Preps

Tuesday, Feb 12 2013 10:49 PM

Carrasco's goal in OT gives Liberty girls victory

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Patriot Mackayla Duerksen, right, fights off Sierra Leach of Clovis West, and her own hair, as both players race for the ball.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    MacKenzie Duerksen, left of Liberty, and Clovis West's Danielle Rowland hook arms as they fight for the ball.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Liberty's Mackayla Duerksen, right, controls a pass while Clovis West's Makenna Covington can only watch.

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BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian

With one well-timed strike of the ball with her right foot, Laney Carrasco gave the Liberty girls soccer team a much-needed boost of confidence.

But that wasn't even the most important thing that her kick did for the Patriots.

After Liberty gave up a lead by allowing a second-half goal, Carrasco scored in the 86th minute to lift the No. 6 Patriots to a 2-1 Central Section Division I first-round playoff victory over No. 11 Clovis West on Tuesday night.

"I'm really happy that I scored (that) goal because this is a really big win for us," Carrasco said. "I needed this. We all needed this confidence just to go through."

Liberty, which began the year 6-0-1, but closed out the regular season on a three-game losing streak, will next go on the road to face No. 3 Clovis-Buchanan on Thursday afternoon.

"It's nice to get a win," Liberty coach Boog Hearron said. "We've lost three in a row so it was nice to get back in the win column. We told the girls it's the playoffs. Everything starts over. Ugly game. It wasn't our best soccer but at playoff time you'll take a 2-1 win or a 4-2 win. It doesn't really matter."

Liberty led 1-0 after a first half in which the Golden Eagles didn't have a shot on goal.

The Patriots' score came in the 34th minute, when Lexie Kinney hammered the ball into the middle of a wide-open net.

The goal came after Clovis West goal keeper Kaylene Norvell crumpled to ground following a hard collision with Liberty's Mackayla Duerksen as the two raced to a loose ball.

After being thoroughly outplayed in the first half, Clovis West came out after the intermission a much more aggressive team.

That added intensity netted the Golden Eagles results very quickly.

Just seven minutes into the second half, Gabrielle Givertz blasted a shot from 22-yards out past Liberty freshman goal keeper Bailey Cockrill and into the back, top, right corner of the net.

Despite giving up the tying goal, Liberty hung tough in the rest of the second half and wasted little time getting the lead back once overtime began.

Allison Holmes placed a well-executed cross in front of the net that Elizebeth McMurray tried to bang in. The ball was deflected out to Carrasco, who punched it in for her first goal of the season.

"We were just focusing on, 'let's play our game, keep going and going, and score a goal.' That was our mindset," Carrasco said. "... I was glad I was there; glad I followed through."

Liberty finished with nine shots on goal compared to four for Clovis West.

Cockrill had three saves.

"I'm proud of them," Clovis West coach CJ Cooper said of his team. "They played pretty well. We didn't get the finishing touches that we needed. That was our biggest downfall."

No. 6 Liberty 2, No. 11 Clovis West 1, OT

CW(4-13-2) Goal: Givertz; Saves: Norvell 7; SOG: 4; CK: 0;

LHS(14-5-2): Goals: Kinney, Carrasco; Assists: Duerksen, McMurray; Saves: Cockrill 3; CK: 2.

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