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Liberty's Reserves Lead Lady Flames to 2-0 Victory
The Liberty women's soccer team returned to the win column, Saturday night, defeating High Point, 2-0, at Osborne Stadium.
The Lady Flames found its offense off the bench, as Rebecca Smith and Crystal Elmers accounted for Liberty's scoring. Geena Swentik, who was also a reserve for Jessica Hain's squad, chipped in the assist on Elmers' goal. Elmers now leads the Lady Flames with five goals on the season.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord collected her conference-leading ninth shutout, finishing with five saves. The redshirt freshman is now tied with Karen Blocker (2012) and Natalie Mayer for the program's single-season shutout record.
Jesse May played the full 90 minutes in between the posts for High Point, finishing with six saves.
With the victory, Liberty moves to 9-4-1 overall and 4-1-1 in Big South play. The Panthers drop to 5-8 on the year and 3-3 in conference action. The Lady Flames now lead the all-time series, 12-10-2.
In a driving rain, Liberty outshot the Panthers, 8-1, in the opening period and held a 2-0 advantage in corner kicks. May collected three saves during the span, stopping a shot by Julia Delgatti in the 21st minute and two from Brittany Aanderud.
Smith put Liberty on the board in the 44th minute, netting her first goal of the season. From about 30 yards out, Smith picked up a loose ball in the center of the field and airmailed it at the High Point net. The shot ricocheted off the cross bar and down into the left corner, allowing Liberty to hold a 1-0 advantage at halftime.
Each goalkeeper started the second period making key saves for their respective teams. Van Noord stopped a shot by High Point leading scorer Taylor Parker in the 49th minute, while May stuffed an attempt by Jaime Bouffard 45 seconds later. Van Noord continued to prevent the Panthers from finding the mark, making four more saves to close out the contest.
Much like Smith in the first period, Elmers used the post to her advantage for Liberty's second goal of the evening in the 71st minute. Standing on the edge of the 18-yard box, Swentik dropped a pass back to Elmers, who blasted a shot from 25-yards out. The sophomore's ball banked off the left post and into the right corner, ultimately setting up the 2-0 victory.
Liberty ended the night with 13 shots compared to nine for the Panthers. Corner kicks were even at five.
The Lady Flames return to Osborne Stadium, Wednesday afternoon, to play host to VMI. Match time is set for 4 p.m.