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Women's Soccer Spring Recap
The Lady Flames opened the spring on April 1, with a two-game series against neighbor Longwood. The Lancers came out on top, 1-0, in both contests, as the Lady Flames started the season 0-2.
"The Longwood series was a great early test for us," commented interim head coach Adam Godwin. "Longwood had started its spring a little earlier than us, and already had a couple of games under their belt. It was a real jump-start for us. I have great respect for the program [Head Coach] Todd Dyer and [Assistant Coach] Steve Bedarski are building at Longwood. Although we came up just a little short with regard to results, there were a lot of positives from both contests to suggest we were going to have a successful spring."
Next up for the Lady Flames was a trip to West Virginia, where they met Concord and Marshall on April 12. After breezing past Concord 4-0, thanks to two goals from rising sophomore Maria Owen, a goal from rising sophomore Alyssa Andersen and a 30-yard thunder bolt from rising senior Carly Miller, Liberty was edged on a late tally in a 1-0 defeat to the Thundering Herd.
"We played really well in the Concord game, " said Godwin. "We got the ball down low and really played strong from 18 yards in. I thought we were going to score every time we pushed the ball forward. The girls really looked like they were enjoying themselves!
"We were very unlucky in the Marshall game. We had just a 20-minute break following the Concord game, but came out with so much energy in the first half and really had Marshall on its heels. But, as the game wore on, you could see our legs getting heavier and in the end, the ladies just couldn't hold on. Regardless, I was extremely proud of their efforts over the weekend. It was two terrific performances."
The highlight of the spring was to follow the next Saturday, with a trip to the Elon Spring Invitational Tournament. Liberty opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Big South Conference rival, VMI, courtesy of a goal from Owen on a fantastic pass from Andersen and a penalty kick conversion from captain Amy Oberlin. In the second game of the Invitational, the Lady Flames battled host Elon to a 0-0 tie. Behind Owen's fourth goal of the spring, Liberty handed Pfeiffer a 1-0 loss to claim the invitational tournament's trophy.
"This was a great afternoon's work from our girls," commented a delighted Godwin. "I was so proud of how disciplined we played. We were strong in the back on defense and dangerous moving the ball forward. It was a very hot day, but the girls worked hard and everyone at Liberty can be very proud of their efforts."
The Lady Flames wrapped up the spring on April 20, with a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over crosstown rival Lynchburg. Oberlin led the way, tucking away a penalty shot attempt in the first half, and thumping home the winning goal with just five seconds remaining in the contest. The rising senior's goal ensured Liberty ended the spring with a winning record of 4-3-1.
"Lynchburg is always a tough game for us, "said Godwin. "[Head Coach] Todd Olsen continues to build a program there that could easily compete on the Division I level. We always know we are in for a fight when we come here, and I am extremely proud of the girls for getting the win.
"For me, the final goal says everything about how far we have come this spring. We trust and believe in each other now, and as a result we have developed a never-say-die attitude and real spirit of belief."
Reflecting on the spring season, Interim Coach Godwin had this to say: "Overall, I am delighted with the attitude our girls had this spring. We worked on a lot, from a slightly new formation, to a completely new playing style and a real focus on our defensive shape. The girls came to practice every day with a desire to learn and improve, and I really believe we have given ourselves a fantastic platform to build upon for the upcoming season. "But most importantly, I feel the girls were an outstanding representation of Jesus Christ and our university during these eight games. We were able to share our testimony with every team and be positive representations of Christ, and that is what Liberty Athletics is all about."