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Elon Moves Past Liberty, Friday Afternoon
The Liberty women's soccer team stepped onto Elon's Rudd Field, Friday afternoon, looking to get back into the win column. Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, the Elon Phoenix had other plans, defeating the visitors, 2-0.
Forwards Raychel Diver and Marissa Russo each posted a goal for the Phoenix in the contest. Catherine Brinkman and Rachel Hallman were credited with assists on the first marker, while Russo's goal was unassisted.
Liberty falls to 5-3 on the season, after dropping back-to-back contests for the first time this season. Elon improves to 5-1-1 this year, and leads the all-time series against the Lady Flames, 7-6-2.
The Phoenix outshot Liberty in the matchup, 12-6, while holding a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Elon goalkeeper Kate Murphy played the entire 90 minutes for the Phoenix, finishing with five saves. Liberty's Holly Van Noord also played the full contest in between the posts, picking up four saves.
The majority of the first period featured solid defense from both squads. The Lady Flames had two good looks at the goal during the opening 45 minutes.
In the 19th minute, Megan Warner fed the ball inside the 18-yard box from the right side. Jaime Bouffard made a header attempt toward the Elon net, but Murphy corralled the shot to keep the contest scoreless.
Later in the 38th minute, Brittany Aanderud airmailed a shot from outside the box. As the ball began to curve toward the upper right corner, Murphy tracked down the attempt and collected it for her second save of the afternoon.
Liberty goalkeeper Van Noord collected a pair of saves off shots from Kendall Stanley and Kelly Siewers before allowing her first goal in regulation, this season. During the 41st minute, Hallman banked a shot off the cross bar that was immediately headed by Brinkman. Diver picked up the header directly in front of the goal, tapping it in for the 1-0 lead. The Phoenix goal halted Van Noord's scoreless span in regulation at 670 minutes.
Less than a minute into the second period, Elon added to its goal total. After a through ball from Dennion, Russo went streaking up the right side, placing the ball over Van Noord for the two-goal edge.
Liberty tried to light up the scoreboard in the 56th minute. Bouffard managed to get her head on the ball in front of the goal after a long pass from midfield. However, the acrobatic attempt sailed a few feet high over the net.
Murphy continued to thwart the Lady Flames' offense, collecting three more saves in the period off a shot by leading scorer Alanna Dunkle and two from Aanderud. The second attempt by Aanderud occurred in the 80th minute, resulting in Murphy's fifth save of the contest to set up the 2-0 final.
Liberty returns to Osborne Stadium, Wednesday, kicking off its Big South Conference slate against Charleston Southern. Match time is slated for 3 p.m.