Liberty got off to a fast start yesterday against North Carroll. On the other hand, the Panthers started slowly -- which finished their chances of taking a part of the Carroll County championship.
Liberty scored on its first four shots to take a quick four-goal lead, and visiting North Carroll never recovered as the Lions took back the county title -- their eighth in nine years -- with a 9-6 victory.
North Carroll (10-2, 4-2) beat Liberty (10-3, 6-0) twice last year to break the Lions' seven-year hold on the county crown. But the Lions beat the Panthers in the playoffs and came back this year to win twice and regain their stature.
The Lions left little doubt in this game, scoring on their first four shots for a 4-0 lead in the first 10: 59. Jessica Roguski scored both of her goals while Amy Pagels (two goals) and Michelle Allen (two goals, one assist) pitched in for the early four-goal lead. Trish Young (two goals, one assist) and Allison Pohlit (one goal) helped later.
"That first 10 minutes of the game hurt," said North Carroll coach Denean Koontz. "We just really couldn't get the momentum going. We never got into the flow."
Liberty held a 5-2 halftime lead, and the Panthers three times sliced the lead to two in the second half but could pull no closer.
North Carroll had some good chances, but Liberty goalie Gina Cinquegrani made a number of big stops. She finished with seven saves, including some on free position shots to help the Lions stay in control.
"I just try to stay strong and stay focused from the whistle until the last," said Cinquegrani, who said she has been helped by the coaching of former Liberty goalie Dani Fostik. "I just wanted to stop them."
After taking a 4-0 lead, the Lions used their tough defense to stay in charge. Cara McConville got some big draws later while Jen Berarducci played good defense and Colleen Cox scooped up a number of ground balls.
North Carroll's leading scorer Kellyn Hentz was blanked, as she had trouble getting the ball because of a swarming Liberty defense.
"Our defense is getting better and better," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "They're really coming on. We're playing as a team."
Pub Date: 5/03/98