The Liberty Bell Mountain Lions used an attacking offense as their best defense to shutout the Pateros Nannies 4-0 at Mountain Lion Stadium on Tuesday, (Sept. 28.) Pateros was only able to get the ball across the midfield line five times in the entire 80-minute match and managed just one shot on goal in the second half, as the Mountain Lions controlled the tempo, ball and clock.
Elke Wathen again scored two goals, Sophia Newton added one and Makenna Kurtz opened the scoring with a “look what I found” rebound off a breakaway shot by Lillian Overbeck that hit the left upright and landed right in front of Kurtz for the easy poke into the net.
The game plan, according to senior forward Wyatt Albright, was to “control the ball and keep the pressure on.” For the most part, the Pateros goalkeeper Naili Hernandez, was up to the task, stopping multiple incursions with hustle and solid hands. “I don’t remember if she was hurt and didn’t play in the first game, but she was really good today,” said Albright. The Liberty Bell senior captain fell victim to those sticky hands on a rocket from the left side in the first half. Albright fired a bullet toward the opposite upper corner of the goal, only to have Hernandez nab the ball, outstretched, and hang on for the save. Laying credit where due, Albright offered only praise, “That was a great save by her.”
Liberty Bell’s final goal came on a shot by Wathen from the right wing. As she drove toward the goal, she let fly with a shot from about 15 yards out that looked to be headed toward the goalkeeper, only to be deflected off a Pateros defender’s leg and into the near corner of the net.
Cascade defeats Liberty Bell in overtime shootout
On Saturday (Oct. 2), Liberty Bell soccer hit the road to Leavenworth for a defensively competitive interleague match with the Cascade Kodiaks of the 1A Caribou Trail League. It took 80 minutes of regulation play that ended with a nil-nil tie, and then an overtime shootout to determine the winner, the Kodiaks nipping the Mountain Lions 6-5. Both teams agreed to forego the normal overtime period and advance directly to the shootout, normally reserved to settle the result after an overtime period that also ends up knotted up.
Defensive play was key to Mountain Lion success, shutting down the Kodiak attack time and time again. Coach Katie Overbeck singled out the defensive unit of Chloe Sprauer, Jess Dinham, Stella Gitchos and Mariah Lucy.
“They played their best game this week. Their team work on defense was top notch.” Overbeck reported taking some time in practice this past week to work on combining zone defending with man-marking. “That paid off well for us.”
In transition and offensively, Sophia Newton was solid in the midfield position. “She had an outstanding game,” said the coach. “She was instrumental in her midfield position collecting the ball and holding it under pressure until she had somewhere or someone to pass to.” Even without scoring a goal during regulation time, Overbeck was pleased with the effort on offense. “Our wings, Wyatt Albright and Elke Wathen played their toughest game of the season, sprinting for over 7 miles, constantly transitioning from offense to defense.”
Liberty Bell, with four wins and two losses on the season, has a busy week ahead. They have a home match with Okanogan Tuesday (Oct. 5), then travel to Bridgeport on Thursday (Oct. 7) at 4:30 p.m. and on to Brewster Saturday (Oct. 9) for an 11 a.m. kickoff. Scheduled home matches next week on Tuesday and Wednesday have been canceled. The Mountain Lions have one remaining home match on Oct. 19, Senior Night against the Lake Roosevelt Raiders, with kickoff at 4:30 p.m.
Cross Country places in top 12 at Nike Twilight
Despite missing key runners on both the boys and girls side, the Mountain Lion harriers racked up a pair of overall fourth place team finishes, taking the boys and girls top B class team honors and placing runners in the top dozen at the Nike Twilight in Marysville. Freshman Dexter Delaney, currently the top 5k runner in the state, and senior Kierra Reichert, both sat out the Twilight this past Saturday, leading speculators to think of what might have been, but the depth and strength of both teams showed strong at the midway point of the season. Reichert had scheduling conflicts and Delaney was nursing a sore leg.
Sophomore Will Halpin led the boys, placing ninth overall with a time of 16:48 and was the third B-class runner to cross the line. Classmate Leki Albright led the Mountain Lion girls, placing 12th overall and was the second B class runner across the line in the girls’ varsity race. The small school division included schools from the 1/2B, 1A and 2A classes of Washington runners.
On the girls’ side, senior Jori Grialou (15th; 19:59) was a scant 4 seconds behind Albright and sophomore Dashe McCabe (21st; 20:24) completed the LBH top three pack. Senior Payten Kaufman was 65th overall at 22:35 and Ayeanna Ruprecht (77th; 23:05) completed LBH’s scoring team. Sandra Hernandez crossed the line in 97th place at 23:46 in the 147-runner field.
Chasing Halpin for the boys were the Sheley twins, Graham (23rd; 17:13) and Carter (32nd; 17:28). Aksel Thomson (38th; 17:36), Isaiah Stoothoff (58th; 18:05) and LB’s second twin set, Jackson (86th; 18:42) and Tristan Schmekel (116th; 19:20). 199 runners crossed the finish line in the boys’ small school race.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Albright of her first run at the Twilight. “I was able to PR (personal record) and felt good.” The boys’ top runner so far this year, freshman Dexter Delaney, developed some leg soreness two weeks ago at the Okanogan Invite. “Hopefully I’ll be able to run at state,” he said, while shaking his head in a show of quiet disappointment. Delaney’s time of 16:20 at the Wenatchee Invite stands as the fastest time at the 5k distance in the Washington B classification so far this season.
Volleyball swept by Bulldogs
Liberty Bell was swept 3-0 by Okanogan in a North Central Washington 2B League volleyball match on Thursday, (Sept. 28) at Okanogan. Set scores were 25-17, 25-14 and 25-22 in the best-of-five high school match. Senior Shae Taylor led the way for the Mountain Lions, serving five of six and racking up eight successful kill shots. Fellow Senior Caitlyn Cooley dropped four kills and went 13 for 14 from the service line with one ace. Jadyn Mitchell contributed 11 assists, was a clean 15 for 15 from service and hit on two aces. MJ Mihalic also had a solid serving night, going 11 for 11.
Liberty Bell, short on players early this week, canceled their Monday match at Omak and played a varsity-only home match versus Oroville on Tuesday. Results will be available next week. Action later this week includes a home match on Thursday (Oct. 7) versus the Brewster Bears, with JV at 5 p.m. and varsity scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Next Tuesday (Oct. 12) Liberty Bell travels to Manson for a rematch with the Trojans. Their next home action will be on Saturday, (Oct. 16) noon.
Liberty Bell’s scheduled B8 Man tilt with the Pateros Billygoats last Saturday was canceled on Friday afternoon due Pateros citing a lack of eligible players. The game, as of Tuesday’s press time, has not been rescheduled. The Mountain Lions travel to Soap Lake on Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff with the Eagles.