The Westminster boys soccer team moved a step closer to its first county title since 1980 with a 2-1 win over three-time defending county champ Liberty yesterday in Eldersburg.
Marc Horgos scored a first-half goal and Brian Parker added what proved to be the game-winner eight minutes into the second half.
The win improves Westminster's mark to 5-5-1 on the season and 3-0 in the county with two games remaining.
"We finally executed our game plan and came out on top," Westminster coach Chuck Beaver said.
"We really mixed it up well going to the outside and inside offensively and used what we had. I felt we controlled a fair portion of the game."
It was another frustrating night for the Lions, who failed to finish on a number of scoring opportunities. The loss was the Lions' fifth in six games as they dropped to 5-5-1 after a 4-0-1 start.
Liberty controlled most of the first half but found themselves trailing 1-0.
Westminster got on the board with 29:12 left in the half when Liberty keeper Greg Schad let the ball slip through his hands right to a waiting Horgos.
Most of Liberty's chances came off set plays, with the Lions having a number of corners, long throws and direct kicks. But they failed to convert.
"Sure it's frustrating," Liberty coach Lee Kestler said.
"I can't complain about the work ethic we had, but no matter what combination we use we can't seem to find the net."
Westminster had a number of counter attacks in the first half, using balls up the middle to Tony Fiore and Jason Hewett, but could only find the net on the Horgos effort.
Parker's goal proved to be a big one after Liberty converted on a Chris North penalty kick with 3:32 left.
Jason Magin sent a chip right in front to an unattended Parker, who headed it home.
Messer came up big on Liberty's last chance when he dove right to stop a Kevin Henderson shot.
Senior Jeff Seaman played a solid game defensively at his sweeper position for the Owls, continually turning back Liberty opportunities.