Saturday, April 19, 2014

All-around contribution leads to win

Liberty rebounds from a Radford loss to defeat High Point 2-0, earning their fourth Big South victory

slice and dice  — Sophomore midfielder Brittany Aanderud dribbles the ball between two High Point defenders Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

Slice and dice — Sophomore midfielder Brittany Aanderud dribbles the ball between two High Point defenders Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

The Lady Flames women’s soccer team came out of bad weather with a 2-0 win Saturday, Oct. 12, thanks to two goals scored by Rebecca Smith and Crystal
Elmers.

Liberty (9-4-1, 4-1-1 Big South) took on the High Point Lady Panthers (5-8, 3-3 Big South), a Big South opponent, in the game, marking the halfway point in Liberty’s 2013 conference schedule. The game was plagued by rain, particularly in the late minutes of the game when even seeing across the field was a challenge. Nevertheless, Liberty found a way to score goals and play tough defense.

With 1:45 left to play in the first half, Smith received the ball approximately 30 yards out from the goal and struck a laser at High Point goalie Jesse May. The ball hit perfectly off the crossbar and bounced into the goal for a 1-0 Liberty lead.

The second goal came at 70:18, when Elmers took the ball on the right side of the field. With no defenders in front of her, Elmers lined a shot from 25 yards out that hit off the left cross bar and ricocheted into the net. The goal was assisted by Erika Troutman and Geena Swentik. Both Elmers’ goal and Smith’s goal came from good teamwork.

“I thought both goals were opportunistic,” Head Coach Jessica Hain said. “I think that our girls were looking to shoot, and one of them was actually against the wind (in the first half) … it was just a great looking goal,” Hain said.

in the elements — Forward Julia Delagatti advances the ball upfield. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

In the elements — Forward Julia Delagatti advances the ball upfield. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

Liberty controlled the second half, quickly clearing balls and not allowing any breathing room for High Point on corner kicks. Additionally, Liberty made the most of offensive opptunities. High Point did not give Liberty many clean looks, yet the Lady Flames still found a way to put the ball in the net.

Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord also had a game to remember. According to liberty.edu/flames, Van Noord recorded a conference-leading ninth shutout of the season. Van Noord also matched a Liberty record, tying Karen Blocker (2012) and Natalie Mayer (2001) for the single-season shutout record.

Despite all the positives for the Lady Flames, sophomore defender Alex Mack left the game with an injury 10 minutes into the second half. Hain was uncertain about the status of Mack’s injury but is certain that her absence will be felt.

Liberty will continue conference play with a home game against Virginia Military Institute Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. Liberty’s five remaining games in the regular season are all conference games.

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