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Lady Flames Fall on the Road, 1-0
For the second straight game, a first-half goal proved to be the deciding factor, as the Liberty Lady Flames fell to Eastern Mennonite, 1-0, Thursday evening at the EMU Turf Field.
Liberty drops to 3-4 on the season, while Eastern Mennonite improves their mark to 4-3 with the victory.
Despite Liberty controlling play early, Eastern Mennonite used a breakaway to score the lone goal of the contest. The visitors used a pressuring attack during the first six minutes to earn five penalty corners and firing a shot. However, off a breakaway, the Lady Royals' Adriana Santiago corralled the ball coming across the circle and found the back of the cage at the 10:51 mark, causing a shift in momentum.
The Lady Flames answered with a pair of shots in the following minutes, but the Nicole Simms and Helen Doolittle shots were blocked by defenders, before reaching the goalkeeper.
Eastern Mennonite then possessed the ball for much of the remaining opening half, striking six shots, with four being on target. Liberty goalkeeper Ann Jefferis was able to block each away, including breaking up another transition attempt.
The Lady Flames held the penalty corner advantage, 6-2 in the first 35-minutes of play, but could not capitalize. However, Eastern Mennonite held the shot advantage, 7-3.
The second half saw action on both ends of the field, as the teams traded scoring chances. A pair of penalty corners and shot attempts by Eastern Mennonite bookended a Liberty penalty corner, but no harm was done on the scoreboard for either side.
Liberty continued to keep the pressure on the Lady Royals around the circle, earning six more penalty corners during the second half of play. This time, Eastern Mennonite goalkeeper Mary Beth Danaher was put to the test, coming up with three saves on shots, resulting from corner opportunities.
Eastern Mennonite threatened to score on another fast break attempt after the 66th minute, but Jefferis applied her own pressure, rushing to the top of the circle to halt the attack and keep Liberty within striking distance.
In the final minutes of play, the Lady Flames made several final attempts to find an equalizing goal, but came up empty, leading the hosts to the 1-0 victory.
Despite being outshot by an 11-6 margin, the Lady Flames held a strong 12-4 advantage in penalty corners. Jefferis completed the game with seven saves for Liberty, while her counterpart, Danaher, blocked away three shots on the evening and picked up the victory.
The Lady Flames continue play on Saturday, as they travel to Farmville, Va., to face NorPac member Longwood. Game time is scheduled for noon.