ELDERSBURG — Aaron Ostendorf collected his second game-winning goal in as many games in Liberty’s 2-1 win over South Carroll on Tuesday.
Even playing soccer at this point is a treat to the senior forward, who knocked in the finisher early in the second overtime period in the Carroll County Athletic League opener for both teams.
Ostendorf had plans to be part of the varsity soccer team in 2018, only to be cut during tryouts.
“Getting cut told me that you really don’t take things for granted,” Ostendorf said. “So coming back out this summer, I worked hard. Lost a lot of weight.”
Thirty pounds to be exact, he said. So Ostendorf’s re-do saw him starting off in better shape, and with plenty of motivation.
“Just come in and be a beast,” he said. “Don’t let anybody get in my way.”
Ostendorf found himself alone with the ball after South Carroll mishandled a possession deep in its own territory. The big forward turned to face the goal and drilled a shot into the net with 8 minutes, 47 seconds to play, and ignited a celebration on the field.
Liberty (3-0, 1-0 CCAL) tied the game early in the second half when Mike Pellicciotti scored on a throw-in from Ben Hiebler, who heaved it toward the goal from the far sideline. The Lions fell behind late in the first half, when SC striker Carter Chesney got inside the box and used his head to arch the ball over the outstretched hands of goalie Anjan Singh.
Fellow senior Dylan Youman flicked the ball to Chesney before the goal.
The Cavaliers (2-3, 0-1) and Lions played a physical style of play throughout, and both teams had chances in overtime. Chesney started the first OT with a blast from midfield that Singh corralled by leaping toward the crossbar. A few minutes later, junior Drew McLaughlin got behind SC’s defense along the goal line and tried to find shooting space, but couldn’t quite spare his hips to face the net.
Liberty played the overtime, and the last few minutes of regulation, down a player because of a red card. But the Lions persevered thanks to Ostendorf’s good timing.
“I saw the defender on me, so I just let the ball roll through me and he bit a little bit,” said Ostendorf, whose game-winner sent Liberty past Thomas Johnson 1-0 last week.
The Lions schemed to slow down Chesney, one of the top scorers in the area, and Ostendorf said Liberty’s defense did its part in limiting the senior’s chances. Chesney scored twice in the Cavaliers’ 2-1 win over Tuscarora last week.
Singh (11 saves) and South Carroll’s Charlie Boldosser (10 saves) each came up with big saves Tuesday and kept their teams in the game.
Liberty visits Francis Scott Key on Thursday for its next county clash, while South Carroll hosts reigning CCAL champ Manchester Valley.
Posting early county wins is critical, said Ostendorf, who is trying his best to cherish this season.
“A huge step in the right way,” he said. “The momentum is all ours. ... I’m just proud of these guys, wit how hard they worked.”
Goals: SC-Carter Chesney; L-Mike Pellicciotti, Aaron Ostendorf.
Assists: SC-Dylan Youman; L-Ben Hiebler.
Saves: SC-10 (Charlie Boldosser); L-11 (Anjan Singh).
Halftime: SC, 1-0.
JV result: Liberty, 4-1.