Liberty levels W. Johnson, advances to regional final Lions give up early goal before roaring back, 4-1

3A West boys soccer

November 08, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

When Walter Johnson scored eight minutes into its Class 3A West regional semifinal at Liberty yesterday, it seemed the Wildcats would be headed to the final and a possible third successive trip to the state tournament.

At the time, there was little indication that would be the last goal for the Bethesda school, but that turned out to be the case.

Liberty tied the match halfway through the half, then struck twice within 1 minute, 51 seconds before the break and went on to a stunning 4-1 victory over the Wildcats (10-4).

The Lions (10-4), a regional loser at Walter Johnson last year, will now play either Tuesday or Wednesday night at Linganore for the regional title. Linganore put out homestanding South Carroll, 3-0, in their semifinal last night.

"After their goal, we started getting after them better, and kept getting after them," Liberty coach Ed DeVincent said of his team's superior play.

Down 1-0, the Lions got on the board on a goal by senior Jon Somers. At 32: 03, juniors Mike Bowers and D. J. Pohlit combined to put Liberty ahead. Bowers sent a corner kick across and Pohlit headed it in. Then Bowers came right back at 33: 54, converting a throw-in from Micah Reese by drilling a shot past Walter Johnson keeper Tom Miller.

Liberty wrapped up the scoring off an indirect kick from just inside the penalty box nine minutes into the second half. Somers got the ball to Reese, who sent a hard shot past Miller.

Liberty lost two of its first three games at the start of the season, but since then, "We've grown so much," DeVincent said. "We have senior leadership, our juniors have played well, and the sophomores have picked it up.

The Lions hopes to capitalize on their height advantage. "We have five guys above 6 feet. We might as well take advantage of it, said DeVincent. "We practice set plays, and we scored off two of them -- a throw-in and a corner."

"That's the first time I've been in on corners," Pohlit said. "It was a perfect ball, right on my head. We've been watching films of their style, so we knew who their scorers were. We beat them by studying. And after we scored our second one, we increased our intensity."

Linganore 3, South Carroll 0: Mike Long got all the goals, and Linganore (6-6-2) advanced to the 3A West final by blanking the Cavaliers (6-9-2).

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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