Liberty stakes elite claim

Lions show they belong, hand Knights first-ever home loss

Girls lacrosse No. 14 Liberty 16, No. 13 Century 10

May 02, 2008|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Liberty has spent this season trying to prove it belongs among the area's elite in girls lacrosse.

Last night, the No. 14 Lions drove that point home against two-time defending Class 2A-1A state champion Century.

Morgan Leonard, Maggie McCormick, Shelby Nemecek and Jenn Wells each had three goals, as visiting Liberty scored 11 of 12 during a midgame stretch to cruise to a 16-10 win. The loss was the first ever at home for the No. 13 Knights, who are in their sixth season of varsity competition.

"I think we proved tonight that we don't just play a [poor] schedule ... that we're actually a good team," Lions defender Meagan Borgoyn said.

The win came just two days after a one-goal loss to Winters Mill that essentially took Liberty out of the Carroll County title hunt. The title now comes down to Monday night's game between Liberty and host Westminster.

If Westminster wins, the Owls claim the title. If the Lions win, the title goes to Winters Mill, by virtue of head-to-head matchups.

Still, last night's game was huge for Liberty (11-2, 4-1) on many levels.

"There were two roads to take: Either come back really hard or just go low," Nemecek said. "We took the high road, and we showed it tonight."

To do that, the Lions won 17 of 28 draws, turning several into fast-break goals, then clamped down on defense. After midfielder Katie Schwarzmann (five goals) helped stake Century to an early 5-2 lead, the Knights scored one goal over the next 31:40, as Liberty took command.

"We stressed that draw control was key, and we did win a lot of draws," Liberty coach Jerry Gladfelter said. "We were able then to play how we wanted to play, and not always backpedaling."

The loss took Century (11-3, 4-2) out of contention for a piece of the county title, which the Knights had won or shared in each of their previous five seasons.

"They controlled the game offensively when they got the draw," Century coach Rose Pentz said. "We just didn't do that."

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