Howard and visiting Liberty had definite ideas of what the wanted to do offensively in yesterday afternoon's girls soccer game.
Howard coach Dave Vezzi was looking to spread the field and use his outside speed, and Lynn Stone's Liberty team wanted to get the ball inside to leading scorer Amy Wolff.
It was the speed that prevailed, and Howard went on to defeat Liberty, 4-1.
Howard's Tori Mills had a pair of goals and an assist, and teammates Alyssa Gemaldo and Shannon Bagrosky added a goal and an assist each.
"We had an advantage in speed today, and I felt we used it well," Vezzi said.
"Usually, we try to punch it into Shannon, but she always draws a couple players on her, as was the case today, so we tried to work it outside a bit more."
Howard (3-2) scored a pair of late first-half goals to take a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Gemaldo scored the first goal with 11:30 left in the half off a feed from Mills.
Less than four minutes later, it was Gemaldo returning the favor in setting up Mills.
Liberty (1-2-2) had its share of opportunities early in the contest, but failed to capitalize. The best came with 15:20 left in the half and the game still scoreless. Wolff had a pair of chances off a throw-in, but Howard goalkeeper Julie Lovell made the initial save and Wolff's rebound shot went wide.
Stone said Liberty was looking to score an early goal and protect the lead, but the Lions never had the chance.
"We came out a little tentative not knowing much about them," Stone said.
Mills made it 3-0 early in the second half. Bagrosky took a shot thatLiberty keeper Dani Fostik got to, but Mills was there for the rebound.
Wolff countered with her fifth goal of the season to make it 3-1 with 31 minutes left, but Bagrosky ended Liberty's hopes with a goal late in the game.
"They had some speed up front and good ball skills," Stone said.
"I felt if we would have played our game, it may have been a different story, but you have to give them a lot of credit."
Howard had a 16-12 edge in shots. Lovell made nine saves for the winners, and Fostik turned back 12 shots in the Liberty goal.