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Liberty earns respect with win

Despite its history of winning 111 consecutive North Sequoia League matches and moving steadily from Div. V to Div. II, the Liberty Hawks girls soccer team was hit with a No. 14 seed in the Central Section playoffs.

Head coach Erick Walker and his team used that to their advantage with a 2-1 upset victory over No. 3 Mission Oak-Tulare on Wednesday.

It was great to get the win,” Walker said. “I thought we were disrespected by the Central Section. I thought the losses in league hurt us. To get the win against the No. 3 seed was great for us.”

Sara Garibay scored the first goal in the first half, but Mission Oak tied it in the second half.

With about five minutes left in the match, Hess got alone on the left side and fired a shot inside the far post for the eventual game-winning goal.

“We talked to the girls about playing with a chip on their shoulder and they definitely did that last night,” Walker said. “Our confidence level is really good. To be able to step into that match with a few girls out, including two starters, to get the win is good.”

The Hawks faced No. 6 seeded Sanger on Friday for a chance to head to the semifinals.

“We played Sanger earlier in the year,” Walker said. “I don’t think we showed up well for that. We were never in the game. I’m looking for a different result Friday.”


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