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Liberty Posts Second-Straight Shutout
The Liberty women's soccer team picked up its second-straight shutout win, Monday afternoon, defeating the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, 3-0 in a Big South contest, at Osborne Stadium.
With the win, Liberty improves to 5-7-2 on the season and 2-2 in the Big South, while the Runnin' Bulldogs fall to 3-8-2 on the season and 0-3 in conference play.
The Lady Flames shutout is their fourth consecutive at home this season. In five home contests in 2010, Liberty has outscored its opponents 15-1, with the lone marker coming in a 1-0 loss to James Madison on Sept. 3.
Liberty lit up the scoreboard in the 20th minute. Midfielder Madison Short lofted a pass into the box to Aimee Luurtsema, who belted it from the left side to give the Lady Flames a 1-0 edge. The forward's goal was her ninth on the season, tying her for fourth all-time for most goals in a single season.
Less than five minutes later, Luurtsema stripped a ball from a Gardner-Webb attacker and crossed it to forward Silvia Betancourt. The Costa Rican native booted a shot from inside the box, which landed in the right corner of the Gardner-Webb net to put the Lady Flames up, 2-0.
Betancourt's blast was her eighth of the year, allowing her to surpass Amy Ingalls (1989-92) for sole possession of fourth place on Liberty's all-time career points list with 44. The marker also tied her with Ingalls for fourth place on Liberty's all-time career goals listing with 19.
Luurtsema's assist on the play was also a milestone, as she recorded her 22nd point, making her third in program history for most points in a single season.
After taking their 2-0 lead into halftime, the Lady Flames tacked on an insurance goal in the 70th minute of the contest. Following a Liberty corner kick, Madison Short found an open Maggie Woody, who fired off a shot from the top left corner of the box, to give Liberty's its third and final goal. Woody's tally was her first this season and her first since she found the net in a contest against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 3, 2008.
Despite the loss, Gardner-Webb managed to outshoot the Lady Flames 12-10 in the contest and held a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks.
Ashley Nyholt remained in the net the entire 90 minutes for her second-straight shutout, recording seven saves. Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Chelsea Hearne played the first 72:54 for the Runnin' Bulldogs, making three saves, while Erika Lenns picked up a pair of stops in the final 17:06.
Gardner-Webb returns home for a Friday night meeting with VMI. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The Lady Flames return to Osborne Stadium on Saturday to play host to defending Big South Champion High Point. Game time is slated for 5 p.m.