For ninth-ranked Liberty, it's not just the return of six All-County players that has expectations for this season at an all-time high.
As they showed in last night's rain-soaked 22-4 victory over visiting Westminster, the Lions also feature a group of freshmen who are more than capable of putting fear into any goalie.
Led by midfielder Meagan Voight's game-high five goals, Liberty's four rookies accounted for nine goals and three assists.
Time after time, they blew past overmatched Westminster defenders.
Most of their handiwork came when the game was still in doubt, as they scored six goals in the first half to help give Liberty a 12-3 lead by the break.
"They're some quality players," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "I knew they would contribute this year. They can play. A couple of the freshmen were surprises. I had no idea they were as good as they are. You hear about them, but you never know until you actually see them."
Last night, the opposing Owls saw more than they cared to.
Voight, along with midfielder Lindsay Weiner (three goals), and attackers Becky Trumbo (one goal, one assist) and Sarah Scrivener (two assists) played together for four years on a championship travel team.
Now they're making an already good Liberty team even better, playing supporting roles to established standouts such as juniors Michelle Allen (four goals, three assists) and Jessica Roguski (four goals), and last spring's county Player of the Year Trish Young (three goals).
Vaughn had especially high praise for Voight, who has scored seven goals in her first two high school games.
"She might score, but she also does all the other things that don't show up in the box score," said Vaughn. "She's getting the ground balls, she's hustling, she's setting people up, she'd making the midfield connections. She just does it all and isn't afraid to get down and dirty."
Voight said the young season has so far gone better then she could have imagined.
"I was hoping I'd play well, but I really didn't know how it would go," said Voight, who added that it's comforting to be on the field with other players she knows so well. "You know what they're going to do, and you're ready for it."
The Lions will have to be ready next Thursday, when they are expected to get their toughest test thus far, against North Carroll following a week-long break.
"They have a quality team," said Vaughn. "It will be a good gauge for us."
And another chance for the freshmen to shine.
Pub Date: 4/02/99