Lady Flames make quiet exit from Big South Tourney
Spectators who watched Liberty University’s Big South Championship Tournament game against Longwood University Saturday night, Oct. 27, may have experienced déjà vu.
Besides the fact that the two sides played against each other four days before, Longwood captain Lindsey Ottavio made a similar challenge at the Liberty goal around the 13th minute in both games. Likewise, the Lady Flames barely missed out on a game-changing goal that hit the crossbar in both games. Both shots occurred in the 42nd minute.
Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, the similarities ended there. After being down early, Liberty salvaged a late goal to force overtime — but lost in the penalty kick shootout. The Lancers won 4-1 after scoring three goals in the shootout. The Lady Flames did not score on any of their attempts.
Ottavio scored the first goal of the night in the 56th minute when she shot from 25 yards out. Five minutes before regulation ended, Liberty junior Casey Norris redirected a ball from Kelly Henion to send the match into overtime.
After officially becoming a member of the Big South Conference July 1, Longwood has been making big strides in its inaugural season. Its women’s soccer team has a record of 8-2-1 in the Big South Conference and a 13-5-2 record overall. The Lancers have been seeded third in this year’s Big South Championship.
When Liberty played Longwood just four days before the quarterfinal match, the Lady Flames seemed to have the edge statistically outshooting the Lancers 12-8. However, Longwood turned the tables on Liberty Saturday night, out-shooting the Lady Flames 18-7. Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker had a busy night between the posts, producing seven saves through the course of the game.
End of the season
Since they have been knocked out of the Big South Championship, Liberty is ineligible to participate in the NCAA Division I Championships. The Lady Flames ended the season with a conference record of 5-4-2 and an overall record of 11-7-3. Though they may have suffered an early exit from the Big South tournament, this season has been far from unsuccessful. According to libertyflames.com, the 2012 Lady Flames have tied the 2001 squad for third most wins in a single season.