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Offensive Explosion Pushes Liberty to 5-1 Win
Liberty moves to 2-5 in the Big South Conference and 2-11-1 overall. Presbyterian drops to 1-4-2 in conference play and 3-9-2 overall.
The Lady Flames jumped on the scoreboard just 1:21 into the contest. Maria Owen (So., F, Mount Jackson, Va.) pounced on a loose ball near the left side of the penalty area. After beating a defender, she rocketed a shot into the far corner of the net from the left post for her third goal of the season and a quick, 1-0 Liberty lead.
The Lady Flames added to their advantage 2:22 later. Owen split two Presbyterian defenders with a pass into the middle of the 18-yard box for Amy Oberlin (Sr., MF, Ada, Mich.). The senior midfielder ran onto the ball in the box and fired Liberty's second shot attempt of the game into the net for her fifth goal of the season. Silvia Betancourt (Fr., F, San Jose, Costa Rica) also assisted on the play for an early 2-0 advantage.
A shot attempt by Blue Hose midfielder Emily Davis in the 21st minute and an attempt by teammate Tricia Bryant in the 23rd minute were both turned away by Liberty goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt (So., Brampton, Ontario).
Lady Flame forward Betancourt forced two saves by Presbyterian keeper Abby Young on back-to-back shot attempts during the 25th minute, as Liberty continued to pressure the Blue Hose goal.
Presbyterian cut the Liberty advantage in half, minutes before intermission. Morgan Fragapane scored off a crossing pass by Kate Baker for her first goal of the year. The marker at 40:02 sent the contest to halftime, 2-1 Liberty.
The second half opened with play mostly in midfield. In the 64th minute, Liberty had a chance to extend its advantage, but a free kick by Betancourt over a wall of Blue Hose defenders hit the far post and bounded away, keeping the score 2-1.
Liberty regained its two-goal cushion at 3-1 in the 71st minute. Ashley Braam (Sr., MF, Grand Rapids, Mich.) chipped a pass from just outside the left side of the penalty area to the far post for midfielder Mallory Neff (Sr., Sunbury, Pa.). The senior tipped the ball into the far corner for her first goal of the season at 70:39. Betancourt also registered her second of three assists on the night on the marker.
The Lady Flames made it 4-1, 7:07 later. Defender Aimee Luurtsema (Fr., Grandville, Mich.) sent a pass down the left side of the field for Betancourt. The freshman forward beat the Blue Hose keeper, putting her out of position, and fired a pass across the box for Oberlin, who tipped the ball in for her second goal of the game and team-leading sixth marker of the season.
In the closing minutes, Liberty's Elia Lake (R-So., F, Dumfries, Va.) scored her first goal in a Liberty uniform. Emily House (Sr., MF, Lynchburg, Va.) sent a pass across the front of the goal mouth to the open Lake, who tucked the ball away for the final score of 5-1. Bekah Moye (Fr., F, Suwanee, Ga.) also assisted on the goal at 86:18.
Liberty outshot Presbyterian, 19-8, in the contest and held the edge in corner kicks, 4-0.
Lady Flame netminder Nyholt recorded four saves in the game. Blue Hose keeper Young made five saves.
Liberty goes on the road for its final two Big South contests of the season. The Lady Flames will visit conference newcomer Gardner-Webb in the first game on Thursday. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.