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Women's Soccer to Host Southern Virginia Wednesday
The Liberty women's soccer team returns to Osborne Stadium on Wednesday, playing host to NAIA member Southern Virginia at 4 p.m. The Lady Flames (1-4-2) will then receive on day's rest before hosting Howard on Friday at 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats, presented by GameTracker, will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results page.
Liberty/Southern Virginia Series Notes
Wednesday's contest against Southern Virginia marks the second meeting between the two squads. In the previous meeting, which took place on Oct. 16, 2007, Liberty defeated the Knights, 9-0 at Liberty Soccer Field. The Lady Flames' goal total was the most by a Liberty team since Sept. 9, 2000, when the Lady Flames beat Youngstown State, 15-0, at Liberty Soccer Field.
Seven different Lady Flames found the net that night, including current Liberty volunteer assistant coach Kendall (Bartholomew) Alvey. Current senior forward and captain Maria Owen was a freshman in 2007 and contributed a goal during the contest.
Southern Virginia versus Big South
Southern Virginia's matchup against Liberty will be its second against a Big South opponent this season. The Knights opened their season against Radford, falling to the Highlanders at Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium, 8-0, on Aug. 21.
Liberty/Howard Series Notes
Heading into Friday's contest with Howard, Liberty holds a commanding 5-1 lead in the all-time series. The last meeting between the two squads took place Oct. 24, 2005, resulting in a 2-1 road win for the Lady Flames. Liberty's lone loss to the Bison occurred on Oct. 14, 1998, as Howard defended its home turf with a 2-1 decision in overtime.
Scouting the Bison
Howard enters Friday's contest with a 2-3-0 record on the season, riding a two-game win streak with back-to-back shutouts. This past Friday, the Bison travelled to Youngstown State, coming away with a 1-0 road victory. Howard then followed up its performance on Monday, hosting VMI at Greene Stadium. Forward Jordan Brown and midfielder Retha Koefoed each contributed a goal in the contest, as the Bison held off the Keydets, 2-0.
Top Five Watch
Senior forward Maria Owen currently has 14 career goals, just one shy of tying Leanne Faulk (1988-91) for fifth on Liberty's all-time career goal list. However, Owen is not the only Lady Flame on the current roster who is on the verge of cracking the top five. Fellow forward Silvia Betancourt is also on the prowl with 13 career goals.
All-time Liberty Goal Scorers
1. Nancy Davis, 1998-2001 43
2. Amy Oberlin, 2005-08 24
3. Lauren Zealand, 1999-2001, 2003-04 20
4. Amy Ingalls, 1989-92 19
5. Leanne Faulk, 1988-91 15
Current Lady Flames
1. Maria Owen 14
2. Silvia Betancourt 13
Surpassing the Past
With three goals and one assist through the first seven games of the season, Aimee Luurtsema is already close to surpassing her season totals from 2009. Last season, the midfielder netted three goals and had three assists, garnering nine points over 19 games. Luurtsema is currently tied for second in the Big South in total points with seven.
Junior midfielder Aimee Luurtsema scored two goals in Liberty's 4-1 win over Appalachian State on Aug. 27 for her first career multi-goal game.
Silvia Betancourt's two goals in Liberty's 3-3 tie with Marshall on Aug. 29 was her third career multi-goal game. Betancourt previously scored a pair of goals during two games in the 2009 season. The two-goal contests came at Francis Marion on Sept. 24, 2009 and Coastal Carolina on Oct. 5, 2009.
Big South Save Leader
Through Liberty's first seven games, senior goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt leads Big South goalkeepers in saves with 45. She is currently two saves ahead of Presbyterian College's Sarah Beth Anderson, who has 43 through six games played. On Sunday, Nyholt finished with nine saves against Elon, tying her career-high, which she first achieved in Liberty's 1-1 tie against South Carolina State (Aug. 22).
Hain at the Helm
Liberty Head Women's Soccer Coach Jessica Hain enters her third season at the program's helm. Last season, Hain led the Lady Flames to a Big South regular-season title and was named 2009 Big South Coach of the Year.
Hain came to Liberty after three seasons with the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the United States (USL) W-League, the premier women's soccer league in the United States, as an assistant to head coach Lee Horton. With the club, Hain was responsible for recruiting players for the team, implementing training sessions, running camps and clinics and coaching, training and teaching sports ministry, both in the United States and in Brazil.
A four-year letterwinner in the collegiate ranks, Hain played two years in the midfield at Ohio State (1995-96) and two seasons at N.C. State (1997-98). She was a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) of America Scholar-Athlete from 1995-97 and earned Academic All-ACC honors in 1998.
New Soccer and Track Operations Building Named
Liberty Athletics Director Jeff Barber and the Liberty Athletics Department have announced the naming of the new soccer and track and field operations building as the Luurtsema Center.
The Luurtsema Center will serve as an operations building for men's and women's soccer and both track and field programs. The 5,000 square foot building on the south end of the Osborne Stadium complex was made possible by a leadership gift from Bill and Wanda Luurtsema of Grandville, Mich.
The couple will be publicly honored for their gift during Liberty's football game against Charleston Southern and women's soccer contest against Winthrop on Oct. 9, both part of Liberty's annual Homecoming Weekend.
The Luurtsema Center, which was completed in mid-August, also houses locker rooms, a training room and a laundry facility.
Following its two-game homestand, Liberty will head east to Farmville, Va., to take on Longwood on Sept. 24. Game time at Longwood's Athletics Complex is slated for 7 p.m.