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Liberty booters solve Staunton River

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By Mike Forster

Staunton River had its greatest regular season success against Liberty, going 1-0-1 against the Minutemen.

Liberty had a sluggish attack all season, failing to score more than two goals in a game.

So, of course, Liberty beat the Eagles 3-1. The win pushed the Minutemen into the District semifinals, where they will play homestanding Jefferson Forest (Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.). Additionally, the victory assured Liberty of a berth in the Regional tournament starting next week.

Liberty earned that win by effectively countering Staunton River?s speed.

The Minutemen struck early when, five minutes into the contest, Dyllan Thomas broke free in the box, flicking a shot into the lower right corner, beyond the outreached arms, hands and fingers of River keeper Garret Gottschalk.

Fifteen minutes later, Eagle Mike Lynch scored his final goal for River when he pegged a shot from just beyond the 18 on the left side, tucking the ball just inside the far post.

Lynch played this game as he has every athletic endeavor of his Staunton River career: going all-out for the whole game.

Tyler Gilchrist gave the Minutemen all they needed when he nailed a penalty kick with seconds remaining in the first half. In the standoff, Gilchrist went right and Gottschalk committed left. ?Tis always a guessing game.

Insurance was provided by Charlie Parker with 19 minutes to go in the second half.

Seth Brogan put down a pass as pretty as you?re likely to see, setting it right on Parker?s foot. Parker ran away from the pack, getting the goal that put away the Eagles for good.

One loss for Liberty was keeper Tim Hale, who left the game after a collision. Multi-purpose Drew Padgett stepped in nicely, however.

While Liberty lives to fight again, Staunton River?s season is now over. However, it ends having earned the respect of at least one coach. ?That team has come a long way. Coach Morck has done a really nice job,? said Liberty Head Coach T Fox.

Coach Fox and company must now turn their attention to Forest and to impending Regional play.