Sep 23, 2008

Lady Flames soccer returns empty handed from Sunshine State

by Giselle Colbert

The Lady Flames were unable to hang onto a first half lead in a 2-1 loss to Florida Southern on Friday. On Sunday, the Lady Flames and the Stetson Hatters battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes, serving as the first tie for the Lady Flames since the 2006 season.
The Lady Flames came out firing in the first half, nearly scoring in the game’s ninth minute, but junior midfielder Maggie Woody’s shot attempt from the left corner ricocheted off the crossbar.

Lady Flame goalkeeper Karen Blocker made a save in the 17th minute, and from that point on Liberty intensified the pressure but was unable to put one in the net.

“We accomplished a lot of our goals for the game: we had tons of shots, corners and scoring opportunities. We fought to keep both our attacking and defending shape” Mallory Neff said.

Midfielder Amy Oberlin scored her first goal of the season giving Liberty a 1-0 advantage at the start of the game. Midfielder Emily House sent a crossing pass from the left corner of the field to forward Maria Owen. Owen passed the ball to Oberlin, who fired the ball into the back of the net.

Florida Southern tied the game in the second half, as Erin Hopkins passed the ball to Princess Haley, who scored her second goal of the season tying the game at 1-1.

“We kept fighting until the end. They were a really physical team and are well coached. I felt like we never gave up,” Wisehart said.
After a foul in the penalty area, Liberty received a penalty kick. Neff attempted the shot which went wide, keeping the game tied. The Lady Flames continued to put up a fight over the next 20 minutes of play. Senior Ashely Braam compiled four consecutive shot attempts, with Oberlin following with two more attempts from within the 18-yard box.

“I missed a penalty kick, which no matter how well you play that always brings you down, but I felt that overall I played well and worked hard for my team. The girls were so encouraging it made it easy to keep going and give it everything I had in the Florida heat,” Neff said.

Minutes later, Florida Southern scored the winning goal. Alex Hoover took a crossing pass in the box and found the inside of the far post, scoring her second goal of the season and giving the Mocs a 2-1 lead.

“I feel we performed well as a team. We are getting better and sometimes in soccer you can outplay your opponent and still come out on the losing end of the game. The wins will come and I think we need to keep our heads up and keep working,” Wisehart said.

On Sunday afternoon, the Lady Flames played the Stetson Hatters, and after two overtimes, the teams walked away with a 0-0 tie.
The Liberty defense blocked each shot in front of the Lady Flame net, sending away all of Stetson’s shot attempts. Stetson’s defense was also up to the challenge, denying every Lady Flames shot attempt in the first half.

“It seems a lot of the times we play to the level of our opponents instead of making them play our style of the game,” Neff said. ?
Senior forward Amy Oberlin fired a shot on goal in the 23rd minute, only to have it blocked by Stetson goalkeeper Andrea Garavaglia. The Lady Flames forced five consecutive attempts over the next 16 minutes, forcing Garavaglia to make numerous saves.

In the 32nd minute, junior Maggie Woody came close to scoring for the Lady Flames, but Garavaglia made yet another save to keep the game knotted at zero. ?

In the opening half, Liberty outshot the Hatters by a 9-6 margin. Garavaglia notched three of her 10 saves in the half, while no shots found their ways to Blocker.

The second half showed more of the same for both teams, as no shots found the back of the net, forcing the first of two overtime periods. In each of the overtime periods, both the Hatters and the Lady Flames fired numerous shots on goal only to have them turned away. In a goalkeeper’s duel, Blocker and Garavaglia each recorded save after save to keep the game scoreless and after 110 minutes of soccer, both teams walked away with a tie.

“Overall I felt like we played really well. We connected well together and had many opportunities to score. We just couldn’t put it in the back of the net,” Rachel Wisehart said.

Liberty begins Big South Conference play in its next contest on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Flames travel to Lexington, Va., to play against the VMI Keydets.

 


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