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Lady Flames Edge Buccaneers, 2-1
The first half of the match was action-packed as each team took nine shots. East Tennessee State took controlled play early, as Tori Head took the first shot of the contest in the second minute, which was saved by Liberty keeper Karen Blocker. The Buccaneers continued putting pressure on the Lady Flames' defense, taking four more shots over the next three minutes.
Liberty answered at the 7:59 mark, when Elia Lake took her first shot of the season, followed by a Maria Owen attempt in the eighth minute that sailed high.
The Buccaneers came back in the 12th minute with three shots, two of which were stopped by Blocker.
Lake tallied her second shot of the game at 16:34, which was wide, and Aimee Luurtsema sent one toward the goal at 18:03 which also went wide.
The Lady Flames were able to capitalize in the 21st minute, when sophomore Silvia Betancourt tucked a shot into the net from 10 yards out, unassisted. The goal marked Betancourt's and the team's first of the season.
Both squads shared possession in the final 10 minutes of the half, and the Lady Flames entered halftime with the 1-0 lead.
Liberty maintained its momentum early in the second half. Freshman Madi Short took a shot in the 48th minute that was saved by Buccaneer keeper Megan Masch, and Betancourt and Lauren Stell teamed up for an offensive charge towards the goal, only for the Lady Flames to be called offsides at the 48:49 mark.
After Owen sent another shot wide at 52:00, East Tennessee State's Tori Head broke away from the pack and blasted a shot from 15 yards out. However, Blocker continued her solid performance, knocking it down for the save at 52:34.
The Buccaneers threatened to tie the match in the 69th minute with two consecutive shots off of a corner kick, but both attempts were blocked by the Liberty defenders, and the Lady Flames were able to hold onto their lead.
The Lady Flames nearly pushed their advantage to two goals in the 73rd minute, but a Heather Bowling header off a free kick from Owen barely missed the right corner of the net.
The Buccaneers responded by tying up the game at 76:34, when Jessica Huntington scored off of a pass from Morgan Jutras.
As the clock neared the five-minute mark, the Lady Flames regained their advantage when Short, who re-entered the game in the 83rd minute, ripped a shot from 20 yards out into the left corner of the net to give Liberty a 2-1 lead at 83:59.
Short got another shot off a long pass in the 87th minute, only to see it go wide.
East Tennessee State set up two corner kicks in the final minute of play, but the Lady Flames did not allow any shot attempts, holding for a 2-1 victory.
The Buccaneers outshot Liberty, 18-15, in the contest. Owen led all players with five shots, while Betancourt and Short tallied three shots each. Jordan Monty led the Buccaneers with four shots.
Both squads finished the match with five corner kicks apiece.
In net, Blocker had a strong effort in net, making nine saves, while Masch recorded four saves.
Liberty improves to 1-1 on the year, while East Tennessee State falls to 0-3.
The Lady Flames are back in action on Sept. 6 when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on James Madison. Match time is set for 7 p.m.