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Late Rally Forces 1-1 Tie with Lady Bulldogs
Despite the Liberty women's soccer team (0-1-1) holding a 1-0 edge for the majority of its contest with South Carolina State (1-0-1) on Sunday afternoon at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium, the Lady Bulldogs rallied in the 83rd minute to ultimately force a 1-1 tie.
Liberty's lone goal was scored by midfielder Aimee Luurtsema, who also led the team with two shots.
Coming off their first-ever winning season in 2009 and arguably the biggest victory in program history with a 2-1 win over Navy on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs refused to become a footnote on the Liberty record book once again. In the previous meeting between the two squads, Liberty outscored South Carolina State 23-0 on Oct. 9, 1999, marking the most goals scored in a single game in the Lady Flames' history.
In the rematch nearly 11 years in the making, the Lady Bulldogs outshot the visiting Lady Flames, 16-8. The contest remained scoreless for the opening 16 minutes until Luurtsema found the net unassisted at 16:33. The junior's goal marked her first of the season and the fourth during her collegiate career.
Liberty held off the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack for the entire first period and much of the second stanza. South Carolina State's goal at 83:05 came when Darci Smith took the Lady Bulldogs' final shot of the game, knotting the contest for the 1-1 final.
Ashley Nyholt played the entire 90 minutes in the net for the Flames, recording a career-high nine saves on the day.
The Lady Flames remain on the road next week, as they travel to Rock Hill, S.C., for the Winthrop Tournament. Liberty is slated to face Appalachian State in its opening matchup on Friday at 4:30 p.m. inside Winthrop's Eagle Field. The Lady Flames will conclude their stay in the Palmetto State against Marshall on Sunday at 1 p.m.