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They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
In the case of the Liberty boys soccer team, revenge was, indeed, gotten. But the wait was a short one.
A mere week after falling to the Staunton River Golden Eagles, the Minutemen picked up a hard-fought 3-1 win. This time, the game was played at Minutemen Stadium.
"Our boys answered their intensity this time," said Liberty Head Coach Eric Seckman. "And we were able to match it in the second half and create a lot of good chances as a result. This was another tough-fought game."
This one had the look of another Staunton River win. Eagle Matt Siggins dished a perfect feed to Brandon Lilly for a picture-perfect goal three minutes into the match.
But two minutes later, Rucker Shipp sent the ball into the box on a set play. Said ball bounced around until Matthew Thompson calmed it down and sent it home for a 1-1 score.
Early in the second half, Garrett Day launched a beaut of a flip throw-in, which Ryan Rodes converted into a 2-1 lead. The icer came when Rodes booted a looooong shot which just slipped by everyone.
"River plays us with so much intensity.," noted Seckman. "They are very fast and physical. Even up two goals you still feel uneasy until this game is over.
"It has a playoff type feel to it."
Hotter than a ten dollar pistol
The win over Staunton River was merely a piece of one of the biggest weeks in Liberty soccer lore.
One day before toppling the Eagles, the Minutemen blanked Brookville, 2-0.
This is the same Brookville which features Seminole District Player of the Year candidate Alan Guttierez.
Seckman sicced midfielder Ben Stevens on Guttierez, and Stevens responded in kind. Sure he was outweighed by a good 30 pounds, but Stevens was like a Terrier with his favorite chew toy, relentlessly dogging Brookville's star.
His efforts appear on no stats sheet, but they were the difference-maker in this one.
Lukas Bondenstein and Ryan Rodes took scoring honors against the Bees.
Capping off the week, Liberty tended to Heritage in neat fashion, 4-0. The win improved the Minutemen to 4-1 (3-0 in Seminole District and in Conference 30 play).
Rucker Shipp was the man of the match in that one. The fleet forward dished up a pair of assists before netting a goal of his very own.
James Speranza, IV King and Matthew Thompson had the other goals for the M-Men.
The Liberty defense helped make keeper Trevor Fox's evening on the boring side. The natty netminder faced a mere four shots, shuntering aside each of them with aplomb.
"The boys looked very clean and although we struggled to finish early, we really dominated possession and tempo of the game," said Seckman.
A different week
Liberty faced a robust E.C. Glass on the Hilltoppers' soggy turf on Monday. Glass dominated both ends of the pitch in posting a 3-0 win.
Still, Seckman was pleased with what he saw, for the most part. " The boys played tough and battled, but Glass was a bit much for us to handle," he said. "We knew we had to play mistake free and a near perfect match."
Still, that score was much closer than one might expect a team from Liberty be against one of the state's top teams.
The Minutemen will get another chance to shine against yet another of the premier programs in the state when they take on Jefferson Forest this Friday.