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Boys Soccer: Libby takes home opener

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| September 8, 2009 12:00 AM

With the clock winding down and two tired teams reaching deep for a little magic, Livingston came up big to pull off a 2-1 victory over Libby on Saturday at Roosevelt Park in Troy.

The Rangers’ Nick Amsk sent the game-winner into the net in the final minute.

“We made some really basic mistakes in the last 10 minutes,” Libby coach Charlie Webster said. “We missed on a lot of opportunities in the first half and in the second half, it got a little sloppy … well, it got a lot sloppy.”

A day earlier, Libby had knocked off Belgrade, 3-1, in the team’s home debut.

Livingston had defeated the Loggers, 4-1, during the regular season last year but the Loggers won when the two teams met in the first round of the state playoffs. Livingston teams had also struggled against Libby’s club teams over the past few years.

“They had a lot of incentive to want to beat us,” Webster said.

Libby scored in the 28th minute on a shot by sophomore Edson Vences with an assist to junior Crawford Dinning. Libby had other chances but Livingston keeper Kyle Lavender came up big. Early on, Libby’s Dinning had a breakaway chance but Lavender got to the ball just in time as the two players collided. The ball popped out but a Livingston teammate was there to take control. Late in the first half, Dinning missed on another breakaway opportunity and the score remained 1-0.

Livingston then took advantage of a Logger miscue and scored on a penalty kick. Christian Wallace sent the ball into the net past a diving Lewis Brossman to knot the score.

With about 14 minutes remaining, the action got intense. First, Libby’s Nick Reny came close to scoring but was stopped by Lavender. A few minutes later, Livingston just missed when a shot attempt hit the crossbar. And moments after, a shot attempt by Asa Dickerson was stopped by Brossman when he made a diving save to his right.

Following the Rangers’ go-ahead goal, Libby had only seconds to try to get the equalizer. Dinning and Reny were situated in front of the net but a final desperation shot went wide left.

“They outplayed us in the second half,” Webster said. ‘It should’ve been a tie game.”

The Loggers outplayed Belgrade on Friday with a two-goal victory. Dinning scored off an assist from Vences in the 17th minute for the early lead. Just three minutes later, Belgrade tied the game on a Merrick Haglund goal. But late in the first half, Reny took advantage of a penalty shot opportunity to give Libby a 2-1 lead at the break.

In the second half, Reny scored in the 78th minute off a Cree Maloney pass to put the game out of reach.

“We missed some easy shots but other than that, I was happy with the performance overall,” Webster said. “They played us better this year than they did last year.”

The Loggers had a lot of whistles going against them with 16 fouls. Libby had an 11-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Libby (2-1) heads to Columbia Falls on Saturday.