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Lady Flames Open Big South Slate, Thursday
The Liberty women's soccer team kicks off the Big South Conference slate this week, while also rounding out a five-game homestand.
The 6-3 Lady Flames hope to continue an unprecedented start in 2012, when they host Presbyterian College on Thursday. Liberty is unbeaten when matching up with the Blue Hose, holding a 4-0-1 advantage in the all-time series. Game time at the Campus East Fields is slated for 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Liberty returns to action against UNC Asheville at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames are 13-7-2 all-time against the Bulldogs since the series began in 1992. Liberty's last defeat to UNC Asheville occurred on Oct. 10, 2005, as the Bulldogs defeated the Lady Flames, 4-1. Since then, Liberty is 6-0-2 against the conference competitor.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats powered by GameTracker will be available for both games on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate links on the women's soccer schedule/results panel.
A Look at Liberty
The Lady Flames picked up two more wins, last week, defeating George Washington (1-0) and South Carolina State (2-1).
Liberty's win over the Colonials on Friday marked goalkeeper Karen Blocker's 16th career shutout. The Bowie, Md., native now holds the program's all-time record, surpassing the previous mark of 15 held by Natalie Mayer (2001-04).
Offensively, freshman forward Jaime Bouffard made an impact in both contests for the Lady Flames, as she was named Big South Attacking Player of the Week for her efforts.
The Oswego, N.Y., native is the second Lady Flame to earn a weekly nod from the conference this season, as senior defender Lauren Stell was also named attacking player of the week on Sept. 4. Bouffard closed out the week with back-to-back game-winning goals in the victories over George Washington and South Carolina State.
Along with Bouffard, Stell and freshman Crystal Elmers also have two goals on the year, while freshman Brittany Aanderud has been a key distributor for the Lady Flames in the opening nine games. The midfielder currently leads the conference in assists with four helpers, this season.
Blocker enters Thursday's contest leading the Big South in goals-against average (0.67) and shutouts (5). The netminder is also second in the conference in save percentage (.833).
In addition to holding the Liberty shutout record, Blocker has 283 career saves, needing just 14 to surpass Paula Barringer (296, 1989-91) for No. 2 on the program's all-time list. The redshirt senior currently has a 1.46 career goals-against average and is on pace to set a new school record. The current record is 1.64, held by Sonia Rodriguez (2000-05) and Blocker's former teammate Ashley Nyholt (2007-10).
As a team, Liberty leads the Big South in fewest goals allowed (6), goals-against average (0.67) and shutouts (5).
Presbyterian College at a Glance
Presbyterian College (0-7) enters Thursday's matchup looking for its first win of the season. In seven contests this year, the Blue Hose have been outscored by their opponents, 20-6.
Offensively, Tori Lopez and Stephanie Allen lead the team with two goals, apiece. In the net, goalkeepers Jordan Broadway and Sydney Fontenot have split time between the posts. Broadway has seen the most action, this season, appearing in six games for a total of 34 saves (.829) and a goals-against average of 1.49.
Sneak Peek at UNC Asheville
The Bulldogs (2-6) currently lead the Big South in all offensive categories – goals (16), assists (12), points (44) and shots (123). However, on the defensive end, UNC Asheville is 12th in goals allowed (28) and goals against average (3.42).
Paige Trent and Kaitlyn Eckert each have four goals on the season for the Bulldogs, while Shenny Lenhart has three. In addition, Eckert is also tied for second in the conference with three assists.
Prior to Saturday's contest with Liberty, UNC Asheville squares off with Longwood, Thursday night, at 7 p.m. in Farmville, Va.