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Luurtsema Scores as Liberty Defeats Bulldogs
Gardner-Webb took the first shot of the game in the second minute of play, when Kasey Gladhill missed high.
Liberty responded with its first shot five minutes later, when Maria Owen fired one that sailed over the goal.
The Bulldogs nearly put a goal on the scoreboard in the 10th minute, when a corner kick opportunity led to two consecutive shots. Jane Giesler's header was saved by Liberty keeper Karen Blocker, and
Megan Reimer blasted one at close range that hit the post, and the game remained scoreless.
Owen made another attempt at 16:27, but it was stopped by Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Chelsea Hearne.
The two squads traded possession evenly through the remainder of the half, but neither team could manage a goal. Owen recorded all four of Liberty's first half shots, while seven different Gardner-Webb players made attempts.
The Lady Flames took a 1-0 lead early in the second half, as Luurtsema took advantage of an open goal to score from 20 yards out at 49:57.
The Liberty offense continued to keep momentum, as Laura Nyholt had an attempt five minutes later that was punched away by Hearne, and Bowling made an attempt off a corner kick that was also saved by Hearne.
Jordan Woody took a cross from Luurtsema at 65:04 and took a shot, but it barely missed on the left.
The Bulldogs struggled to put an offense together, as the Lady Flames outshot them, 9-7, in the second half and Liberty was able to hold on for the 1-0 win.
Luurtsema led the team with her goal, while Owen led all players with five shots. Also recording shots for Liberty were Kristi McBrien, Bekah Moye, Silvia Betancourt, Bowling, Nyholt and Woody. Blocker made four saves in goal for Liberty.
The Bulldogs were led by Stephani Benshoof with three shots, while keeper Hearne made three saves.
Liberty improves to 6-6-1 overall, and 3-0-1 in Big South play. The shutout was Liberty's fourth in five games, while the Lady Flames have allowed just one goal in the last 540 minutes of action.
The Lady Flames are back in action on Oct. 17, traveling to High Point, N.C. for a 5 p.m. matchup against the Panthers.
The Bulldogs (8-6, 2-0 Big South) play again Oct. 16 with a conference game at VMI at 4 p.m.