Ozgar lifts Liberty with late goal Boys soccer


Liberty's Mark Ozgar is often the smallest player on the field. But he doesn't go unnoticed.

The junior forward was wreaking havoc throughout the second half last night against host Westminster and his hard work paid off when he scored with five minutes left to give the Lions a come-from-behind 2-1 win.

The game-winning goal was started by Mike Knoerlein's rocket shot that hit the left post. Ozgar was there to follow up with Westminster keeper Adam Messer out of the play.

"I told Ozzie that this was going to be his night," said Liberty coach Lee Kestler Sr. "Ozzie has been a Charlie-hustle kind of guy for us all season. He goes all out and constantly gives up his body."

Ozgar started the comeback five minutes into the second half with a corner kick that Jason Dunbar finished off with a header to tie the score at 1-1. It was Dunbar's county-leading ninth goal of the season and dictated the second half of play.

The Lions remain unbeaten on the season at 9-0-2 and have the upper hand in reclaiming the county title -- won last year by Westminster -- with a 4-0-1 league mark. They close out their regular season at North Carroll tomorrow.

After two straight ties to South Carroll and Thomas Johnson, coming away with a win meant a lot to the Lions.

"It was very, very big. This team had to win this match to show themselves they could still win," Kestler said.

Westminster (4-5-1, 2-1 in the county) stayed right with the unbeaten Lions. It was the Owls who looked like the unbeaten team in the first half, beating the Lions at their own game with solid build-up from the midfield and quick one-touch passing.

Junior midfielder Robert Ridgely gave the Owls a 1-0 lead with his first goal of the season with just over five minutes left in the half. He collected a loose ball from 15 yards out and fired a shot to the far post that beat Liberty goalie Josh Gursky.

The Owls, who outshot the Lions 7-3 in the half, had a number of solid scoring chances early on.

Jason Magin split a pair of Liberty defenders with a pass to Aaron Gold man, who shot right at Gursky. The rebound went to a wide open Chris Santella, whose shot sailed high of the net.

A minute later, Goldman fired a direct kick from 20 yards out that got through the Liberty wall. Magin followed up with another shot in close that sailed high.

"They came out and did the things we wanted to do against them in the first half," Kestler said.

"We were upset at halftime and talked about how we weren't sticking with the game plan and came out and did a real nice job in the second half."

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