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Women's Soccer Opens 2012 Season at Davidson Friday
The Liberty women's soccer team begins its 2012 season by taking on Davidson on the road, Friday. The Lady Flames are seeking their first-ever win over the Wildcats, as they have not recorded a victory in the four meetings in the all-time series.
Friday's meeting between the two squads marks the first in nearly 20 years, with the most recent taking place on Oct. 2, 1993. The hosting Wildcats took the contest, 6-0. Game time for the fifth installment at Alumni Soccer Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.
Following its game against Davidson, Liberty will make its 2012 debut at Osborne Stadium on Sunday, facing Drexel for the first time in program history. The matchup, which kicks off an 11-game home slate this season, is set for a 2 p.m. start.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats for Friday's game will be provided by the Davidson media relations office. A live video stream will also be available during the matchup.
Sunday's home opener will feature live stats powered by GameTracker.
A Look at Liberty
Liberty Head Women's Soccer Coach Jessica Hain enters her fifth season at the program's helm. In her second season with the Lady Flames, Hain was named 2009 Big South Coach of the Year.
Last season, Liberty finished fifth in the conference standings with a 5-4-1 record in Big South play. Hain's squad defeated No. 4 High Point in the Big South Championship quarterfinals, 2-1, thanks to a golden goal by Helen Pereira in overtime. The Lady Flames then faced No. 1 Radford in the semifinals, but were halted by the eventual champion, 4-1.
The Lady Flames return six starters from last year, including senior goalkeeper Karen Blocker, 2011 all-conference second team member Lauren Stell, all-freshman team member Maddie Boone and all-tournament team selections Kelly Henion and Pereira. Blocker enters her final season as a Lady Flame, No. 2 on Liberty's career shutout list with 11 and No. 3 all-time on the school's career saves list with 253.
Henion was one of four players to record four goals for the Lady Flames in 2011, while Boone and Stell led Liberty with four assists apiece. Sophomore Geena Swentik also returns to the lineup after posting a quartet of tallies, last season.
In addition to its returners, Liberty will also have nine newcomers on the roster – Brittany Aanderud, Jaime Bouffard, Jordan Custer, Crystal Elmers, Johanna Kern, Alexandra Mack, Hannah Myers, Rebekah Page and Holly Van Noord.
Davidson at a Glance
The Wildcats enter Friday's matchup coming off 9-9-2 season in 2011, finishing fourth in Southern Conference play with a 7-4 record. Nine starters return to Greg Ashton's squad this season. Ashton enters his ninth season at Davidson with 88 wins, the second most of any coach in program history.
Davidson returns its top two goal scorers, Becca Fisher and Stephanie Piperno. Fisher, the 2011 SocCon Freshman of the Year, paced the Wildcats offense with seven goals, for assists and 18 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Locke, a 2011 SoCOn All-Freshman selection, is back in the net for Davidson after starting 14 games and recording 61 saves.
Sneak Peek at Drexel
Prior to its Sunday afternoon visit to Osborne Stadium, Drexel will stop in nearby Farmville, Va., to take on Big South newcomer Longwood, Friday.
The Dragons are coming off a 6-8-5 season, finishing eighth in Colonial Athletic Assocation action with a 4-4-3 record, last year. Head coach Ray Goon enters his 15th season with the Dragons. Eight starters return from his 2011 squad, including second team All-CAA selections Biz Matta and Eve Badana. The duo was also named to the 2012 CAA Preseason All-Conference Team.
2012 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Soccer Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) – Points
1) Campbell (4) – 132
2) Radford (6) – 130
3) High Point (2) – 122
4) Winthrop – 101
5) Longwood – 90
6) Charleston Southern – 83
7) Liberty – 76
8) Coastal Carolina – 65
9) UNC Asheville – 50
10) Gardner-Webb – 46
11) Presbyterian College – 23
12) VMI – 18