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Winthrop Moves Past Liberty, 3-1
Looking to maintain third place in the Big South standings, the Liberty women's soccer team squared off with Winthrop at Eagle Field, Wednesday night. Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, Krystyna Freda proved why she is one of the top goal scorers in the country, netting a pair of markers en route to a Winthrop 3-1 victory.
With the defeat, Liberty falls to 11-5-1 on the year and 6-2-1 in conference play. Winthrop improves to 11-3-2 overall, moving ahead of the Lady Flames in the Big South standings with a 7-2-0 record.
Rebecca Smith posted the lone goal for Liberty, courtesy of an assist from Brittany Aanderud. Along with Freda's pair of markers, Taylor Walton also scored for the Eagles.
Freda struck first for the Lady Eagles, posting her 16th goal of the season in the 18th minute. After receiving a Devin Puckett through ball pass, Walton fired a shot that was saved by Van Noord. However, Freda scooped up the loose ball and chipped it into the net, giving the home team the early 1-0 edge.
Liberty found the equalizer in the 37th minute. Aanderud sent a pass down to Smith on the right sideline. The junior then bent a crossing shot into the back of the Winthrop net for her second goal of the season. Smith's marker knotted the contest at 1-1 heading into halftime.
Freda put the Lady Eagles back on top early in the second period with her 19th career game-winning goal. Okina Crawley dished a through ball to Freda, who made a cut back and fired a shot from 10 yards out, putting Winthrop ahead, 2-1, in the 53rd minute.
Winthrop capped off its scoring in the 76th minute. After the Lady Flames were unable to finish on a scramble in front of the Winthrop goal, the hosts immediately took the ball back down field. Lauren Watts found an open Walton, who broke away from the Liberty defense. Van Noord came out to challenge on the play, but Walton launched an 18-yard shot past the keeper, into the left corner, cementing the 3-1 final.
Despite the loss, Liberty outshot Winthrop, 11-10 and held a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks. Amelia Henderson played the entire contest in between the posts for Winthrop, finishing with five saves. Van Noord also played the full 90 minutes in the net, making two saves for the Lady Flames.
Liberty plays its final regular-season home game of the year at Osborne Stadium, Saturday, hosting Coastal Carolina. Prior to the contest, Liberty will honor seniors Dawn Elmers, Casey Norris and Megan Warner. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.