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Liberty Rally Falls Short at Coastal Carolina
Liberty drops to 0-3 in the Big South and 0-8-1 overall. Coastal Carolina, the preseason favorite to win the 2008 conference title this season, remains unbeaten in Big South play with a 3-0 mark and 7-3 overall.
After both teams exchanged shots to begin the contest, the Chanticleers opened the scoring, 22 minutes into the game. Forward Asleigh Gunning received a pass from Samantha Teijelo in the penalty area, and tallied from 10 yards out for a 1-0 Chanticleer advantage at the 21:27 mark.
Coastal Carolina remained on the attack after the goal. Chanticleer forward Heather Haupt, who came on as a substitute in the 27th minute, fired two shots on net in the 32nd minute. Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker (Fr., Bowie, Md.) denied both attempts, sending the game to intermission, 1-0 Coastal Carolina.
Liberty forward Maria Owen (So., Mount Jackson, Va.) opened the second half with a shot which went wide left, 2:30 into the period.
The Chanticleers upped their lead in the 49th minute. Midfielder Sarah Niles fed a pass into the center of the penalty area for Blair Monroe. The forward netted the feed for her fourth goal of the season and a 2-0 edge at 48:32.
Liberty followed the Chanticleer score by putting extended pressure on the Coastal Carolina net. Owen began a sequence in which the Lady Flames outshot the Chanticleers, 4-2, by forcing a save by Coastal Carolina goalkeeper Amy Haggard in the 50th minute. Liberty forward Amy Oberlin (Sr., Ada, Mich.) caused Haggard to save another shot with the second attempt of the burst in the 53th minute. The Lady Flames finished the span by having shots by Oberlin and Rachel Michener (So., MF, Pottstown, Pa.) blocked in front of the Coastal Carolina goal by Chanticleer defenders in the 57th minute.
Liberty's persistence paid off in the 62nd minute, as the Lady Flames cut their host's lead to 2-1. Midfielder Maggie Woody (Jr., Asheville, N.C.) found Oberlin with a pass inside the 18-yard box. The senior midfielder turned and rocketed a shot into the right-hand corner for her second goal of the season at 61:08.
Play went back-and-forth over the next 20 minutes, with the teams exchanging shots to no avail. Blocker and Haggard each turned away a shot during the stretch. Haggard stopped an attempt by Liberty's Elia Lake (So., MF, Dumfires, Va.) in the 67th minute, while Blocker corralled a shot by Anna Tupy in the 75th minute. Several other attempts by both teams either sailed high or wide during the span.
In the 84th minute, Liberty found the equalizer on the foot of Woody. After a foul on Coastal Carolina gave the Lady Flames a free kick, Woody struck the kick into the upper right-hand corner of the Chanticleer net for her first goal of the year, tying the game at 2-2.
With the game looking like it was heading to overtime in the final minute, a pass by Coastal Carolina's Jessie Benchley into the penalty area was cleared by the Liberty defense, only to bound right to Tupy, who scored at 89:46 for a dramatic, 3-2 victory.
Coastal Carolina held a 20-13 advantage in shots in the contest, while corner kicks were even at four apiece.
Liberty's Blocker made eight saves on the evening. Haggard recorded three stops for Coastal Carolina.
The Lady Flames continue a two-game road swing through South Carolina, by stepping out of conference for a match at Francis Marion on Sunday. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m.