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Liberty Blanks UNCG, 1-0, for 5th Straight Win
The Liberty women's soccer team improved to 5-1 for the first time in program history, Thursday night, defeating the UNCG Spartans, 1-0, at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
After dropping its season opening contest at Charlotte (Aug. 23), Liberty is now on a five-game win streak for the first time since the 2009 season. That year, the Lady Flames captured the Big South regular-season title.
Alanna Dunkle scored the lone goal of the match, connecting on a first-half marker courtesy of a Brittany Aanderud assist. Dunkle now leads the team with three goals, three assists and nine points on the season.
Along with the team's five-match win streak, goalkeeper and current Big South and ECAC Defensive Player of the Week Holly Van Noord also picked up her fifth shutout of the season, finishing with two saves.
With the win, Liberty picks up its first-ever victory over the Spartans. Prior to the matchup, UNCG led the all-time series, 5-0. The Spartans fall to 4-3 in 2013 with the defeat.
UNCG fired three shots in the opening eight minutes, with the closest attempt occurring during the fifth minute. Midfielder Chesney White sent a shot at the Lady Flames goal, but Van Noord corralled the attempt for her lone save of the half.
The Lady Flames flipped the script on the Spartans during the ensuing 8:45, with Dunkle taking three shots on goal during the span. Dunkle lit up the scoreboard on her third attempt in the 17th minute to give Liberty the early 1-0 lead. With Aanderud positioned outside the 18-yard box, the sophomore midfielder kicked it over to the far right side to Dunkle. The junior booted a shot from just inside the box, sending it through the goalkeeper's legs and into the lower left corner.
Liberty outshot UNCG during the opening period, 7-5, and held a 3-1 advantage on corner kicks. The Lady Flames took six shots on goal in the period, compared to the Spartans' one. UNCG goalkeeper Jaime Simmons collected four saves in the first 45 minutes, while the Spartans also earned a team save, preventing Liberty from adding to its 1-0 lead before halftime.
Liberty took five shots in the second period, compared to two by the Spartans. The Lady Flames outshot UNCG in the contest, 12-7, and held a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. Simmons finished with five saves on the night for the Spartans, while Rachel Collins stepped in for the final 7:43, making one save.
The Lady Flames return to action on Sunday, playing host to Marshall. Liberty hopes to even the all-time series at 1-1-1, while improving its 2013 home record to 3-0.
The Lady Flames and The Herd last met in Rock Hill, S.C., during the 2010 Winthrop Tournament (Aug. 29, 2010). Each team's offense was firing on all cylinders, resulting in a 3-3 tie. Game time on Sunday at Osborne Stadium is slated for 2 p.m.