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Lady Flames Edge Lancers, 1-0
Despite a scoreless first half, the Lady Flames maintained control and dominated play for the first 45 minutes. The Lancers struggled to produce any offensive momentum, and only took one shot during the first half, compared to nine for Liberty.
Aimee Luurtsema recorded the first shot of the game at 10:57 with a bicycle kick shot that was saved by Longwood keeper Marcia Biddle. Just under five minutes later, Silvia Betancourt made an attempt on a free kick that was also stopped by Biddle.
Luurtsema tried again less than a minute later, at 18:50, taking an open shot that rolled just left of the goal, followed by a miss wide from Madison Short.
The Liberty offense maintained possession, seeing two more shots from both Betancourt and Maria Owen. The Lancers recorded their first shot of the contest in the final minute of the first half, when an attempt by Alex Myers was saved by Liberty keeper Karen Blocker.
The second half began in an opposite fashion from the first, as Longwood took control early, out-shooting the Lady Flames, 8-1, in the opening 12 minutes. Short took the first shot of the half for Liberty from 20 yards out, but it was saved by Biddle.
Liberty stormed back, as Owen made three attempts in three minutes starting at 64:05. The Lady Flames were finally able to capitalize in the 76th minute, when senior Heather Bowling scored on a header off of a corner kick from Rachel Wisehart. The goal marked Bowling's first of her career, as well as Wisehart's first-ever assist.
The game became progressively more physical in the closing minutes, as the Lancers tried desperately to tie it up. A last-ditch effort by Kacie Oliver was saved by Blocker, and the Lady Flames held on for the 1-0 win.
Betancourt led all players with seven shots, followed by Owen with six and Short with four. Luurtsema made two attempts for Liberty, while Blocker recorded five saves for the match.
The Lancers were led by Jessica Varela, who took three shots, followed by Myers with two. Biddle made nine saves on the day.
Liberty also led in corner kicks, 3-2.
With their second-straight win, the Lady Flames improve to 3-6 on the year, and match their win total for the 2008 season. Longwood drops to 7-4, after losing to a Big South team for the first time this season. The Lancers entered the match with a 4-0 record against Big South opponents in 2009.
Liberty is scheduled to open 2009 Big South play on Saturday, hosting Charleston Southern. Match time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.