Liberty (5-6-2, 4-5-1) went into the contest trailing Deer Valley by a single point for third place in the league, and with the Wolverines falling 2-1 against Antioch, a Lions win would have given them sole possession of third place, while a tie would have left the two teams in a tie for third with 12 points apiece.
However, Ygnacio Valley (4-7-4, 3-4-2) dominated the Lions, who didn't score until 57:00 into the contest, on its way to a 5-1 lead. The Warriors put the game out of reach early, scoring three goals in the game's first 20 minutes and taking a 4-0 lead into halftime.
The Warriors win catapulted them past Liberty, Deer Valley (7-6-2, 4-4-2) and Pittsburg (4-8-2, 3-4-3) and into sole possession of third place in the BVAL standings, while Liberty dropped all the way to sixth. Undefeated De La Salle (13-2-3, 8-0-2) remains fixed atop the league standings, although Antioch (12-4-2, 7-2-2) continues to nip at the Spartans' heels, trailing by just four points in the standings.
"It hurts to go from a chance at third all the way to sixth, no doubt," said Liberty head coach Marquis White. "We've had an up-and-down season after starting strong with a win over Monte Vista. But I believe we can get back into third, go 5-0 over our last five, and get into the playoffs."
If the Lions are going to climb into the postseason, they'll need their two top scorers, Josue Macias and Justin Enderlin, who lead the team with 10 goals apiece, to step up their offensive production down the home stretch. Likewise, the team will need an improved defensive effort.
Macias scored Liberty's lone goal against the Warriors, unassisted. Robert Martin contributed three saves in the loss.
"More people need to step up to defend," explained White. "People need to focus more on their position, and on clearing balls that need to be cleared. I've told the seniors: this is the last two weeks you'll be playing soccer at this level, and that they need to let it all hang out."
Liberty bounced back from its defeat at the hands of Ygnacio Valley with a 2-1 win against rival Freedom on Tuesday.
Kyle Pratt scored an unassisted goal in the game's 19th minute. However, the Falcons came right back to tie the game two minutes later when Gustavo Gonzalez scored an unassisted goal of his own.
The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the 72nd minute of play, when Kyle Cole scored off an assist by Chris Murray, putting the Lions ahead to stay, and propelling the team back up the standings and into fourth place in the league.