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Women's Soccer Hosts PC During Homecoming Weekend
The Liberty women's soccer team looks to extend its unbeaten streak to six straight games on Saturday. The Lady Flames (6-3-1, 2-0-1 Big South) play host to Presbyterian (3-4-2, 0-1-2 Big South) at Noon as part of Liberty's Homecoming Weekend.
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Last Time Out for Liberty
Liberty women's soccer junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud made program history, Wednesday afternoon at Osborne Stadium, breaking the program's all-time assist record in the Lady Flames' 8-0 shutout victory over UNC Asheville.
Aanderud garnered assists in the 39th and 49th minute to pick up her 21st career assist, surpassing Nancy Davis (1998-2001) for the school record.
Liberty's eight goals were the most since Oct. 16, 2007, when the Lady Flames defeated Southern Virginia, 9-0.
Forwards Jaime Bouffard and Alanna Dunkle led Liberty with two goals apiece. Four other Liberty players posted goals on the day – Rebeccah Smith, Jordan Kestel, Madison Kauzlarich and Crystal Elmers. Along with Aanderud's pair of helpers, freshman forward Jennifer Knoebel led Liberty with three assists. Helena Pereira, Elmers and Dunkle were also credited with helpers.
With the win, Liberty moved to 6-3-1 on the year and 2-0-1 in conference play. The Lady Flames are now unbeaten in five straight games. Asheville falls to 6-4-1 and 1-1-1 in the Big South. Liberty is now 15-8-2 all-time against the Bulldogs.
A Look at the Lady Flames
Brittany Aanderud leads Liberty in points (10) on two goals and six assists. The junior's assist total is also tops in the Big South Conference. Senior forward Alanna Dunkle paces the Lady Flames offense with four goals, while forwards Jennifer Knoebel and Crystal Elmers each have three. Knoebel is also second on the team with three assists. Three players have two goals on the year – Jaime Bouffard, Rebeccah Smith and Madison Kauzlarich. Freshmen Jordan Kestel and Sami Santos have one goal apiece to round out Liberty's scoring.
Thanks to her performance at Charleston Southern (two goals, one assist) Aanderud earned Big South Attacking Player of the Week on Monday. The weekly honor is the first ever for Aanderud in her collegiate career and the third for the Lady Flames, this season. Knoebel garnered Big South Attacking Player of the Week honors, the previous week, while senior defender Maddie Boone received Defensive Player of the Week accolades on Aug. 25.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord leads the league in shutouts with five. She is also first in the Big South in save percentage (.851) and second in goals-against average (0.71). Van Noord now has 19 shutouts for her collegiate career. She needs one more clean sheet to tie Karen Blocker's (2008-12) program record of 20.
As a team, Liberty is second in goals (20) in the Big South first in assists (22) and total shots (193). Defensively, the Lady Flames are first in fewest goals allowed (7), goals-against average (0.67) and shutouts (6).
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 was 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 were the preseason favorite for the first time since 2010 and sixth time overall.
Presbyterian at a Glance
Presbyterian enters Saturday's contest with a 3-4-2 overall record and a 0-1-2 in conference play. The Blue Hose are coming off a scoreless tie with Charleston Southern, who Liberty defeated 4-1 on Sept. 24.
Freshman Sarah Yoss leads PC with six goals and one assist this season, while sophomore Kristen Peagler has two goals and one assist. Senior Keri O'Neill, junior Sophie Cobb, and freshman Frances Whitesides have each scored one goal apiece. O'Neill leads also the team in shots (27) and assists (2).
Junior Sydney Fontenot has appeared in all nine matches, recording 44 saves, three shutouts and allowing 12 goals.
Liberty is unbeaten all-time against the Blue Hose with a 7-0-1 record in the series. The two squads matched up twice last year, with Liberty taking both contests.
On Oct. 5, 2013, the Lady Flames defeated Presbyterian 2-1 in double overtime in Clinton, S.C. Brittany Aanderud scored both goals for Liberty. The Lady Flames followed up with a 1-0 victory at Osborne Stadium in the Big South Conference quarterfinals on Nov. 3, 2013. Crystal Elmers posted the game-winning goal for the Lady Flames.