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Coastal Carolina Holds Off Liberty, Thursday
Looking to extend its win streak to five games and start 3-0 in Big South play for the first time in school history, the Liberty women's soccer team stepped on to CCU Field, Thursday night, taking on host Coastal Carolina. Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, the Chanticleers had other plans. After scoring in the 17th minute, Coastal Carolina held the Liberty attack at bay with stifling defense to take the contest, 1-0.
With the defeat, Liberty falls to 8-4 on the year and 2-1 in conference action. Coastal Carolina improves to 4-6 overall and 1-2 in the Big South.
After goalkeeper Karen Blocker thwarted a header by Coastal Carolina's Kacey Kelley in the 14th minute, the Chanticleers lit up the scoreboard nearly three minutes later. Thanks to an Ashley Day crossing pass from the right side to the far post, one touch was all it took for Christina Stern. The forward immediately tapped the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the season and a 1-0 Coastal Carolina lead.
In the 24th minute, Kelley once again took a shot at the Liberty goal, but Blocker was there to make the save and prevent the home team from adding to its advantage.
Liberty controlled possession in the latter part of the first period, but was unable to muster a shot on goal, keeping the score the same at halftime.
Coastal Carolina outshot the Lady Flames in the opening half, 4-1, while also holding a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
In the second half, the Chanticleers kept the ball in Liberty territory, setting up three corner kicks during the opening three and a half minutes. Kelley attempted a shot for the Coastal Carolina in the 50th minute, but the effort was blocked, preventing the Chanticleers from stretching their advantage.
Liberty's lone shot of the half came in the 76th minute, off the foot of midfielder Brittany Aanderud. However, her kick sailed wide of the Coastal Carolina net. Later in the 84th minute, Kelley tried one final time to give the Chanticleers an insurance goal, but Blocker made her resulting in a third save to keep Liberty within striking distance.
The Lady Flames took a corner kick in the 88th minute, but were unable to turn it into a scoring opportunity. The Chanticleers then took the ball to the other end of the field, isolating it in the left corner to run out the clock and hang on for the 1-0 final.
Coastal Carolina outshot the Lady Flames in the contest, 7-2, and held an identical advantage in corner kicks. Megan Spencer played the full contest between the posts for the Chanticleers. Blocker also played the entire 90 minutes in net for Liberty, finishing with three saves. The Bowie, Md., native now needs just five saves to surpass Paula Barringer (296) for No. 2 on Liberty's all-time saves list.
Liberty remains on the road with a match Saturday. The Lady Flames will square off with Charleston Southern in Big South contest. Game time is set for 4 p.m.