Trip to Sumner was fifth in past seven seasons for LBHS
The Liberty Bell High School girls’ soccer team’s quest for a perfect season and a state championship fell short at the final four tournament in Sumner last weekend, but the Lady Lions still came away with a fourth-place finish in the 1B/2B division.
In the first semifinal game last Friday (Nov. 16), Liberty Bell fell again to its annual nemesis and eventual state champion, St. George’s, losing 4-1. Sophomore Josephine Cole scored the Lady Lions’ goal.
On Saturday (Nov. 17), playing for third place against Adna, the Lady Lions lost 3-0. St. George’s took the title with a 2-0 win over Kalama.
The Lady Lions play predominantly on natural grass fields, and once again had to adapt to the tricky artificial turf in Sumner.
“Sumner was a lot of fun,” Liberty Bell coach Lincoln Post said. “Of course, it’s more fun to win but the competition was strong and the games were challenging. It was a step up from our league play, and then add the challenge of adjusting to turf and nerves.”
Post said that Cole, freshman Mckenna Kurtz and sophomore Megan Voigt “all had outstanding performances in the tournament. Junior Maya Sheely earned the sportsmanship award in our game against St George’s and Mckenna Kurtz was recognized in our game with Adna”
Liberty Bell came into the Sumner finals as the district and league champions, with an unblemished 18-0 record. Five Lady Lions were named to the CW 2B All League first team: senior Sally Thornton-White, senior Spencer Hoffner, junior Tommie Ochoa, junior Ali Palm and Cole. Thornton-White was named the league’s most valuable player. Post was named coach of the year, and the Lady Lions won the league sportsmanship award.
Named to the All League second team were Sheely and freshman Chloe Sprauer. Sophomore Cymone Van Marter was accorded honorable mention.
Trust and support
“We had such a great season together,” Post said. “I loved how quickly the team came together and learned to trust and support each other. Everyone was all in playing as a team at practice and in games. When I reflect on where we started and how much improvement we made both individually and collectively, I am so impressed.”
Post said that Ochoa and Palm, who will be returning next year as seniors, “have been excellent leaders and captains this season. We will miss our seniors Sally Thornton-White, Spencer Hoffner and Larkin Lucy, but have 19 returning players next year who will continue this great team spirit.”
In 2016, at Liberty Bell’s most-recent trip to the finals in Sumner, the Lady Lions lost to St. George’s in the semifinals and finished fourth. Last year, St. George’s eliminated Liberty Bell in quarterfinals play. The Lady Lions missed a trip to Sumner in 2015, but took second in 2014, third in 2013 and fourth in 2012.