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Liberty Blanks American, 2-0
The Liberty women's soccer team picked up its second straight win, defeating the American Eagles on the road, 2-0, Friday afternoon.
Liberty's two goals came in the second half, with senior Lauren Stell and junior Megan Warner finding the net for the Lady Flames. Freshmen Brittany Aanderud and Crystal Elmers were credited with assists.
Goalkeeper Karen Blocker continued to march her way up the Liberty record books, notching her 14th career shutout. The redshirt senior needs just one more shutout to tie Natalie Mayer (2001-04) for the program's all-time record.
With the victory, Liberty moves to 3-2 on the year, while American falls 1-3-1 in 2012. The all-time series is now tied at 1-1.
The Eagles outshot the Lady Flames in the first period, 5-0, but multiple stops by Blocker prevented American from lighting up the scoreboard. The Bowie, Md., native thwarted three of the Eagles' five attempts, all of which originated off the foot of forward Carleigh Morba during the opening 22 minutes. Forward Erin Mulhern took the other two shots for the Eagles, but one was blocked in the 28th minute, while another sailed high over the Liberty net in the 43rd minute, keeping the contest scoreless at halftime.
The offensive attack picked up for Liberty during the early minutes of the second half. The Eagles began the period with two more shots on goal during the 48th and 49th minutes. However, once again, Blocker stopped both attempts to keep the contest without a goal.
Later in the 55th minute, Aanderud fired a shot of her own at the American net, but goalkeeper Klare Lazor was there to make the stop, preventing Liberty from gaining an advantage.
Fifteen minutes later, the freshman midfielder orchestrated Liberty's first goal of the contest during the 70th minute. Aanderud sent a corner kick across the 18-yard box, setting up Stell, who tapped it into the net for her first goal of the season, putting the Lady Flames ahead, 1-0. Stell's goal was the fourth of her Liberty career and her first since Liberty's 2-1 victory over VMI on Oct. 20, 2011. Aanderud's assist was her third on the year.
Liberty was not done on the afternoon, putting the contest away with an insurance goal in the 85th minute. Leading scorer Elmers decided to spread the wealth, feeding the ball through to Warner. The junior then broke away from the American defense and slipped a shot into the left corner past Lazor. Warner's first marker of the season ultimately led to the 2-0 final.
American outshot the Lady Flames, 10-5, in the contest, but Liberty held a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Blocker played the full 90 minutes between the posts for the Lady Flames, collecting five saves. American's
Lazor remained in the net for the entire contest, making one save on the afternoon.
Liberty continues play this weekend by heading to Norfolk, Va., to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.