the game was a one-goal affair with lots of time left.

The Saints kept coming but couldn't find the net again. In the final seconds, Liberty goalkeeper Gina Cinquegrani came off her line to clear a through-pass just before St. Mary's midfielder Melissa Raszewski arrived.

"It was good to get that first one out of the way. That took a lot of pressure off us," said Allen, a first-team All-Metro selection last season. "We got a little too comfortable. We were also wearing down a bit in the second half and had a couple lapses. St. Mary's is a good team, and they took advantage."

St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin was particularly pleased by his younger players' effort. He said the tough competition early can only improve his team.

"They took advantage of some opportunities early, and we didn't give them many," he said.

Liberty's early schedule is equally challenging, similar to last year, but coach Sam DeLaurence's team is taking a different approach this year.

"Last year, we had the heavy early schedule and played it out with a lot of emotion. By the end of the season, we were still playing good ball but lost that emotional edge," he said. "This season, we're not as intense early on in practice. Things are looking good, and we're happy."

Pub Date: 9/05/98

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