Natalie Hannibal scored off a header with 25 minutes left in regulation as visiting Liberty twice rallied from one-goal deficits last night to defeat Westminster, 3-2.
With Liberty (5-2, 2-1 in the county) coming off an impressive shutout win over Howard last week and Westminster (5-2, 1-1) recording four straight shutout wins behind senior goalie Julie Backof, last night's game appeared to have the makings of a tight defensive battle. It didn't happen.
With the score tied at 2-2 midway through the second half, Hannibal chased down a bouncing ball by Michele Clawson and beat an aggressive Backof coming out of the net to score on the empty net.
"I told our kids at the half whoever gets the first goal in the second half would win this game. I'm glad it came true," said Liberty coach Lynn Stone.
"Natalie goes very aggressive all the time. She just doesn't give up on the ball and that goal showed it."
The Liberty defense tightened in the closing moments as Westminster tried to come up with the equalizer. Westminster's Allison Liquefatto had a chance in front with four minutes left, but Liberty goalie Angie Primevera came up with the save.
Westminster, which had 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first half, got goals from Shannon Fisher and Becky Hunt. Liberty's first-half goals came from freshmen Haley DeLaurence and Shanna Ziegenfuss.