LIBERTY — A little more than 24 hours after its first loss of the season, to St. Teresa’s Academy, the Liberty Blue Jays girls soccer team dominated possession in a 2-0 victory over the Grain Valley Lady Eagles on Tuesday, April 2, at home.
Grain Valley had first possession as the visiting team, but it did not take long for Liberty to gain control and become the aggressor. Racking up 12 shots on goal in the first half, the Blue Jays were constantly on the Eagles’ side of the field.
Though holding long stints of possession, most of the shots in the first half were from a distance of 15 yards or more. It wasn’t until the final minute of the half that Liberty got a clean look close when senior forward Shae Turner sent a pass across the middle to freshman Jericho Frigon. Frigon’s shot sailed wide of the goal, but the momentum was building.
“Soccer is a game that bounces in waves, and we want to make sure we are always moving forward,” coach Tyler Nash said. “Anytime we can end half on a note like that, it is always big for us.”
The momentum carried over into the second half as the Blue Jays took the possession to start the half and scored in the 44th minute. Junior forward Madilyn Hamline sent a shot over Eagles goalkeeper Raegan Beeding’s hands to break the scoreless tie and put Liberty up 1-0.
Hamline was not finished, as she would find the back of the goal again in at the 50-minute mark to move the lead to 2-0. For as dominant as Liberty was in the first half with possession, the Blue Jays improved further in the second.
Firing off 21 shots on goal, including 12 in the first 15 minutes, and maintaining control for nearly 35 of the 40 minutes in the half, the Blue Jays gave the Eagles no opportunity to respond. Grain Valley was held without a shot for the entire second half.
“We have so many weapons on the offensive side that it is good for us to keep the ball on that side and out-possess teams,” Nash said.
The game provided a chance get back on the winning track for Nash and the team ahead of a matchup with crosstown rival Liberty North.
“It was big for our girls,” Nash said. “We were all disappointed with the outcome yesterday (April 1), but I think I challenged them to learn from the adversity and in the long run we are going to be good.”
After six games in eight days, Liberty will get a day off to prepare for the short drive to take on Liberty North on Thursday, April 4.