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If moving the Liberty girls’ soccer game from their home turf to Rustburg’s caused any shift in home field advantage, it didn’t show up on the scoreboard.
The Minettes put on a dominating performance, in topping the Red Devils 5-0 before a sparse crowd in Rustburg.
The Liberty field was underwater last Friday. Rustburg’s pitch, with a higher crown and, thus, better drainage, became a viable option. There was a great level of motivation to get the game knocked out because of the plethora of postponed games so far.
Maran Catalano opened up the scoring for Liberty, pinging in a shot off a rebound.
Aspen Rautio followed with a tally, drilling home a superb cross-corner feed from Maggie Rawlins.
Rawlins then showed off her trademark speed, as she outran the entire Rustburg defense for a goal of her own.
The final goal of the half came when Meredith Morris took a rebound off the crossbar, out-muscled a Rustburg defender and nailed a shot from near the end line.
Rawlins added an insurance goal off the opening touch of the second half.
The Minettes showed good control of the midfield, something Head Coach Jeff Steele has been emphasizing. “We were happy to control the possession and flow of the game,” Steele stated.
Another thing that Steele seemed happy with is the way the scoring has been spread around among the team.
While Rautio and Rawlins are the up-front threats, they are by no means the only threats. Four different players have scored goals in the last three Liberty games.
Oftentimes, the Minette stopper, Veronica Riner, becomes an offensive threat. With seven players looming offensively, the Minettes bring tremendous force to bear on the scoring end of the field.
“We’re trying to buy pressure from many places,” noted Steele.
Rustburg, by the way, looks to be much improved over years past, though the team has never, in its history, beaten a Liberty squad.