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Dukes Edge Lady Flames in Tight Contest

September 3, 2010
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty nearly lit up the scoreboard Friday night when Silvia Betancourt (right) found an open Krisit McBrien (left) for a shot on goal in the 64th minute. James Madison edged the Lady Flames, 1-0.

The Liberty women's soccer team made its 2010 debut in Osborne Stadium Friday night, hosting James Madison. Despite playing its most closely contested game in the all-time series against the Dukes, a late goal in the 74th minute allowed the visiting team to edge the Lady Flames, 1-0.

Liberty's offense applied pressure in the opening stanza, firing off three shots over the first eight minutes of the contest. On the other end of the field, the Lady Flames defense stifled the Dukes offensive attack, allowing only two shots in the opening 22 minutes of play.

In the third minute, midfielder Aimee Luurtsema freed herself for the second of the three shots during the eight-minute Lady Flame flurry. The junior blasted a shot, forcing the lone save of the half by the Dukes' goalkeeper Diane Wszalek.

After a four-player substitution by James Madison at 22:42, the Dukes intensified their attack, putting up six of their nine first half shots to close out the period. Liberty goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt remained poised during the span, stopping a header from midfielder Teresa Rynier in the 42nd minute. With 11 ticks remaining in the period, Nyholt stuffed another attempt, this time from forward Lauren Wilson from in close. The Canadian's save kept the contest scoreless at halftime.

Despite the continued pace by the Dukes' offense, the Liberty defense held the visiting team at bay in the opening part of the second half. Liberty's best opportunity at a marker came in the 64th minute, when midfielder Kristi McBrien received a pass from forward Silvia Betancourt. After juking a defender, McBrien launched a shot from inside the penalty area, but the attempt was thwarted by James Madison goalkeeper Diane Wszalek.

Just over 10 minutes after Liberty's attempt, James Madison netted its lone goal of the game. Upon receiving a pass from Rynier, Cate Tisinger lofted a shot from 25 yards out which landed in the left corner of the net for the 1-0 final.

Liberty falls to 1-2-2 on the season, while James Madison improves to 3-1. The Dukes outshot the Lady Flames 19-5. Wzalek spent the entire time in the net for the visitor, recording two saves. Nyholt also played the entire contest in goal for the Lady Flames, compiling eight saves.

The Lady Flames will take a one-week break from competition before traveling to Richmond, Va., to take on VCU next Friday. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.