Visiting Glenelg was looking to secure itself a spot in the boys soccer metro rankings, while Liberty was looking for some consideration when the two teams hooked up last night in Eldersburg.
After a quiet, scoreless first half, things erupted in the second half, with 15th-ranked Glenelg coming away with a 2-1 victory.
Scott Cline's goal off an indirect kick from Mark Grey at the 21:58 mark proved to be the game-winner.
The win improved Glenelg's record to 4-0; Liberty fell to 5-2-1.
"That was the most intense game we've played all year," Glenelg coach John Bouman said.
"There's not enough words to describe the Liberty effort. They're an outstanding team, and we'll probably see them again in the playoffs."
Glenelg came out buzzing in the second half and had an immediate chance to score when a cross went through the crease and a header went just wide.
The Gladiators found the net two minutes later, when senior Daniel Gaerdner sent a blast into the near corner unassisted at 37:16.
"The first 10 minutes of a half are always a bad time to get scored on, but I was pleased with the way the kids responded," Liberty coach Lee Kestler said. "Our team has a lot of character and really showed it tonight against a good Glenelg team."
Liberty responded at 26:08 when Mike Knoerlein headed a ball past Glenelg keeper Russell Payne. Jason Dunbar assisted.
That set the stage for Cline's heroics.
The Lions didn't quit after they got down 2-1. Knoerlein had a shot right in front at the 15:12 mark, but sent it high.
Three minutes later, Chris North sent a solid volley that keeper Payne caught off his chest.
With four minutes left, Steve Reigel had the keeper out, but his header was turned back at the goal line by a Glenelg defender.