Liberty's 'Flat 4' floors Glenelg, 1-0 New defensive set stymies champion Gladiators

Cinquegrani stars in goal

Girls soccer

September 15, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Liberty's defenders are still adjusting to a new alignment, but whatever mistakes were made, senior goalkeeper Gina Cinquegrani was there to answer the offensive thrusts of visiting Glenelg last night.

The result was a 1-0 victory for the Lions (2-0-3) who have not scored more than one goal in their past four starts.

Glenelg (1-1), the defending state 1A-2A champion, had opened its season with a 2-1 overtime victory over Westminster.

This time, Becky Podobnik provided the margin when she converted a pass from wing Jessica Roguski at the 33-minute mark of the first half.

The shot came from 30 yards out on the right wing, and when goalkeeper Jamie Epperlein came out to challenger her, Podobnik was able to get the ball by her and it rolled untouched into the net.

"It was a slow ball, and I don't know, maybe I came out too soon," said Epperlein, a senior three-year starter, who was an All-Howard County selection last year.

"In the second half, our defense marked up well. I knew [last year's Carroll County Player of the Year Michelle] Allen was a real danger, because we play on the same club team. At the same time, Bibiane Warfield, one of our backs was doing a good job on clears and getting the ball out of the 18."

At the other end, Liberty was using a "Flat 4" defense, one that is popular internationally and at the collegiate level in this country, but seldom seen among high school teams, especially girls teams.

"The strength of my keeper, plus our backs, prompted me to go to it" coach Sam DeLaurence said. "It's not a marking defense, but rather we try to cover areas.

"They had several breakaways on the outside, but Gina covers those angles very well. We try to eliminate those plays up the middle."

The most frustrated of the Glenelg players had to be striker Christa Vent, one of only three seniors on the Howard County squad.

Time and again, she used her speed and footwork to get the ball around defenders, or took through passes, then watched as either Cinquegrani made the save or her shot went just outside a post.

"Except for about 10 minutes at the end of the first half, things went the way we wanted, and the things that went wrong, we can fix," said Glenelg coach Mike Williams. "I thought we were impatient in the middle third of the field, too."

Much of the activity in that area was controlled by Trish Young, Liberty's outstanding senior midfielder.

Pub Date: 9/15/98

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