At last, No. 12 Liberty finishes off Westminster

1-0 win in suspended game puts Lions on verge of title

Boys soccer

October 22, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

One week later, No. 12 Liberty is still in control of the Carroll County boys soccer race.

The host Lions last night completed the final 10:31 of their key county game against Westminster, holding on for a 1-0 win. The game began Oct. 14, but was halted late in the second half because of lightning and poor field conditions.

Liberty (9-1-2 overall, 4-0-1 league) clinched the title in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Chesapeake Conference. The Lions can clinch sole possession of the county title with a win tonight at Francis Scott Key.

A loss tonight, and Century will win the county.

"We practiced all day yesterday, and I tried to put different pressures on them," said Liberty coach Ed DeVincent. "They were going to be coming after us, because they had absolutely nothing to lose."

To prepare, Liberty broke down Monday's practice into intervals of 10:31. Any time the offense managed to get off a shot -- which happened about five times -- the defense had to do 50 pushups.

The tactic apparently worked. Westminster (6-4-1, 4-1-1) had only one real shot on goal, a liner just over the crossbar by Billy Hurtt with less than a minute left.

"I basically played this like I would've played the last 10 minutes of the game as it was," said Westminster coach Fran McCullin. "We needed an equalizing goal, so I put in a few more offensive-minded players."

Playing through heavy rains and stiff winds last week, Liberty took a 1-0 lead with less than a minute left in the first half when Holt Skovron found the back of the net. Westminster's Matt Duke appeared to tie the game with 11:02 left, but he was ruled offside.

Moments later, the game was halted.

McCullin was grateful for the chance to complete the game because Liberty could have pressed to have it ruled a final because at least a half was played.

"It's my fervent hope that before I'm done coaching, I get the opportunity to return the favor," McCullin said.

Fallston 2, C. Milton Wright 0: The host Cougars (10-4, 6-1) clinched a share of the Harford County title after getting second-half goals from Evan Minarik and Joe Barresi to beat the Mustangs (6-5-1, 5-2).

Aberdeen (12-2, 6-1) had already secured at least a tie for the championship.

Poly 5, Patterson 1: Nick Sigismondi had two goals and an assist, and the visiting Engineers (14-0, 9-0) turned a 1-1 halftime tie into a rout of the Clippers (6-3-1, 6-2) for their second straight Baltimore City title.

Staff reports contributed to this article.

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