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VMI Protects Home Turf Against Lady Flames
Despite holding a slight edge in offensive tempo Sunday afternoon, the Liberty women's soccer team was unable to climb back from an early two-goal deficit against VMI, dropping the contest, 2-1, at Patchin Field.
With the loss, Liberty falls to 5-10-2 overall and 2-5 in the Big South, while VMI improves to 3-14-1 on the season and 2-5-1 in conference play.
The Keydets struck first in the contest, lighting up the scoreboard in the ninth minute. Forward Christelle Ndgongo took advantage of a turnover deep in Liberty territory and scored on a breakaway to give VMI a 1-0 edge.
Three minutes later, forward Amanda Berrios received a Carolyn Kenaley pass from the right side of the box and tapped in a shot from eight yards out to make it 2-0, VMI.
The Lady Flames answered in the 20th minute to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Following a Liberty throw-in, midfielder Madison Short picked up her team-leading sixth assist of the season, tipping it to Bekah Moye, who airmailed a shot into the VMI net. Moye's tally was her first of the season.
Before the close of the half, Liberty had several opportunities to even the odds. In the 25th minute,
Liberty leading scorer Aimee Luurtsema fired a shot at the Keydet net, but goalkeeper Angela Redmond was there to tip ball off the bar and away to keep Liberty at bay.
Five minutes later, freshman forward Casey Norris blasted an attempt at Redmond. However, the VMI netminder sprawled out to make the save, preventing the Lady Flames from knotting the contest.
Liberty made another opportunistic attempt in the 32nd minute, as midfielder Laura Nyholt headed the ball toward the net. Despite the effort, the Brampton, Ontario native's shot went high, ultimately resulting in a 2-1 lead for VMI at halftime.
In the second half, the pace slowed in comparison to the frenetic opening stanza. With both teams unable to find the net in the latter period, VMI held on to secure the decision.
Liberty outshot VMI, 15-12, and held an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt played the entire 90 minutes, collecting six saves. Redmond played the opening half between the posts, making three stops for the Keydets. Heidi Beemer came in for the second period, finishing with one save.
Liberty returns to Osborne Stadium for an afternoon tilt against UNC Asheville on Wednesday. Game time is set for 4 p.m.
VMI wraps up its regular season on the road against Radford on Friday. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.