Liberty’s boys soccer team doesn’t feature a player in double digits when it comes to offensive totals, but the Lions seem to be getting by just fine.

Particularly when they put together a performance like Thursday’s against visiting Manchester Valley, with four different scorers and assists on every goal in a 5-0 victory.


Junior forward Drew McLaughlin had a pair of goals in the first half, more than enough offense for a Liberty defense that hasn’t allowed a goal since Sept. 19. A fifth shutout in as many games put a smile on senior Shane Ervin’s face.

He’s been playing multiple positions over the last two seasons, and Ervin said he started the year at center back before finding his spot in Liberty’s defensive midfield. He earned Times first-team all-county honors at forward last fall, but Ervin isn’t worrying about logging gaudy stats while the Lions (7-1-1, 4-1 in the Carroll County Athletic League) are vying for a county championship.

“I’ve done it my entire soccer career,” said Ervin, who led Liberty’s offense in 2018 with 15 points (six goals, three assists). “I’m not complaining at all, my team has been great.”

Liberty attacked from the start Thursday and had Man Valley (7-5, 3-3) playing catch-up early on. McLaughlin’s second goal came with 5 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the first half, and when Andres Britos scored just before the break the Lions had all the momentum.

Dan Sanders did his best to keep the Mavericks close with 12 saves in goal, but the home team showcased its depth all night. MV coach Andrew Harrell said he his team is dealing with a few injuries, and he talked to the reigning county champs about having more to play for over the next few weeks.

“Any time you take these kind of games, you take it as a learning experience,” Harrell said. “You don’t want it to happen, but sometimes it’s a wake-up call. We didn’t have a lot go right for us on the field tonight, and I challenged these guys right here. ‘You’ve got to take accountability for yourself.’”

Ben Hiebler and Aaron Ostendorf added second-half goals for Liberty, which displayed another tight effort on defense. Ervin praised back-row mates such as juniors Michael Pellicciotti and Griffin Stevenson, and seniors James Myers and Brandon Rytina, along with Singh, another senior.

Crafting a scoreless streak of more than 400 minutes is impressive, Ervin said, and it started with a work ethic over the the summer.

“We’re all jelling,” said Ervin, whose Lions host Hammond on Monday before a CCAL clash with rival Century on Tuesday. The Knights (10-3) are atop the county standings at 5-1.

“We’re loving it,” Ervin said about next week’s matchup. “It’s going to be the game.”

Goals: L-Drew McLaughlin 2, Andres Britos, Ben Hiebler, Aaron Ostendorf

Assists: L-Ethan Heidtman, Seiler Oakley, Joe Guzzo, Owen Milewski, Dylan McLaughlin

Saves: MV-12 (Dan Sanders); L-1 (Anjan Singh).

Halftime: Liberty, 3-0.


JV result: Liberty, 3-2.