Special to West Valley Preps
Liberty Lions girls soccer coach Peter Evans likes his team’s progression since opening day, and the first round of the 5A playoffs was no different.
No. 6 Liberty (13-5-1) got two goals and an assist from senior forward Haley German in a 3-0 win Wednesday against No. 11 Gilbert Williams Field (10-7-1).
The Lions advance to play at No. 3 seed Phoenix Arcadia, 2 p.m. Feb. 4. Arcadia took a 6-1 win over Verrado in their playoff match.
“Our defense played excellently and we shut down their leading scorer No. 14 (sophomore striker Aris Lukins),” Evans said.
Lukins led the team Black Hawks with 18 goals this season.
It was the fifth shutout for the Lions this season, which also lived up to his team playing as one.
One of those blankings came less than two weeks ago, a 1-0 win at Arcadia on Jan. 20.
“We set goals at the beginning of the season and one is to have everyone playing a team effort,” Coach Evans said. “”We’ve been working hard all year and finally we’re playing the way we want to play, and putting it together at the right time.”
German, who had signed with Adams State University in Colorado earlier in the day, said she isn’t accustomed to scoring goals. She also knew the team would come on strong since most have been playing club soccer.
“I’m not a regular scorer and assist more than I score,” German said. “I don’t think we started out (the season) rough because we’ve been playing together.”
Liberty took a 2-0 lead after the first half on goals by sophomore midfielder Alezca Fernandez (with an assist by German) with 15:27 until halftime, and German’s deflection of a corner kick with 9:42 left.
The score could have easily been 6-0 or 8-0, but Williams Field senior goalkeeper Alyssa Kolster dove, blocked, caught and tipped balls on target for the net.
As in the first half Liberty controlled play in the final 40 minutes. With 17:26 remaining German, a right-footed kicker, scored a left-footed blast past Kolster.
German just did what she had to do in the heat of the moment.
“Just shoot the ball and do what you can…even if it’s your left foot,” German said.