Liberty's strong second-half effort not enough to overcome Linganore Lancers dominate 1st half, win 3A West crown, 2-1

Boys soccer

November 11, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NEW MARKET -- Liberty played aggressively throughout the second half last night at Linganore. The Lions controlled play, came up with a number of scoring chances and registered the half's lone goal.

But Liberty had problems in a first half that saw Linganore dominate and score twice. The Lions couldn't overcome that, even with a strong second half, and Linganore held on for a 2-1 victory the Class 3A West Region final.

Linganore (9-6-2) advances to the Class 3A state semifinals Friday at a site to be determined against Fallston. This is the first region title in school history for the Lancers, who lost in the finals the last two seasons.

The Lancers kept the ball in Liberty's end most of the first 40 minutes and repeatedly pushed the Lions back on their heels, getting goals from Ryan Covahey and Kurtz Wahl for a 2-0 lead.

But Liberty (10-5) turned it up in the second half. The Lions finished the game with only three shots, but they sent numerous balls into the box and forced Linganore goalie Danny Beach to rush out several times.

"For some unknown reason, we just didn't play well in the first half," said Liberty coach Ed DeVincent. "They took it to us in the first half, and we took it to them in the second half."

The Lancers scored first on an odd play. Todd Muschik chipped a ball into the box. Linganore's Brent Riley then collided with Liberty goalie Craig Rauser, the ball squirted loose, and Covahey knocked it in during the 20th minute.

They made it 2-0 in the 28th minute when Wahl scored with an assist from Joe Valentino. He curved a corner kick into the box that Wahl leaped and chested past Rauser.

After just missing on several opportunities, Liberty finally scored with 16: 06 left in the game. Ryan Burkhead sent a ball into the box that made its way to the goal. A Linganore defender missed on a clearing attempt, allowing Groves to put it in from the doorstep.

The Lions had a number of other good chances after that, but they couldn't tie the game. Liberty team members were shaking their heads afterwards about what caused the first-half troubles.

"I think it might have been part nerves," said Groves. "We might have been a little bit excited. We were looking at [getting to the] states."

Linganore coach Terry Molloy said his team is peaking at the right time. The Lancers were just 6-6-2 during the regular season, but they played a very difficult schedule.

"If we do what we're capable of athletically, I think [teams] are going to have trouble handling us," said Molloy.

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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