Oct 14, 2008

Lady Flames snap losing skid with first win of year

by Giselle Colbert

The Liberty Lady Flames defeated the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 3-1 Saturday evening, earning their first victory of the season. The Lady Flames move to 1-4 in the Big South and 1-10-1 overall.

Amy Oberlin starred in the contest, totaling two goals and an assist in the first victory of the year for head coach Jessica Celi and the Lady Flames.

“The girls played well all season, whether we win or lose as a team we just leave it in the Lord’s hands and give all the praise to him,” Coach Celi said.

During the first 20 minutes of the contest, Liberty managed just two shots, both of which came off the foot of Oberlin, who took advantage of the rebound in the sixth minute and shot again, forcing the bulldogs goalkeeper Veronic Lazar to make a diving save to keep the game scoreless.

In the 25th minute the Lady Flames jumped out to a 1-0 advantage as Oberlin sent a pass into the penalty area for senior forward Ashley Braam, who landed the ball in the back left corner of the net for her first goal of the season.

“I am proud of the way the team handled themselves. The girls showed control and sportsmanship, we continually pray that our control and sportsmanship shows the other team the love of Christ,” Celi said.

The Lady Flames added to the lead minutes later. Oberlin headed in a corner kick by Maggie Woody into the far side of the net for her third goal of the season at 27:12 to give Liberty a lead of 2-0.

In the 39th minute, Flames goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt made her first save of the night, saving a shot coming from the left side from 20 yards out by Bulldog Kristina Montuori.

Liberty barely missed another scoring opportunity as Oberlin once again found space to make another shot in the 45th minute, but the Bulldogs Lazar made another diving stop to send the contest to intermission with the Flames leading 2-0.

“UNC plays with kind of a feisty touch, but I’ve learned that you can’t back down, no matter how much of a lead we have, we always have to play as if it’s zero to zero,” senior defender Brittany Tyson said.

Nyholt turned away consecutive shots in the 55th and 57th minutes to preserve the shutout.

Oberlin brought the Liberty advantage to 3-0 with her second goal of the night in the 67th minute. She picked up a loose ball in the midfield, and with no Bulldog defender in front of her, made a long run into the 12-yard box where she sank the shot for her fourth goal of the season.

“We had a lot of communication in this game, we helped our teammates more in this game,” Silvia Betancourt said.

UNC-Asheville got on the scoreboard in the 76th minute. After a foul, the Bulldogs were given a free kick 25 yards out, and Juliana Duncan kicked the ball in the left side of the penalty area for Mary Kate Tucker, who headed the ball into the top of the Liberty net.

The Flames defense tightened up over the game’s final 12 minutes and did not allow a shot to preserve the 3-1 victory.

The Lady Flames head to Radford on Wednesday for a Big South match against the Highlanders at 7 p.m.


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