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Women's Soccer Opens 2013 Season at Charlotte, Friday
The Liberty women's soccer team will make its 2013 debut, Friday, squaring off against Conference USA member Charlotte. The road matchup is the second meeting all-time between the Lady Flames and the 49ers and the first in nearly 19 years.
The previous meeting took place at Liberty Soccer Field on Sept. 3, 1994, marking the first-ever game in program history for the 49ers. Charlotte went on to take the contest, 5-0. Game time for the long awaited rematch at Transamerica Field is slated for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats for Friday's game will be provided by the Charlotte media relations office. A live video stream will also be available during the matchup for a nominal fee.
A Look at the Lady Flames
Liberty Head Women's Soccer Coach Jessica Hain enters her sixth season at the program's helm. In her second season with the Lady Flames, Hain was named 2009 Big South Coach of the Year.
Picked seventh in this year's Big South preseason poll, the Lady Flames are coming off an 11-win season, tying for the third most single season wins in program history.
Liberty returns eight of its 11 starters from the 2012 squad, this year, including Big South All-Freshman team members Jaime Bouffard and Brittany Aanderud. Bouffard paced the Lady Flames in total points with 12, posting five goals and two assists. Liberty's other five-goal scorer in 2012, forward Helena Pereira, also makes her return to the field. Aanderud enters the 2013 season as the team's leading distributor, last season, recording five assists.
The Lady Flames maintain a solid defensive unit heading into this season, as they welcome back three starters on the back line– junior Maddie Boone, sophomore Alex Mack and senior captain Casey Norris.
A new face will take over in goal, this year. After a string of shutout performances during the spring campaign, redshirt Holly VanNoord is expected to make her official Liberty debut, Friday. A multi-time all-state selection in high school, the Hudsonville, Mich., native posted a state-record 24 shutouts before joining the Lady Flames, last season.
Charlotte at a Glance
Charlotte concluded its final season in the Atlantic 10 with a 10-8-2 overall record and a 4-4-1 mark in conference play. After four straight wins against VCU, Richmond, George Washington and Fordham, the 49ers went 0-4-1 in their final five games.
Heading into the 2013 season, Charlotte returns key pieces on both ends of the field. Junior midfielder Amanda Jones leads the offensive charge after pacing the 49ers with seven goals, five assists and 19 points in 2012.
Charlotte's pair of goalkeepers also return to the team's lineup. Appearing in 12 games last season, Alex Kubrick made 66 saves (.880), while giving up nine goals (0.76 goals-against average). Redshirt sophomore Annika Henry also saw action between the posts, last season, finishing the year with 47 saves and a 1.44 goals-against average (13 goals allowed).
Liberty makes its Osborne Stadium debut, next Friday, playing host to Old Dominion at 4 p.m. The Lady Flames are looking for back-to-back wins over the Conference USA member, after defeating the Lady Monarchs for the first time in program history, last season, 1-0.
Liberty then returns to action, Sunday, Sept. 1, welcoming the American Eagles to the Hill City. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
2013 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Soccer Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) – Points
1) Radford (8) – 139
2) High Point (3) – 123
3) Winthrop (1) – 113
4) Longwood – 98
5) Coastal Carolina – 97
6) Campbell – 92
7) Liberty – 88
8) Charleston Southern – 57
9) UNC Asheville – 49
10) Gardner-Webb – 39
11) Presbyterian College – 27
12) VMI – 14