"They said in the papers that they had no respect for us, and it feels good to earn that back," goalkeeper Kassi Espinoza said after the emotional win, as friends and family stormed the field in celebration. "It feels great to shut those girls out. It's not just me, it's the whole entire team - our defense played great."
Espinoza recorded nine saves in the pivotal win, as the Lady Lions' earned their 14th shutout of the season.
Liberty scored the game's only goal in the 28th minute, as Jayme Zahn blasted a pass from Kylee Blatz past Eagles goalie Lauren Vance.
Rather than sit back on their one-goal lead, the Lady Lions continued to aggressively press the attack against Clayton Valley, forcing Vance to makes everal spectacular, diving saves to keep the Eagles in the contest.
"You always want an insurance goal," said Lions head coach Tony Martins after the game. "I wasn't calm by any means, even if it looked at times like we had the match under control. My hat's off to (my team), they played well - they're a special team and I'm just along for the ride."
With just one game remaining on the schedule as of press time on Wednesday, both for the Lady Lions and the Eagles, Liberty controlled its own fate with regard to a BVAL championship. Liberty would be guaranteed a first place BVAL finish with a win, and the subsequent three points in the standings, in its final game. The Lady Lions decided the matter on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Deer Valley (7-9-5, 4-7-2) after The Press went to publication.
"It's always a good situation when you control your own destiny," Martins beamed.
Look for an update on the Lady Lions in next week's Brentwood Press.