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Lady Flames Begin Defense of Big South Crown with Offensive Outburst

September 16, 2006
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Forward Amy Oberlin

Forward Amy Oberlin

Liberty's Ashley Braam and Amy Oberlin each netted two goals and assisted on another as the defending Big South Champion Lady Flames rolled to a 7-0 win over the Charleston Southern Lady Buccaneers in their Big South Conference and home opener, Saturday afternoon at Liberty Soccer Field.

With the victory, Liberty opens Big South play at 1-0 and moves its overall mark to 3-4, while Charleston Southern drops its conference opener and falls to 3-3 overall.

Liberty's seven goals were the most in a contest by the Lady Flames since October 7, 2000, when Liberty downed Tampa, 8-1, in a non-conference game at Liberty Soccer Field.

The Lady Flames, controlling the contest from the outset, jumped out to an early lead less than five minutes in. Forward Braam (Jr., Grand Rapids, Mich.) sent a centering pass into the box from the left side which midfielder Maggie Woody (Fr., Asheville, N.C.) blasted into the top part of the net for her second goal of the season.

Liberty made it 2-0 less than six minutes later. Midfielder Mandee Wheelock (Sr., Front Royal, Va.) got past a defender and sent a pass into the box on the right side for Oberlin (So., F, Ada, Mich.) which she put into the left corner for her first goal of the season at 10:50.

Later in the opening half, the Lady Flames' offensive outburst continued as Oberlin scored her second goal of the contest and season in the game's 37th minute. This time, forward Hannah Sullivan (Jr., Minden, Nev.) found the forward with a free kick near the right side post and the forward put it home for a 3-0 advantage.

Just 24 seconds later, Braam would get free, take a through ball by Oberlin and beat the Lady Buccaneers goalkeeper one-on-one, upping the advantage to 4-0.

Liberty kept the pressure on the Charleston net, going on the attack to open the second half. In the contest's 53rd minute, the Lady Flames extended their lead on a goal by Kendall Bartholomew (Jr., F, Thaxton, Va.). Defender Paige Cheek (Sr., Gambrills, Md.) sent a long pass out of the Liberty end into open area on the left side of the Lady Buc zone which Bartholomew ran down and volleyed over the head of the new Charleston Southern goalkeeper. It was the forward's first goal of the season.

The Lady Flames tacked on two more in the half to make it, 7-0. In the contest's 68th minute, senior midfielder Alaina Hohnarth (Hamburg, N.J.) scored her first goal of the season. On a corner kick, the senior had her kick go off a defender and into the net. Braam added the final goal of the day in the 78th minute by pouncing on a loose ball in the box and putting it past the keeper for her fourth of the season and second of the day. 

The Lady Bucs appeared to have ruined the shutout in the match's 85th minute, but were whistled for offsides, voiding the goal.

On the afternoon, Liberty out shot Charleston Southern, 25-5 and held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks. The Lady Flames were also whistled for offsides four times, while the Lady Buccaneers were whistled five. It was the third time this season, Liberty has shutout an opponent.

Katherine Neff (Sr., Guelph, Ont.) played the first 60 minutes in the Liberty net making one save, while Michelle Rich (Fr., Friendswood, Texas) came in the 61st minute and recorded two. Mia Cederholm made three saves in the first half of play for Charleston Southern, while Jena Uvalle entered the game at intermission and had four saves in the second.

Both Braam and Oberlin had multiple-goal games and also had five points in a game for the first time in their respective collegiate careers.

Liberty goes back on the road Monday, stepping out of conference with an evening match at Old Dominion. Match time is set for 6 p.m. Charleston Southern returns home for three-straight contests beginning Wednesday with a non-conference match with The Citadel at 4 p.m.