Liberty takes another painful hit in OT loss

Down-on-luck Lions fall to Frederick this time, 2-1

Boys soccer

October 15, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Playing with a starting lineup that includes two freshmen and three sophomores, Liberty so far has endured a season punctuated by near misses.

Facing Central Maryland Conference heavyweight Frederick last night, the Lions added a heartbreaker to the list.

After taking the lead midway through the first half, host Liberty held off charge after charge before finally allowing the tying goal with 7:10 left, and the winning goal on a rare defensive breakdown with 1:12 remaining in sudden-death overtime in a 2-1 loss.

"It's tough when you're beating them for 73 minutes and have one defensive breakdown that they take advantage of," Liberty coach Ed DeVincent said. "They somehow just got one seam, and their good finishers up top did it. To lose a game like that is tough."

It marked the fourth time this season that the Lions (4-5 overall, 2-3 CMC) had lost by a goal.

"It's there; it's close," DeVincent said. "We just haven't been able to get over that hump yet to beat a quality team."

For most of this one, it appeared as though Liberty would finally scale that hill.

After being beaten to the ball early, the Lions started to ratchet up their intensity toward the middle of the first half, putting constant pressure on the goal. The hard work paid off with 22:31 left in the period.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead when Nick Rigby placed a line-drive throw-in directly into the middle of a pack in front of the goal. Teammate Brian Silva out-leaped a pack of defenders and headed the ball over goalie Zane Campbell for the score.

By positioning their defense well back, the Lions mainly kept Frederick's offense in front of them, making the Cadets dribble through three or four defenders to get off a shot. Frederick coach Mark Snyder said a four-day hiatus, the result of rainouts, hurt his team early.

"I think in the first half, it was a combination of us just trying to get our legs back and finding a way to work on this pitch," Snyder said of Liberty's damp, slippery field. "But I thought our guys came back really strong in that second half.

The Cadets (9-2, 5-1) outshot Liberty 11-5 over the final 50 minutes, tying the game on Justin Combs' goal with 7:10 left in regulation. After goalie Zane Campbell kept it tied with a diving save of Rigby's point-blank shot, the game went to sudden death, where - after two near-misses - Frederick finally won it on Clarke Seniff's rocket from about 15 yards.

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