Nick McCready found out last night just how much his South Carroll coach, Jeff Alisauckas, thought about his work in goal. An acrobatic effort that included 10 saves, earned the team's first game ball of the season.
It came in the wake of a 10-5 South Carroll victory at Liberty and brought the Cavaliers an undisputed county championship.
Last year, Westminster had ended a 10-year title run by going unbeaten in the league, but this time around South Carroll (7-1, 10-4), with the win, erased the Owls hopes for a share of the crown, as they finished 6-2 in the league.
Both teams will go right back to work this afternoon to prepare for their next "season," which begins tomorrow. In the Class 3A-4A West regional, South Carroll will be home against Quince Orchard, and Liberty (5-3, 7-5) will be at Churchill.
While McCready and Greg Will led the defense, Andrew Bettis was on target at the other end with four goals and an assist. His goal at the end of the half broke a 4-4 tie and sent the visitors ahead to stay, and he opened the second half scoring with just 29 seconds gone.
When Pat Wynne and Ryan Wynne ran the streak to four successive scores and an 8-4 margin after three minutes 25 seconds, the outcome was all but assured. This time it was South Carroll's game.
"We won the faceoffs [Mike Rabinovitz had 11 for the Cavs] and put the ball in the net. The offense took the pressure off me," McCready said. "Last time, clears were a problem, but we practiced them all week, and here somebody was open all the time. And I was really focused."
A week ago, Liberty had shocked the Cavs with a 4-2 victory based on patience and making all the right moves against a South Carroll team that never found the right gear.
"We ran our offense the way were are supposed to, and made better decisions than the last time, especially on shot selection," Alisauckas said while nimbly avoiding most of the traditional victory bath. "We're going to have to do something about the penalties, though, because we were a man down too much.
Of the eight opportunities, including one when South Carroll was short two players for 15 seconds, Liberty converted two into goals.
Citing his stars at each end of the field, Alisauckas added, "Bettis and McCready were the stars. Nick played his best. Kevin Roy has one of the hardest shots and Nick stuffed him." Roy, a senior attack, is Liberty's leading scorer with 28 goals and 23 assists, and he came up empty.
Pub Date: 5/06/98