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Women's Soccer Hosts Charlotte, Thursday
The Liberty women's soccer team returns to Osborne Stadium on Thursday, playing host to Charlotte to begin a four-game homestand. The Lady Flames are looking for their first win against the 49ers after falling 1-0 in overtime during their 2013 season opener in Charlotte, N.C.
The inaugural meeting between the two squads took place at Liberty exactly 20 years ago on Sept. 3, 1994. Charlotte prevailed in its program's first-ever match, defeating Liberty, 5-0. Game time for the third installment in the all-time series is slated for 4 p.m.
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A free live video stream courtesy of the Liberty Flames Sports Network and the Big South Network will be available on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats powered by StatBroadcast will also be available.
Liberty's Last Time Out
Owning a two-goal lead in the second period at Appalachian State, Sunday afternoon, the Liberty women's soccer team appeared on its way to a 2-1 start to the 2014 season. However, the Mountaineers answered with back-to-back goals in the 59th minute by Sam Childress to force overtime. In overtime, Childress followed up with a golden goal in 99th minute to give Appalachian State the 4-3 victory.
With the defeat, Liberty fell to 1-2 on the season, with each of its losses decided by one goal. Appalachian State improved to 2-1 in 2014 and 6-4 in the all-time series with the Lady Flames.
Three different players scored goals for Liberty – senior forward Alanna Dunkle, freshman midfielder Sami Santos and junior forward Crystal Elmers. Rebekah Page, Baylee Gillmore, Helena Pereira and Santos each chipped in assists during the contest.
Along with Childress' hat trick, Erin Settle also netted a goal for the Mountaineers.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire game in between the pipes for the Lady Flames, finishing with seven saves. Megan Roberson played 53:08 in net for Appalachian State, making three stops, while Sam Steyl collected one save during the second period.
Just for Kicks
- Maddie Boone continues to be a lynchpin for the Lady Flames defense, this season. The Nicholasville, Ky., native earned Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors on Aug. 25 for her performance during Liberty's 1-0 shutout win over Old Dominion. Boone was a second team Big South All-Conference defender during the 2013 campaign.
- After posting 10 assists during the 2013 season, junior Brittany Aanderud is chasing Liberty's all-time assist record held by Nancy Davis (20). After posting a helper during Liberty's season-opening victory over ODU, Aanderud (16) needs five more to obtain sole possession of the record. In 2013, Aanderud earned first team all-conference, VaSID All-State and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) second team all-region honors, while also being voted Big South Tournament MVP.
- Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Holly Van Noord is also looking to climb the Liberty record books. After setting a single-season program and conference record with 14 shutouts in 2013, Van Noord added to her career total with a shutout performance versus ODU. The netminder (15) now needs six more shutouts to claim Liberty's all-time record, currently held by Karen Blocker (20). Last year, Van Noord was voted Big South All-Conference second team, VaSID All-State Rookie of the Year and NSCAA All-Region third team. She concluded the year 23rd in the country in save percentage (.850) and 31st in goals-against average (0.72), while leading the conference in both categories.
- Crystal Elmers appears to be picking up where she left of last season. In 2013, Elmers was Liberty's co-leader in goals along with Aanderud, posting six markers on the year. This season, the junior forward leads the Lady Flames offense with two goals in the team's first three contests.
- Head coach Jessica Hain is in her sixth season with the program. Hain is coming off the most memorable season of her coaching tenure at Liberty, guiding the program to its fourth Big South Championship and first since 2005.
- Liberty has been unanimously voted the preseason favorite in the Big South Conference women's soccer preseason poll by the league's head coaches. The Lady Flames collected all 11 first-place votes and 121 total points, and are the preseason favorite for the first time since 2010 and sixth time overall.
Charlotte at Glance
Much like the Lady Flames, Charlotte enters the contest with a 1-2 mark in 2014. The 49ers and Lady Flames share a common opponent through the first three games in UNCG. Charlotte bested the Spartans, 1-0, to open the season before dropping contests to Big South member Coastal Carolina (2-1) and UNCW (4-2). Perri Bonner leads the 49ers with two goals on the year. Goalkeeper Annika McHenry has played in the net all three games, carrying a goals-against average of 1.97 into the contest against the Lady Flames.