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Van Noord and Lady Flames Set Shutout Record with 2-0 Victory
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Holly Van Noord earned a record-breaking 10th shutout, Wednesday afternoon at Osborne Stadium, as the Liberty women's soccer team defeated VMI, 2-0.
Van Noord's single-season mark surpasses the previous record set by Natalie Mayer (2001) and Karen Blocker (2012). Along with Van Noord, the 2013 Lady Flames become the first team in program history to post 10 shutouts in a single season, moving ahead of the 2001, 2009 and 2012 squad for the No. 1 spot in the record books.
Junior Helena Pereira and sophomore Brittany Aanderud accounted for Liberty's scoring on the afternoon. Aanderud is now tied with Crystal Elmers for the team lead in goals with five. Junior Geena Swentik chipped in an assist on Pereira's goal.
With the win, Liberty moves to 10-4-1 on the year and 5-1-1 in Big South play. VMI falls to 3-11 and 1-6 in conference action.
Liberty outshot VMI in the opening period, 13-0. After four blocks by the Keydet defense, a team save and two stops from VMI goalkeeper Liz Nickerson, Pereira managed to break the ice in the 37th minute. Swentik dropped a pass to Pereira inside the 18-yard box. The forward then lofted a ball over Nickerson into an open net. Pereira's first goal on the year allowed the Lady Flames to take a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
In the second period, Liberty continued to fire off shots often, taking 19 attempts compared to one for the Keydets.
Nickerson batted down three shots on goal by the Lady Flames until Aanderud found the target in the 67th minute. From inside the 18-yard box, Aanderud airmailed an attempt, which deflected off a VMI defender into the back of the net. Nickerson thwarted four more shot attempts from the Lady Flames, but the Keydet offense was unable to cut into the deficit en route to the 2-0 final.
Liberty outshot VMI, 32-1, and held a 17-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Nickerson played the entire contest in between the posts for VMI, finishing with nine saves. Van Noord recorded one save on the afternoon, stopping a shot from Sam Boney in the 73rd minute.
Liberty heads to Boiling Springs, N.C., on Saturday to take on Gardner-Webb. Match time is set for 2 p.m.