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Wheelock's Two Goals Lead Lady Flames to 2-1 Victory Over Highlanders
Liberty senior midfielder Mandee Wheelock netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 1:16 left, propelling the Lady Flames to a 2-1 win over the Radford Highlanders in Big South women's soccer on a chilly, rainy Friday evening at Patrick D. Cupp Stadium.
With the victory, the Lady Flames remain atop the Big South standings with a 4-1-1 mark in the conference play and 6-6-1 overall record. Liberty is unbeaten in their last four contests (3-0-1). Radford falls to 2-2 in the conference and 4-7 overall.
With less than two minutes left in the match, a clearing pass by Radford was deflected across the field to Lady Flames forward Kendall Bartholomew (Jr., Thaxton, Va.), who ripped a shot from the top of the box. Highlander goalkeeper Tara Oleartchick made a diving save, but the rebound went right to Wheelock (Front Royal, Va.), who put the ball home into the wide-open net, breaking a 1-1 tie.
In the first half, after trading shots through the first 20 minutes of play, the Highlanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. Defender Jenna Ramer found forward McKenzie Vergara with a pass which the forward toed into the net for the night's first goal and her conference-leading seventh of the season.
The Highlanders' lead was short-lived as the Lady Flames knotted the score less than 10 minutes later. Midfielder Christina McDonald (Fr., Rosewell, Ga.) corralled a loose ball 30 yards out and lofted a pass into the box which Judd headed in for her first goal of the evening and a 1-1 tie.
On the evening, Liberty outshot Radford, 16-12, while the Highlanders edged the Lady Flames, 9-8, in corner kicks.
Liberty keeper Katherine Neff (Sr., Guelph, Ont.) made five saves on the evening, while Oleartchick had six saves.
Along with scoring her second and third goals of the season, Wheelock tied with teammate Amy Oberlin (So., F, Ada, Mich.) for the team lead in shots. Both had three attempts on the evening.
After five-straight Big South matches, Liberty steps out of conference to host Howard, Monday afternoon at Liberty Soccer Field. Match time is set for 4 p.m.