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Women's Soccer Returns to Osborne Stadium, Friday
Looking to bounce back from a 1-0 road loss to Richmond this past Sunday, the Liberty women's soccer team returns to Osborne Stadium this Friday to host South Carolina State at 7 p.m. The contest is part of a doubleheader that also features the Liberty men's soccer team against Howard at 4 p.m.
Following their clash with the Bulldogs, the Lady Flames remain at home for a meeting with Elon, Sunday at 2 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats for both games will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. A live video stream for Friday's contest will also be available on the Big South Network.
A Look at Liberty
Liberty enters Friday's contest with a 1-3-1 record after falling to Richmond, 1-0, this past Sunday at Robins Field.
Karen Blocker played the full 90 minutes in goal and finished the contest with 11 saves, her most stops since posting 11 against High Point on Oct. 17, 2009.
Through the Lady Flames' first five contests, five different players have netted goals this season – Aimee Luurtsema, Silvia Betancourt, Laura Nyholt, Kelly Henion and Megan Warner.
Blocker has played all 470 minutes in the net for the Lady Flames, making 30 saves and holding a 2.49 goals-against average on the season.
Liberty was picked to finish fifth in the Big South standings at season's end in the conference's preseason poll. The Lady Flames return 20 players from last season's squad, including All-Big South second team defender Ariana Espinoza, midfielder Madison Short and forward Luurtsema.
A Look at South Carolina State
South Carolina State takes the field Friday holding a 1-3-2 mark on the season. The MEAC member is coming off a 0-0 tie with The Citadel on Wednesday. Prior to the stalemate, the Lady Bulldogs dropped a contest at Big South member Campbell, falling to the Camels, last Friday, 2-0.
Four different South Carolina State players each have one goal this year – Kaitlynn Cortez, Cassie Rodriguez, Olivia Moore and Darci Smith. Goalkeeper Danielle Murphy has played in between the posts all six contests for the Lady Bulldogs. The netminder currently has 27 saves (.730 save percentage) and a goals-against average of 1.76.
Liberty-South Carolina State Series Notes
Liberty holds a 1-0-1 advantage over South Carolina State heading into this weekend's meeting. The Lady Flames travelled to Orangeburg, S.C. last season, playing the Lady Bulldogs to a 1-1 tie. In the inaugural meeting with South Carolina State on Oct. 9, 1999, Liberty took the contest, 23-0, setting a team record for the most goals in a single game.
A Look at Elon
Prior to its contest with the Lady Flames, Elon will take on Big South member High Point on Friday at 7 p.m. The Phoenix (1-4-1) are currently on a four-game losing skid, with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of North Florida, who picked up the 3-2 win in double overtime, last Friday.
Liberty-Elon Series Notes
The Lady Flames are looking to take the advantage in the all-time series against Elon on Sunday. The series currently stands at 6-6-1. Last season, the Phoenix defeated the Lady Flames in Elon, N.C., 2-0.
During Elon's days in the Big South, the two squads met three-straight years in the conference championship (1999-2001), with the Lady Flames taking home the trophy in 2000 and 2001.
In the 2000 championship game against the former Big South member, Liberty's Nancy Davis netted both goals for the Lady Flames, en route to a 2-0 victory and Liberty's inaugural conference title. Davis' performance throughout the tournament earned her Big South Championship MVP honors.
The following year, Liberty met Elon in the championship game for the third consecutive season, prevailing in the rubber match, 2-0. Following in her older sister Nancy's footsteps, Jenny Davis netted both of Liberty's goals in the contests, capturing MVP honors.
Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker is approaching a milestone, as she is eight saves shy of career save No. 200. Achieving the feat will allow her to surpass Natalie Mayer (2001-04, 199 saves) for fourth all-time on the program's career saves list. Currently sitting in fifth in the record books with 192 stops, Blocker needs just 13 saves to move ahead of former teammate Ashley Nyholt (2007-10), who is third all-time with 204 saves.