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Laura ArmstrongAssistant Coach
College: South Carolina ('07)
Start Date: 8/1/2009
Laura Armstrong began her coaching career at Liberty as a graduate assistant on Aug. 1, 2009 and was promoted to assistant coach before the start of the 2011 season. During her time as the program's primary goalkeeper coach, Liberty's netminders have garnered numerous accolades while breaking school and conference records.
"We are blessed to have Laura a part of the Liberty family," commented head coach Jessica Hain. "She is a tremendous goalkeeper with a heart to use soccer as a platform to shine for Christ. She is a determined, positive role model and will provide incredible leadership for our young women here at Liberty."
This past season, Armstrong was instrumental in guiding the Lady Flames to their fourth Big South Championship and first since 2005. Against two-time defending champion Radford in the tournament finals on Nov. 10, 2013, Armstrong's pupil, Liberty redshirt freshman goalkeeper Holly Van Noord, made six saves in the 5-0 shutout victory.
Van Noord and the Lady Flames finished the year with a school and conference record 14 shutouts, along with a program best 16 single-season wins. Defensively, the Lady Flames were 14th in the country in shutout percentage (.609), 16th in save percentage (.851) and 28th in goals against average (0.72). Van Noord went on to earn second team Big South All-Conference, third team NSCAA All-Region and VaSID All-State first and Rookie of the Year honors.
In addition to coaching Van Noord to great heights in the netminder's first active season, Armstrong also worked with 2013 Big South Woman of the Year Karen Blocker, who holds the program's career record for shutouts (20) and goals-against average (1.33). In her four active seasons at Liberty, Blocker was also a two-time all-conference honoree, earning a spot on the first team in 2009, Armstrong's first season with the program.
Armstrong, a 2007 graduate of South Carolina, competed for four years for the Gamecocks and was named to the 2006 SEC All-Tournament Team. In addition, she was a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Armstrong was also the starting goalkeeper for the Charlotte Lady Eagles, a W-League team, in 2007 and 2008. During that time, she posted 20 career wins, moving into third place on the organization's all-time wins list.
The native of Greenwood, S.C., currently resides in Lynchburg.