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Lady Flames Erupt In Second Half for 3-0 Win Over Keydets
The Liberty Lady Flames broke open a scoreless contest with a late second half offensive outburst, netting three goals in less than 16 minutes, to shut out the VMI Keydets, 3-0, Tuesday afternoon in a Big South contest at Patchin Field.
With the victory, Liberty improves to 5-6-1 overall and 3-1-1 in conference play, while VMI falls to 3-7 overall and 0-4 in the league.A scoreless first half saw few scoring opportunities for either team as Liberty outshot VMI, 5-3, in the stanza.
VMI's Erin Squires saw a one-on-one opportunity with Liberty senior keeper Katherine Neff (Guelph, Ont.) late in the first half go for naught. She was unable to pull the trigger as the Liberty defense closed down and prevented a shot. The Lady Flames finished the half with three straight shots on net; however, Keydet keeper Jessica Rheinlander stopped each as the match went to intermission.
The second period was much of the same for the opening 20 minutes, until Liberty began to find its rhythm on the offensive end midway through the period. Pressuring the Keydet defense, the Lady Flames took a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute. Senior Mandee Wheelock (MF, Front Royal, Va.) found the back of the net from just outside of the box on the right side, when her apparent crossing attempt could not be corralled by Rheinlander and slid over the goal line for her first goal of the season and the contest's first score.
It did not take Liberty long to add to its advantage. Just two-and-a-half minutes later, junior Brittney Bench (F, Orefield, Pa.) tallied her second goal of the season, as she connected on a loose ball in the box to make the advantage 2-0.
The Lady Flames put the contest out of reach in the 88th minute. On the attack, sophomore Mallory Neff (MF, Sunbury, Pa.) scored her first goal of her collegiate career after a pair of shots were blocked in the box by Keydet defenders. On the play, senior Kristin Faxon (MF, Chester, N.H.) collected her first assist of the year.
Goalkeeper Neff was credited with two saves in collecting her second-straight shutout. Meanwhile, Rheinlander made five saves, four in the first half, while playing all 90 minutes as well.
For the contest, the Lady Flames held a 14-9 advantage in shots, and were whistled for offsides eight times to the Keydets' two. VMI held the advantage in corner kicks, 4-1 while each team was called for six fouls.
Bench and Wheelock led the Liberty attack with three shots apiece, while Karen Bill paced VMI with a game-high four shots.
Liberty returns to action Friday evening, as it travels to Radford, Va. to take on the Highlanders at 7 p.m.