LIBERTY — Down 3-2 heading into the second half of play, the North Penn-Liberty Mounties (1-0) soccer team outscored the Sayre Redskins (1-3) 4-1 in the second half to give them their first win of the season of 6-4 on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
“It’s our first game and it’s their (Sayre) first,” Coach Matt Grinnell said on the Mounties slow start. “They played hard, we got some kids out there who are just starting out and they’re putting it out there and everybody’s giving me full effort.”
With some admitted first-game jitters, the Liberty team got off to a quick start scoring the first two goals of the game with Zackary Wilcox and Derek Litzelman both striking first to give the Mounties a two-point lead.
But in the final 20 minutes of the first half Sayre took control, scoring three goals in that span and jumping out to a 3-2 lead at the end of the first half.
Momentum continued to swing in favor of the Redskins, who just seconds into the first half dumped on another goal that brought their lead to 4-2 and Liberty needed to rally in order to have a shot of claiming their first victory.
You could feel the urgency from the Liberty players starting to show on the field, with the attack getting more and more aggressive as time dwindled.
As the half went on, Liberty started getting to work chipping away at the lead. At just over the 36-minute mark Caiden Alexander struck first for Liberty in the half, finishing off an aggressive sequence for the Mounties to close the gap to just one goal.
After a series of good shots on goal for Liberty, at just over the 19-minute mark they struck again. Wilcox was able to receive a slick pass that allowed him an open look and finally Liberty was able to knot the game at four apiece.
After getting things even, the Liberty team went on a tear and dominated the final 20 minutes of the game, with Taylor Nelson scoring easily off a direct kick and Carter Grinnell getting in on the scoring action with a nifty header that put the game out of reach for Sayre and gave the Mounties their first win of the season.
It should be noted that despite giving up three goals, Stetson Mcgovern played solid in the goal, especially in the second half and recorded seven keeper saves on the night.
Another player’s effort who shouldn’t go unnoticed was the play of Jackson Brion. A player who might not impact much on the scorecard, coach Grinnell has pointed to being one of the most important cogs in the machine.
“He doesn’t show up on the stats but he’s right there to help put the ball where it needs to go,” Grinnell said.
He also raved about freshman Wilcox, who in the game had two goals but Grinnel believes in the future, he will be a very special player for the Liberty team.
“He’s really special,” Grinnell said. “He’s going to be something special this year if we can keep him healthy,” Grinnell said.
With the win the Mounties move to 1-0, their next contest will be a matchup on the road against Northeast Bradford (0-2) on Thursday, Sept. 24.