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Women's Soccer to Square Off with High Point, Saturday
Undefeated through the first five games of conference play, the Liberty women's soccer team (8-3-1, 4-0-1 Big South) heads to High Point (5-3-3, 2-2-1 Big South) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
While the Lady Flames are third in the conference in scoring, standing in their way is one of the conference's top defenses.
Liberty, who leads the all-time series versus High Point (13-10-2), is looking for its third straight win over the Panthers. The Lady Flames also hope to extend their current unbeaten streak to eight games.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
A free live video stream courtesy of the Big South Network will be available on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats for Saturday's game will be provided by the High Point media relations office and can be found on the schedule results/panel on LibertyFlames.com.
Last Time Out for Liberty
The Liberty women's soccer team gained sole possession of first place in the conference standings, Wednesday afternoon at Osborne Stadium, defeating Radford, 2-1.
Junior forward Crystal Elmers scored a late game-winning goal in the 76th minute thanks to a key assist from freshman forward Baylee Gillmore. Elmers now has four goals on the year, tying her with senior forward Alanna Dunkle for the team lead.
Brittany Aanderud posted her third goal this season in the opening half, extending her team lead in points to 12.
With the win, Liberty moves to 8-3-1 overall and 4-0-1 in Big South play.
Liberty is now 6-2 at home this season, including 3-0 against conference opponents. The Lady Flames are unbeaten in their last seven games, the program's longest streak since going unbeaten in eight consecutive games in 2009. That year, Liberty went on to capture the Big South regular-season title.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire contest in the net for Liberty, making two saves.
A Look at the Lady Flames
Brittany Aanderud leads the team in points (12) on three goals and six assists. The junior's assists total is also second in the Big South. Forwards Alanna Dunkle and Crystal Elmers pace the Lady Flames' offense with four goals apiece. Like Aanderud, Jennifer Knoebel, Rebeccah Smith and Madison Kauzlarich all have three goals. Jaime Bouffard has two goals on the year and is also tied for fourth in the conference with four assists.
On Monday, junior defender Alex Mack was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week for her pair of performances against UNC Asheville and Presbyterian.
The weekly honor is the first of Mack's collegiate career and the program's fourth this season. Liberty has now earned weekly conference honors three straight weeks. Aanderud garnered Attacking Player of the Week accolades on Sept. 29, while Knoebel received the same award the week prior. Mack's teammate on the back line, Maddie Boone, was named Big South Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 25.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord leads the league in shutouts with six. She is also first in the Big South in save percentage (.849) and second in goals-against average (0.67). Van Noord currently has 20 career shutouts, and is tied with Karen Blocker (2008-12) for the program record.
As a team, Liberty leads the Big South in assists (27), save percentage (.862), shutouts (7) and goals-against average (0.64). Liberty is also third in the conference with 24 goals.
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.
High Point at a Glance
The Panthers enter Saturday's contest with a 5-3-3 overall record and a 2-1-1 mark in conference play. High Point is coming off a 3-0 win over Longwood, Wednesday. Jenny Marshall, Paige Rombach and Becca Rolfe posted goals for the Panthers.
Rolfe and Jack Kessler lead the team with three goals, apiece. Goalkeeper Jordan Beets has appeared in all 11 games and leads the league in goals-against average (0.67).
As a team, High Point is second behind Liberty in goals allowed (10), goals-against average (0.84) and shutouts (6).
Liberty will receive a week-long break from on-field action before traveling to Gardner-Webb on Oct. 18 at 4 p.m.