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Huskies Edge Lady Flames, 2-1
The Lady Flames controlled the pace of the game early, keeping possession for a majority of the first five minutes. But the Huskies turned it up a notch and were able to take control in a very physical contest.
After a foul on Liberty in the eighth minute, the Huskies took a free kick that set up the first shot of the game by Megan Harry, but Lady Flames keeper Karen Blocker dove to make the save.
Lady Flame junior Maria Owen crossed a pass to Lauren Stell inside the 18-yard box in the 12th minute, but it was barely out of Stell's reach, and no shot was made.
Blocker recorded her second save of the game when Kim Schmitt made an attempt from 20 yards out in the 19th minute.
Owen was able to take Liberty's first shot of the game at 34:08, but it barely missed on the right side.
Schmitt took the first corner kick of the game in the 32nd minute, which Kelly Mullany headed toward the goal, but missed high.
Owen took another shot at the 35:16 mark, but it was saved by Northern Illinois keeper Lindsey Curnock.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead with 9:10 remaining in the first half, when Nici Newquist tucked one into the left corner of the net after Micaela Damas blasted a shot toward the goal that was deflected by Blocker.
The Huskies were able to maintain their offensive momentum, and pushed the score to 2-0 in the 39th minute, when Damas took a cross from Shelbi Johnson, sending the ball into the right side of the net for the goal.
In the second half, Northern Illinois set up a scoring opportunity in the 50th minute, but Blocker was able to deflect the close-range blast by Kelsey Passaglia.
Owen made a drive for the goal at 52:33, but her shot sailed high, and Silvia Betancourt made another attempt for Liberty in the 57th minute, but it missed wide right.
The Huskies broke away for another scoring opportunity with 25 minutes remaining, but Lady Flame defender Elia Lake was able to keep up and prevent a shot.
Owen took yet another shot for Liberty in the 66th minute, but it was high.
Betancourt put Liberty on the board at 67:10, blasting a ball over the Northern Illinois defense and into the top right corner of the net. The goal, Betancourt's second of the season, brought the Lady Flames within one goal, with just over 23 minutes remaining.
Liberty tried to continue the offensive surge as Alyssa Anderson took a shot at 67:39, but it was saved by Curnock.
Both teams continued the aggressive play, and Liberty defender Rachel Wisehart was issued a yellow card with just over 10 minutes remaining.
After a foul on Northern Illinois, the Lady Flames had a free kick opportunity in the 87th minute, but the attempt by Rachel Michener was saved by Curnock.
Owen had an open shot in the final minute, but it missed wide, and the Huskies walked away with a 2-1 win.
Northern Illinois was led by Damas and Newquist, who each scored a goal, while Curnock recorded four saves.
Betancourt scored the lone goal for Liberty, while Owen took four shots. Blocker made three saves in the contest.
The Huskies also held the advantage in corner kicks, 2-0.
Northern Illinois improves to 4-4 on the year, while the Lady Flames drop to 1-6 overall.
The Lady Flames are back in action on Sept. 24, hosting Francis Marion. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.