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Penalty Kick Gives Liberty Win over Old Dominion
The Liberty women's soccer team extended its win streak to three games, Sunday afternoon, defeating Old Dominion at the ODU Soccer Complex, 1-0. The victory over the Lady Monarch's is the program's first since the series began in 2005. Prior to Sunday's contest, Old Dominion held a 5-0 advantage in the series.
Liberty scored its lone goal on a Lauren Stell penalty kick after a foul inside the box in the 59th minute. With the tally, Stell notched her second goal of the season, tying her with freshman forward Crystal Elmers for the team lead in goals (2) and points (5).
Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker finished the contest with three saves and recorded her third-straight shutout. The Bowie, Md., native now has four shutouts on the season and 15 for her Liberty career, tying her with Natalie Mayer (2001-04) for the program's all-time record.
With the win, Liberty moves to 4-2 on the season, marking the best six-game start in the program's 24-year history. Prior to this year, Liberty had not recorded more than three wins in its first six games of a season. The Lady Monarchs' loss drops them to 1-4 on the year.
Liberty outshot ODU in the first period, 8-5. Seven of the Lady Flames eight attempts occurred in the opening 31 minutes. Beginning in the 24th minute, Liberty posted three shots on goal within a near five and half minute span. Stell, along with freshmen Jaime Bouffard and Crystal Elmers each fired shots at the ODU net, but goalkeeper Laura Bush was there to thwart the trio of attempts.
During the span, Lady Monarch's midfielder Jessie Klamut booted a shot of her own at the Liberty net in the 25th minute. However, Blocker made the play to collect her first save of the contest.
Stell closed out the period with one final attempt on goal in the 41st minute. Once again, Bush was there to stop the senior's blast, keeping the contest scoreless at halftime.
Liberty intensified its offensive attack in the second period, outshooting the Lady Monarchs, 11-5. Sophomore midfielder Maddie Boone continued the trend from the opening period, airmailing an attempt at the ODU net in the 53rd minute. Bush corralled the shot, picking up her fifth save of the contest. Less than three minute later, Elmers tried to put the Lady Flames on the board, but her shot was blocked.
Following a foul inside the box in the 59th minute, Liberty set up for a penalty kick. Stell took the shot for Liberty, placing it past Bush and into the net to put Liberty ahead, 1-0.
The Lady Flames closed out the period with three more shots on net by Rebekah Page, Heather Bentley and Britanny Aanderud, respectively. Bush stopped all three attempts, but the ODU offense was unable to even things up on the opposite end, paving the way for the Liberty victory.
Liberty outshot ODU in the contest, 19-10 and held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. Like Blocker, Bush played the full 90 minutes in goal for the Lady Monarchs, making nine saves on the afternoon.
The Lady Flames return home on Friday for its first-ever meeting versus BIG EAST member Pittsburgh. Due to renovations at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, the contest will take place at the Campus East Athletics Fields. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.