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Falcons flying high this fall

Buoyed by its volleyball and soccer teams, Liberty is off to a solid start this season


The Liberty girls soccer team has established itself as a contender in the perilous Northwest Oregon Conference, which features some of the best girls soccer programs in the state.by: PHOTO BY DAN BROOD -  Libertys Janessa Mast, Kristin Szmigulski, Maryana Kuznetsova and Angie Hamlin (from left) celebrate a point during a match last week.

Throughout the preseason, the Falcons played several Class 6A schools and were more than competitive, finishing their non-conference schedule with a 4-2-1 record.

“I’m actually very happy with the way they’ve played,” Liberty coach Jim Maine says. “The kids have shown a lot of character and they work really hard for one another which is a great quality to have for a team.”

Liberty has scored 14 goals this season and held opponents to seven goals, pitching three shutouts. On the offensive end, Liberty has been led by senior striker Tabi Smith and junior striker Bianca Andreade.

“I kind of figured they would (lead us) so that’s not a big shock or surprise,” Maine says.

Main likes how balanced Liberty’s team is on both the offensive and defensive end.

“We are pretty well balanced when it comes to players that we lean on for both the offense and the defense,” Maine says. “We have got a pretty good senior crew that is spread throughout the field so we’re not heavy on one side rather than the other. We can balance everybody out, which allows us to play pretty well.”

Liberty began the season with a 5-1 loss to Centennial. The Falcons then lost to Hillsboro 3-2 before going on a four-match unbeaten streak. Liberty defeated West Albany 3-0, Century 1-0, drew with Wilson 2-2 and then defeated Crescent Valley 1-0.

Liberty then lost against Tualatin 2-0. But, Maine was very pleased with his side’s performance against a team that won the Class 6A state championship last season.

“We put a brilliant game together against Tualatin,” Maine says. “ The girls, from top to bottom, senior to freshman, all played spectacular soccer. We came out of that game feeling pretty darn good about our team as a whole.”

As Liberty prepares to enter league play, Maine realizes that nothing will come easily for the Falcons. However, he is confident that they will be able to compete.

“We’re in a conference where we have to play Wilsonville and Sherwood, which last season played in the 5A state championship game,” Maine says. “In that aspect we have a pretty tough conference. If you look at the other teams in our conference, (based on their) preseason, quite a few of them are among the top teams in the state.

“I can see our conference doing a lot of good things in the playoffs, whether it’s us or other teams. But, I figure we have a pretty fair shot.”

Boys Soccer

The Liberty boys soccer team has been solid this season. The Falcons (3-2-1) have a strong defense, which has allowed nine goals thus far. The offense has also scored nine goals this season.

Liberty began the season with a 3-1 win over Centennial and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Hillsboro. The Falcons then suffered their first loss of the season, falling 3-1 to West Albany.

They bounced back with a 2-1 win over Wilson, before being defeated for the second time against Crescent Valley 4-2. In its final preseason match, Liberty drew with Newberg 0-0.

Football

The Liberty football team has struggled this season. The Falcons are 1-4 overall and 1-2 in league play which has them sitting in fifth place.

Liberty began the season with back-to-back losses against Glencoe (40-13) and Churchill (57-34). The Falcons won their only game of the season at home against St. Helens (20-14). Liberty followed up the win with a 55-10 loss to Milwaukie and a 61-20 loss to Sherwood.

Volleyball

The Liberty volleyball team has been impressive so far this season. The Falcon are 9-2 overall and 5-1 in league, which puts them in second place behind Sherwood.

Liberty opened the season with a 2-0 loss against St. Mary’s Academy. The Falcons then began cruising.

They defeated Lakeridge 2-1, Milwaukie 3-0, Wilsonville 3-0, Putnam 3-2, Sandy 3-0, Rogue River 2-0, Crater 2-0 and Phoenix 3-0. Liberty then fell to Sherwood 3-0. The Falcons bounced back, though, defeating St. Helens 3-2.

Boys Cross Country

In the Night Meet, Diego Argueta came in 29th place with a time of 12:23. In the Bill Chapman Invitational, Michael Francy came in 10th place with a time of 18:13.5 and Dominick Marshall came in 29th place with a time of 19:22.8.

At the Ultimook 5K Invitational, the boys team finished in eighth place with 232 points. Spencer Brown finished 37th place with a time of 22:41 and Phillip Opager finished in 38th place with a time of 22:45.

In the NWOC District Preview, Francy finished in eighth place with a time of 17:41 and Marshall finished in 14th place with a time of 18:00.5. In the Northwest Classic Meet, Francy finished 74th place with a time of 17:38. At the Nike Pre Invitational, Francy finished 48th place with a time of 17:47.2 and Marshall finished 55th place with a time of 17:52.5.

Girls Cross Country

In the Night Meet, Madison Connolly came in 35th place for the girls team. In the Bill Chapman Invitational, Rachel Khaw came in fourth place with a time of 21:40.3. Alexanna Fisher came in 36th place with a time of 25:31.8 and Raquel Escalera came in 37th place with a time of 25:39.

In the NWOC District Preview, Khaw finished in third place with a time of 20:54 and Isabelle Cisco finished in sixth place with a time of 21:07.3.

In the Northwest Classic Meet, Khaw finished in 20th place with a time of 19:50.