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Lady Flames Fall at Winthrop
With the setback in its final regular season contest, Liberty finishes to 5-2-1 in the regular season conference play and 7-7-1 overall. The defeat snaps a four-game unbeaten streak for the Lady Flames. Winthrop, with its fourth-straight victory, moves to 5-1 in the Big South and 10-4-1 overall.
Liberty drops out of first place in the conference and, with a weekend of league play left, various seeding scenarios are still possible for the defending conference champions in the upcoming Big South Women's Soccer Championship in Conway, S.C., Nov. 2-5.
The host Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 advantage on their first shot attempt of the afternoon in the contest's seventh minute. A clearing pass found its way to midfielder Jodi Kemp at the top of the 18-yard box. Her half volley slipped through the crowded box and into the right side of the goal to give her team the early lead.
Winthrop added a second tally 10 minutes later when Chelsea White collided with Lady Flames goalkeeper Katherine Neff (Sr., Guelph, Ont.) and a Liberty defender, causing the ball to squirt out toward the goal and into the goal.
After taking only four shots in the first half, the Lady Flames rallied in the second stanza by firing 12 shots, forcing Eagle netminder Dimitra Poulos to make eight saves. Pressuring the Winthrop goal and limiting the Eagles to one shot in the second half, Liberty had several opportunities to cut into the deficit including solid chances by Rachel Hetrick (Jr., F, Grantville, Pa.) and Amy Oberlin (So., MF, Ada, Mich.) in the game's 77th minute. However, the Lady Flames were unable to convert.
On the afternoon, Liberty outshot Winthrop, 16-7 and also held the advantage in corner kicks, 5-2.
Flames' keeper Neff made two saves on the afternoon. Poulos had 10 saves for the Eagles.
Oberlin led all players with four shots on the day. White led Winthrop with two.
With the regular season concluded, Liberty now awaits the conclusion of the Big South regular season next Sunday to find out its seeding for the Big South Women's Soccer Championship. The 2005 champion Lady Flames will try to defend their title Nov. 2-5 in Conway, S.C. The championship gets underway Nov. 2 with four first-round matches.