Despite playing mere steps from longtime league rival Liberty, Rampart wore its home colors Friday at District 20 Stadium in a key Colorado Springs Metro League battle.
It wasn't nearly enough, though.
Liberty erupted for three goals in the second half to break open a scoreless draw, including two by sophomore Taryn LeBree in a 3-0 triumph that kept the Lancers in a first-place tie with Pine Creek.
"Everything was at stake," Liberty coach Andy Liddle said. "Everything counts in the end when you're in such a small league, and it's still not decided. We need to keep our eyes in the prize."
Neither team could find the net in the first half. The Lancers (10-3-1, 3-0-1) initially had the game's first goal with 22 seconds left in the first half, but Liberty's Wesley Flood was ruled offside before banging in a rebound off sprawling Rampart (6-7, 1-2) goalkeeper Corri Zaiger.
"At the end of the first, we were slow and not really connecting," Flood said. "We settled down, composed ourselves and got connected."
Nearly halfway through the second period, and after a huge save against Liberty scoring leader Morgan Metcalf, Zaiger was called for a penalty for using hands within the 16-yard box after a teammate kicked the ball back to her. Liberty's free kick from 15 yards out went wide of the net.
"I told the girls when you put a ball on frame you give yourself a chance to actually score," Liddle said.
Sophomore DeeDee Boains however made up for the wide attempt in the 62nd minute from 35 yards out, sailing one past Zaiger for a 1-0 Lancers lead. Six minutes later, Katie Kolar found LeBree for Liberty's second goal and LeBree's first of the day, buried into the right corner.
"When we got the first goal, we were a bit relieved to get that result from our hard work," Flood said. "It sort of calmed us down and kept us going from there."
Just past the 70th minute, LeBree crashed for her second goal into the right corner to put the Lancers up 3-0. This was the second game this season LeBree put up two goals in a game.
"I'm real pleased with the girls and what they are doing," Liddle said. "This year is showing last year (12-4-2 and 5A state quarterfinalists) was no fluke. These girls are focused and know what they are playing for."
Flood said the longer the Lancers remain undefeated in the conference, the more it gives them energy and keeps them excited.
Last season, Liberty finished the season as co-champions of the conference with Pine Creek. Flood said the Lancers look to reclaim that title this season.