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Lady Flames Return to Action Thursday
The Liberty women's soccer team returns to action this week, hoping to rebound from two straight losses in Big South action.
Entering the pair of contests with a 4-0 record at the East Campus Fields, Liberty begins the week hosting Gardner-Webb on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Lady Flames are currently 3-1-3 all-time against the Runnin' Bulldogs.
On Homecoming Saturday, Liberty returns to action, squaring off with Winthrop. The Lady Eagles hold the advantage in the all-time series, with a 6-3-2. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats powered by Game Tracker will be available for both games on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate links on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. A video broadcast for Thursday's will be available on tape delay at a future date.
A Look at Liberty
The Lady Flames (8-5, 2-2 Big South) are looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses in conference competition. This past Thursday, Liberty was edged by Coastal Carolina, 1-0, in a defensive struggle. On Saturday, despite the fact head coach Jessica Hain's squad outshot Charleston Southern, 25-15, the Lady Buccaneers were able to find the net three times, earning the 3-2 decision.
In the defeat to Charleston Southern, Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker further cemented her name in the school's annals. The Bowie, Md., native finished the contest with seven saves, surpassing Paula Barringer (296) for No. 2 on Liberty's career saves list. Blocker now has 299 saves as a Lady Flame.
Blocker and the Lady Flames lead the league in total shutouts (6) and goals-against average (0.85). In addition to holding the Liberty career shutout record with 17, Blocker has a career goals-against average of 1.44 and is on pace to break the current record of 1.64 held by Sonia Rodriguez and Ashley Nyholt.
Freshman forward Jaime Bouffard also posted her fourth goal of the season in Saturday's contest. The Oswego, N.Y. native is now the team leader in goals and total points (10). Senior defender Lauren Stell has three goals on the season, while freshman midfielder Brittany Aanderud leads the team in assists with four.
Gardner-Webb at a Glance
Gardner-Webb (2-9, 1-3 Big South) is coming off a tough 2-1 double overtime road loss to High Point, this past Saturday. The Runnin' Bulldogs have received goals from five different players, with all but one in her first year of collegiate soccer. Freshmen Samantha Gutierrez, Ashley Carmean, Shelby Hooe, and Nichole Poppe have found the back of the net, along with junior Megan Loftin.
Sophomore keeper Amy Schmitt is in her first season starting in goal as a Runnin' Bulldog. Schmitt, whose saves total (69) ranks third in the Big South, solidifies a defense led by sophomore defender Addison Abee and junior outside back Ele Margelos. Freshmen Brooke Kelly, Whitley Bowman and Brianna Fraire have also given the Runnin' Bulldogs valuable minutes this season.
Sneak Peek at Winthrop
Prior to its Saturday meeting with Liberty, second-place Winthrop (6-4-1, 3-0-1 Big South) squares off with Big South newcomer Longwood on Thursday.
The Lady Eagles are led by Krystyna Freda who has scored seven goals in the last seven games, including the game-winning goal in her last outing at Campbell. Allie VandeWater has recorded a point in three consecutive matches for Winthrop, including her assist to Freda in a 1-0 win at Campbell.
Goalkeepers Amelia Henderson and Sarah Schippers have anchored a defense that has four shutouts in its last six matches.