Confident Liberty romps past Dulaney, 17-6

Young Lions team proves it has learned lessons well

May 11, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn said her young team, which includes four freshmen who see significant playing time, has continued to learn and progress throughout the season.

Yesterday, in their regular season finale, the 11th-ranked Lions reversed roles, schooling visiting No. 14 Dulaney throughout their easier-than-expected 17-6 win.

Liberty (12-2) used its superior ball-handling and passing to dominate the final 30 minutes, breaking open a 8-4 lead by scoring nine of the final 11 goals.

On a day when most Liberty players learned they will open the Class 3A-4A West regional playoffs against rival North Carroll Thursday, the performance couldn't have come at a better time.

"This was a good game for us," said Vaughn, whose team has now defeated two of Baltimore County's best teams, the Lions beat Towson, 11-5, last Thursday. "[Dulaney] pressured us and they were aggressive. It was good physical play and a great season-ender."

Said attacker Michelle Allen: "It was good to have a tough team for our last game. Finding out we had North Carroll today just kind of added to the need to be playing well."

Except for a handful of dropped passes, Liberty's offense looked in sync the entire game, as freshmen Becky Trumbo and Meagan Voight, and senior Trish Young each had four goals, junior Jessica Roguski had three and another freshman, Lindsay Weiner, added two more.

Vaughn said that after a full regular-season slate, she now has complete confidence in her freshmen, who have now combined to score 82 goals this season and yesterday accounted for 59 percent of Liberty's offense.

"At this point of the season they're sophomores," said Vaughn. "They haven't played like freshmen all year. They've stepped right in and started I think every game but one. We're not afraid to use them."

Another big factor for Liberty was the play of senior goalie Gina Cinquegrani, who stopped 13 shots, including several from point-blank range. She was also helped by a defense that numerous times forced Dulaney attackers to shoot from poor angles.

Dulaney (8-4) was paced by midfielder Jess George (three goals) and attacker Marlena Wittelsberger (two).

"Bottom line is I'm glad we had this game so we know what's going on," said Dulaney coach Cathy Fisher, whose team opens the playoffs with Western Saturday. "They showed us a lot of advanced stuff we haven't seen playing in [Baltimore County]. We ended up using this as an educational game."

For Liberty, it was yet another confidence builder.

"I believe this is the best team we've put out since we started the program," said Vaughn. "The kids are working everyday, learning new things and getting better and better. I'm not even sure if we've peaked yet, and that's exciting."

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