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Women's Soccer to Begin Conference Season Saturday
The Liberty women's soccer (3-5-2) team kicks off its conference slate with two stops in the Palmetto State. The Lady Flames begin the two-game road swing against Charleston Southern, Saturday, at 3 p.m. Following its stay at Buccaneer Field, the Lady Flames head to Conway, S.C. for a Monday meeting with Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results page. Live stats will be provided by the Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina media relations offices.
Liberty/Charleston Southern Series Notes
Heading into Saturday's matchup, Liberty currently holds a 7-10-3 record in the all-time series against the Lady Buccaneers. Last season, Liberty opened the conference season at Osborne Stadium against Charleston Southern on Oct. 3.
Forward Silvia Betancourt put the Lady Flames on the board early, firing a shot from close range to make it 1-0 in the sixth minute. However, the Lady Buccaneers answered with a goal of their own six minutes later to knot the contest at 1-1. Neither team found the net the remainder of the matchup, ultimately leading to a double overtime stalemate.
Scouting the Lady Buccaneers
Charleston Southern enters Saturday's contest touting a 6-4 record on the season. The Lady Buccaneers are on a two-game win streak after defeating Longwood, 2-1, at Buccaneer Field on Tuesday. Tied at 1-1, the contest appeared to be headed to overtime until the late game heroics of leading scorer Marky Boyce sealed the Lancers' fate. With literally one second remaining in regulation, Boyce found the net following a pass from Caitlin Wesnesky, allowing the Lady Buccaneers to edge Longwood, 2-1.
Prior to Charleston Southern's contest with Longwood, Boyce was ranked No. 3 in the country in goals and No. 8 in the country in total points. She currently leads the conference with 11 goals and 23 points on the season.
Liberty in the Big South
Liberty currently holds a 46-64-8 record all-time in the Big South, capturing the conference championship on three occasions: 2000, 2001 and 2005. Last season, the Lady Flames posted a 6-1-2 record in conference play en route to a regular-season title.
The Liberty women's soccer team was chosen first in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted by the league's head women's soccer coaches.
Liberty, the defending 2009 regular-season champions, received five first-place votes and 94 points as the 2010 women's soccer favorite. The Lady Flames finished ahead of Charleston Southern in the poll, as the Buccaneers totaled 87 points and four first-place votes.
Knotted at 19
Liberty and Charleston Southern are currently tied for second in the Big South in total goals this season with 19. Leading the conference in the category is Radford with 20 tallies.
Liberty/Coastal Carolina Series Notes
Liberty owns a 7-4 record all-time over Coastal Carolina. The Lady Flames hosted the Chanticleers at Osborne Stadium last season on Oct. 5, 2009, taking the contest, 3-0. Liberty scored its trio of goals in the opening half. Silvia Betancourt paced the Lady Flames with two goals, while Maria Owen also added a tally in the contest.
Scouting the Chanticleers
Coastal Carolina is currently 4-5 on the season, coming off a 1-0 loss to Georgia Southern on Sept. 19. Prior to the setback, the Chanticleers picked up back-to-back 1-0 road wins over Appalachian State (Sept. 10) and Clemson (Sept. 17). Before welcoming Liberty to the CCU Soccer Field, Coastal Carolina will open conference play and its home slate against High Point on Saturday at 6 p.m.
While there is not a dominant scorer on the Chanticleers, they have spread the wealth this season. Three players on the squad have two goals apiece (Anna Tupy, Hannah Brown and Ashley Day), followed by six players with one goal.
Last Time Out
The Liberty women's soccer team stepped into the Longwood Athletics Complex for a Commonwealth clash with the Longwood Lancers, last Friday. With each team riding a two game winning streak, the contest remained scoreless until the 72nd minute, when the Lancers' Lauren Trinza connected on a header, allowing Longwood to edge the Lady Flames, 1-0.
Leading the Way
Aimee Luurtsema currently leads the Lady Flames in goals (8), assists (3) and points (19), this season and is ranked No. 17 in the nation in total goals and 18th in total points. Through 10 games in 2010, she is currently second in the Big South in total points with 19. Charleston Southern's leading scorer Marky Boyce leads the way in the category with 23. Luurtsema's point total also places her at fourth on Liberty's all-time single-season goal scoring list and fourth all-time on Liberty's single-season points list.
Joining an Exclusive Club
Aimee Luurtsema's 19 points marks the highest season total by a Liberty player in 10 years. The only player in Liberty history to ever score more than 19 points in a single season was Nancy Davis. One of the program's most decorated players, Davis accomplished the feat in three-consecutive years: 1998 (21), 1999 (43) and 2000 (33).
Betancourt in the Books
Forward Silvia Betancourt netted a total of three goals in games against Southern Virginia (Sept. 15) and Howard (Sept. 17), making her fifth all-time on Liberty's career goal list with 16 goals. Fellow forward Maria Owen was tied for the fifth spot with Leanne Faulk (1988-91) after scoring a goal in the contest against Southern Virginia. However, Betancourt found the net twice in Liberty's 5-0 win over Howard, allowing her to move ahead on the program's record list.
Owen Achieves Milestone
Maria Owen recorded a goal and an assist in Liberty's 6-0 win over Southern Virginia on Sept. 15, allowing her to secure the fifth spot on Liberty's all-time career points list with 39 points. Owen's teammate Silvia Betancourt is following closely behind with 38 career points.
First Time for Everything
Ariana Espinoza and Madison Short netted their first goals of 2010 during Liberty's 6-0 win over Southern Virginia on Sept. 15. Espinoza recorded her first career tally in the 12th minute of the contest, heading the ball into the goal off a corner kick from Short.
Short tallied a marker of her own in the 61st minute, after receiving a cross from Aimee Luurtsema. The midfielder tapped it in to cap off Liberty's scoring on the afternoon. It was Short's third goal of her career.