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No. 2 seed Liberty Advances to BSC Semifinals with First-Half Goal
The No. 2 seed Liberty women's soccer team is heading to the semifinals of the 2013 Big South Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Lighting, after defeating Presbyterian College, 1-0, in a quarterfinal matchup, Sunday afternoon, at Osborne Stadium.
With tournament play heading to Conway, S.C. for the final two rounds, Liberty (14-5-1, 8-2-1 Big South) now meets No. 6 seed High Point in a semifinal matchup, Friday at 7 p.m. The Panthers defeated No. 3 seed Longwood, Saturday, 3-1. Friday's semifinals will stream live on the Big South Network.
PC (9-9, 6-5 Big South) concludes the year with its first nine-win season since 2003. The team's 24 goals scored are the most since 2007. PC's 21 goals allowed are also the fewest in the six-year span.
Crystal Elmers posted the game-winning goal for the Lady Flames in the 43rd minute, receiving a cross in front of the goal from Brittany Aanderud. Elmers now leads the team with six goals on the season, while Aanderud's third straight assist in as many games gives her 11 for her career. The mark now ties her with Madison Short (2009-11) and Aimee Luurtsema (2008-11) for the third most in program history.
Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord finished with two saves on the day, notching her 13th shutout to extend her single-season program record. Jordan Broadway played the first half in between the pipes for PC, making one save. Sydney Fontenot came in for the final 45 minutes, making five stops.
Liberty outshot PC on the afternoon, 20-3, and held a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks.
Midfielder Madison Kauzlarich nearly put Liberty on the board early in the first period, banking a shot off the cross bar in the fourth minute. Later in the 21st minute, PC midfielder Kelly Kozera sent a shot at the Liberty net, but Van Noord corralled the attempt to keep the contest scoreless.
The PC offense forced Van Noord to react quickly once again in the 42nd minute. Forward Sara Simpson broke away from the Liberty defense and fired a shot at the Liberty goal. Van Noord swatted the ball down and recovered for her second save of the afternoon.
Liberty then responded with its lone goal just before halftime. Dribbling inside the 18-yard box, Aanderud placed the ball directly in front of the goal frame, allowing Elmers to run onto it and chip it into the back of the net, giving Liberty a 1-0 advantage.
While Liberty outshot PC, 9-0, in the second half, Fontenot managed to thwart all five of the Lady Flames' attempts on goal. Midway through the 87th minute, Swentik ricocheted a shot off the crossbar. Fontenot collected the ball 21 seconds later off an Alanna Dunkle shot for her fifth and final save of the contest, ultimately setting up the 1-0 final.