Liberty County High School’s soccer teams hosted Ware County in a Region 2A-AAAA battle Tuesday night, but the Gators prevailed in both games. They beat the Lady Panthers, 4-1, and the boys, 1-0.
In the opener, Ware took an early 1-0 lead, but Liberty tied the game, 1-1, midway through the first half of play. Sophomore Taylor Christner scored a goal off of a corner kick from Mystery Ellert.
“We usually play good defense, but we have struggled with passing the ball and scoring,” Liberty County coach Jarvis McArthur said.
Ware added three more goals in the second half of the game off corner kicks.
“Most of the game was played on our third of the field, which put a lot of pressure on our defenders,” McArthur said.
McArthur praised the efforts of Cynthia Kornegay and Jenna Rountree. According to McArthur, midfielder Rountree controlled Ware’s best player, which allowed the Liberty offense more chances to break away from the midfield.
“Tiffany Marquez played three different positions and really helped the team move the ball into offensive territory and stop Ware’s offense,” assistant coach Ami Whilden said.
Offensively, wing Michelle Adams ended up taking the most shots on goal for Liberty in the second half.
The loss dropped Liberty to 2-8 on the season and 1-6 in region play. Liberty hosts Wayne County on Friday.
In the boys contest, Liberty County battled for 90 minutes but fell, 1-0.
“We played a really good game. We did what we needed to do. We kept playing hard right up until the end, and the difference was a couple of plays,” Liberty County coach Bryant Durham said.
Ware scored its only goal early in the first half of play. Liberty continued to move the ball and was able to control its offense most of the first half. The Panthers had some shots on goal but could not convert them into scores.
“You only get a handful of opportunities to score, and we just didn’t execute when we needed to, and that was the game. We just have to do a better job of finishing,” Durham said.
The loss against Ware put Liberty at 3-7 on the season and 0-2 in region play.
Durham said the Panthers have been in every game this season with the exception of the Glynn Academy match.
“We are playing hard and we are staying in games until the end,” Durham said.
Liberty will host Region 2A-AAAA foe Wayne County on Friday. The Jackets defeated Liberty, 3-1, in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
“When we played Wayne the first time, even though we lost, we really played well. I think it was the best game that I have ever seen Liberty play since I’ve been here. It was really exciting to watch. They beat us on two set plays. I really expect us to play another good game against them,” Durham said.