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Lady Flames Headed to BSC Finals with 4-1 Win
The No. 2 seed Liberty women's soccer team is headed to the Big South Championship finals for the first time in seven years, defeating No. 6 seed High Point, Friday night, at CCU Soccer Field, 4-1.
The Lady Flames will square off with top-seeded Radford, who advanced on penalty kicks (5-4) against No. 4 Winthrop, earlier in the afternoon. The championship match will stream live on ESPN3, Sunday, at 2 p.m.
Liberty received goals from four different Lady Flames – Casey Norris, Geena Swentik, Dawn Elmers and Alanna Dunkle. High Point's Kelsey Perrell scored the lone goal for the Panthers.
Brittany Aanderud posted two assists in the contest, giving her eight on the year. The sophomore is now tied with Madison Short (2010) for second highest single-season total in program history. Aanderud also has sole possession of the No. 3 spot on Liberty's all-time assist listing with 13 helpers.
With the win, Liberty improves to 15-5-1 on the year, tying the 2000 squad for the most wins by a Liberty women's soccer team in single season.
Liberty outshot the Panthers, 25-18. Corner kicks were even at 6-6. Holly Van Noord played the entire contest in goal for the Lady Flames, finishing with nine saves. High Point's Jesse May also played the full 90 minutes in the net, posting nine saves.
Playing in her 82nd career contest, Norris put the Lady Flames on the board in the fourth minute. Aanderud blasted a free kick from the left side, allowing Norris to time the lob perfectly, sending a header into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
Aanderud was not done sharing the wealth in the opening 10 minutes, setting Swentik up with a goal of her just before the seventh minute. After receiving a long pass from Aanderud, Swentik capitalized on a breakaway, sneaking a shot past May into the middle of the net. Swentik's second goal on the season ultimately gave Liberty a 2-0 edge at halftime.
In the second period, Elmers gave the Lady Flames a 3-0 lead during the 64th minute. The senior maneuvered past a Panther defender inside the 18-yard box, and fired a left-footed shot past the near post for her first collegiate goal.
High Point answered quickly with Perrell ending the potential shutout just over two minutes later. The Panthers' leading scorer blasted a high shot from the left corner, placing it just inside the far post to make it 3-1 game.
Dunkle capped the Lady Flames' scoring in the 77th minute. After Aanderud played a ball into the box, May came off her line and attempted cover the ball up to no avail. Dunkle corralled the ball and blasted an uncontested shot into the goal for the eventual 4-1 final. The junior's marker was her fifth on the season, tying her with Aanderud for second on the team.