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Liberty Downs Presbyterian, 3-0
With the win, Liberty breaks into the win column with a 1-6 record, while future Big South member Presbyterian drops to 3-4.
The Lady Flames staked themselves to an early advantage, capitalizing on their first shot opportunity of the contest. On a free kick with 5:02 gone in the opening half, Maggie Woody (So., MF, Asheville, N.C.) beat the Blue Hose keeper with a blast from 20 yards out for her first goal of the season and a 1-0 Liberty lead.
After exchanging shot attempts with Presbyterian through the next 25 minutes, the Lady Flames upped their advantage at the 32:18 mark. Off a loose ball in front of the Blue Hose net, Ally Erving (R-So., F, Anchorage, Alaska), who entered the game in the 21st minute, turned and fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net for a 2-0 edge at intermission. It was the first collegiate goal for the forward from Alaska.
Liberty outshot Presbyterian, 15-8, in a back-and-forth opening period.
The first 25 minutes of the second half saw no further scoring, as the match turned into a neutral zone contest.
Blue Hose forward Lytle Cannon was able to get off back-to-back shots on the Lady Flame net in the 62nd minute, but was turned away each time by Liberty goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt (Fr., Brampton, Ont.).
In the 64th minute, Lady Flames forwards Brittney Bench (Sr., Orefield, Pa.) and Maria Owen (Fr., Mount Jackson, Va.) connected for the final score of the afternoon. Bench maneuvered down the left sideline and turned the corner toward the Presbyterian net. After beating two defenders, Bench fed Owen with a crossing pass on the left wing, which the freshman tucked inside the near post for the final 3-0 margin. The goal was Owen's second of the season, after scoring her first collegiate goal on Friday at Charleston Southern.
The Lady Flames limited the Blue Hose to five shots in the second half, and outshot Presbyterian for the match, 20-13. Both squads had three corner kicks apiece in the game.
Nyholt had five saves on the afternoon to record her first collegiate victory in the Liberty net, while Blue Hose netminder Erin Sinkuler made seven stops.
The Lady Flames return home to start a five-game homestand. Liberty will host VMI in a Big South Conference match to begin the stretch of home contests on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Liberty Soccer Field.