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Lady Flames Open Season with 1-0 Win at Davidson
The Liberty women's soccer team opened the season with a win, defeating Davidson at Alumni Stadium, 1-0, Friday night. Freshman Crystal Elmers posted the lone goal for Liberty in the 38th minute of the opening half, courtesy of a Lauren Stell assist.
With the victory, Liberty wins its season opener win for the first time in six years. The last time the Lady Flames began the year with a mark in the win column occurred on Aug. 25, 2006, as Liberty bested Longwood, 3-0.
The Davidson offense applied the pressure first, firing off two shots in the opening 18 minutes. After a blast sailed high over the Liberty net in the 12th minute, Wildcats forward Julie Singley attempted a shot five minutes later from the right side of the 18-yard box, but Lady Flames goalkeeper Karen Blocker was there to corral the threat.
Liberty began getting looks at the net in the ensuing 13 minutes, thanks to shots from Megan Warner, Brittany Aanderud and Elmers. Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke thwarted all three attempts to keep the contest at a stalemate.
The fourth time was a charm for the Lady Flames. With Stell on the left side of the box, the senior sent a crossing pass to Elmers, who leaped into the air and flicked the ball into the upper right corner for her first career goal.
A minute after the marker, Elmers had an open shot at goal with Locke being out of position, but fortunately for the Wildcats, a defender was there to deflect the shot and prevent it from entering the net. The team save kept the score at 1-0 in favor of the Lady Flames heading into halftime.
In the opening six minutes of the second half, Elmers tried to pick up where she left off, booting a shot at the Davidson net. The Fenwick, Ontario native's attempt was just a tad high, ricocheting off the cross bar to keep the score the same.
The Wildcats tried on several occasions to even the score, but solid goalkeeping from Blocker kept the home team at bay. Singley took the final attempt for Davidson in the 84th minute. However, the senior goalkeeper stopped the shot en route to the 1-0 final.
Liberty outshot the Wildcats in the contest, 9-7, while Davidson held a 1-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Blocker played the entire 90 minutes of the contest in the net, finishing with four saves to notch her 12th career shutout.
Locke played between the pipes for Davidson during the entire opening half, making three saves and allowing the lone goal. Ranae Carins relieved Locke, protecting the net in the second half.
The Lady Flames make their 2012 Osborne Stadium debut this Sunday against Drexel. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.