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Elmers' Goal Puts Liberty Over ODU
The Liberty women's soccer team began the 2014 campaign on a positive note, Friday night, defeating Old Dominion at the ODU Soccer Complex, 1-0.
Junior forward Crystal Elmers netted the game-winning goal midway through the second period, courtesy of assists by junior forward Jaime Bouffard and junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud. Aanderud, who posted a school record 10 assists in 2013, picked up where she left off last season with her 16th career helper.
Redshirt sophomore Holly Van Noord, who also set a program and conference record last year with 14 shutouts, recorded a clean sheet to boost her career total to 15. The netminder finished the contest with two saves. ODU goalkeeper Erin Kinz also played in between the posts the entire game, picking up two saves.
Neither team found the mark in the first half, with Liberty and ODU posting five shots, apiece. While the Liberty defense prevented the Lady Monarchs from landing a shot on goal, the Lady Flames best look at a marker came in the 34th minute. Freshman midfielder Kaitlynn Klamut attempted to put the visitors on the board, sending a shot toward the ODU net. Kinz corralled the effort to ultimately keep the contest scoreless at halftime.
Early in the second period, Liberty looked to pick up the offensive intensity thanks to two Aanderud corner kicks and shots from Maddie Boone and Bouffard.
Elmers broke up the stalemate in the 63rd minute, posting a goal in a Liberty season opener for the second time in her career. Aanderud sent a pass to Bouffard, who then flicked it to Elmers. The junior then beat Kinz to the punch, slipping a shot past the goalkeeper into the right side of the net.
In the 69th minute Van Noord thwarted a shot by Jackie Stroud, picking up her second save of the contest. Van Noord and the Liberty defense managed to keep the Lady Monarchs at bay for the remainder of the matchup, securing the 1-0 victory.
"Old Dominion is a quality FBS school with a good soccer program," Liberty head coach Jessica Hain said after the contest. "This was a strong first win against a quality opponent. I'm most proud of our team's willingness to love one another, put the team first and live out their faith in the environment of Division I athletics."
Liberty returns home on Tuesday to host UNCG. The Spartans hold a 5-1 lead in the all-time series, but the Lady Flames won the most recent meeting, earning a 1-0 victory off an Alanna Dunkle goal in Greensboro, N.C., last season. The rematch is slated for a 6 p.m. start at Osborne Stadium. The contest will be streamed live on the Big South Network.