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Knoebel Golden Goal Seals Lady Flames' Victory
|Jennifer Knoebel (right) scores her first collegiate goal with a golden goal in overtime to give Liberty a 1-0 win over Charlotte, Thursday afternoon.|
Playing in its second straight overtime game, the Liberty women's soccer team seemed destined for a stalemate against Charlotte, Thursday afternoon, at Osborne Stadium. Freshman forward Jennifer Knoebel had other plans, however, as she drove down the right side of the field with 69 seconds left and tapped a hard shot into the back post from close range. Knoebel's golden goal in the 109th minute was the first marker of her collegiate career, giving Liberty the 1-0 victory.
The win marks the Lady Flames' first victory over the 49ers, after Charlotte defeated Liberty in an eerily similar way in the teams' season opener last year, winning on a golden goal in the 108th minute (Aug. 23, 2013). Liberty now moves to 2-2 on the season, while Charlotte drops to 1-3.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire 108:51, recording five saves en route to her second shutout of the season and 16th of her career. The netminder needs four more shutouts to tie former teammate Karen Blocker (20, 2008-12) for the program record.
Charlotte goalkeeper Annika McHenry also played the full contest, finishing with seven saves.
Liberty outshot Charlotte, 26-13, including 8-5 in shots on goal. The Lady Flames also held a 10-5 advantage on corner kicks.
Liberty's best look at goal during the first half came in the 30th minute. Junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud blasted a shot from well outside the 18-yard box. While the shot appeared on target with the back of the Charlotte net, McHenry was there to tap it over the goal frame, keeping the contest scoreless. Aanderud tried again less than two minutes later, but McHenry thwarted the attempt, making it 0-0 at halftime.
In the second period, Liberty increased its attacking efforts, posting nine shot in the period. Alanna Dunkle had two shots on goal during the 52nd and 64th minutes, respectively. McHenry stopped the pair of attempts to maintain the stalemate. Aandeud took one final shot in regulation with 15 ticks left, but the attempt sailed high, leading to extra periods.
The close calls ensued in the first overtime period, with Dunkle taking another shot on goal in the 92nd minute, followed by a Rebeccah Smith header that was saved by McHenry two minutes later. Junior forward Jaime Bouffard attempted another header with four seconds left in the period, but the shot went wide of the net.
After four Liberty shots missed the mark in the second overtime, Knoebel turned on the heroics to cement the win for the Lady Flames.
Liberty returns to action on Sunday to host George Washington. Match time is at 4 p.m.