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Liberty Continues Homestand Versus Davidson
The Liberty women's soccer team continues its current four-game homestand on Thursday, when it hosts Davidson. While the Wildcats own a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series, Liberty won the previous meeting, defeating Davidson, 1-0, during the 2012 season opener. Forward Crystal Elmers posted the lone goal for the first of her collegiate career.
Game time for the sixth installment in the series is slated for 4 p.m.
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Liberty's Last Time Out
Despite the Liberty women's soccer team controlling the pace of the game against George Washington, Sunday afternoon at Osborne Stadium, it was an early goal by Colonials forward MacKenzie Cowley that made the difference, giving the visitors the 1-0 win.
With the defeat, Liberty fell to 2-3 on the year, while George Washington remained undefeated at 4-0. The Colonials also picked up their first-ever win over the Lady Flames.
Liberty outshot George Washington, 17-9, with shots on goal knotted at five apiece. The Lady Flames also held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire 90 minutes in between the pipes, making four saves.
Knoebel Golden Goal Seals Lady Flames' Victory
Playing in its second straight overtime game, the Liberty women's soccer team seemed destined for a stalemate against Charlotte, last Thursday, 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. Junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud was credited with the assist, picking up the 17th helper of her career.
The win marked 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).
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.
Davidson at a Glance
The Wildcats enter Thursday's contest with a 3-3 record. Davidson has bested two Big South teams, this season, defeating Winthrop, 2-0, top open the season, while picking up another 2-0 victory over Coastal Carolina this past Sunday. Vicky Bruce leads the team with two goals, while five other players have one goal apiece. Rachel Locke has played all six games in net for Davidson and owns a 1.33 goals-against average and 38 saves (.826).
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 (17) needs four 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 (16) now needs five 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 five 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.