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Liberty Squares Off with VMI, Thursday
The Liberty women's soccer team closes out a three-game stretch on the road, Thursday, taking on Big South and Commonwealth competitor VMI. Liberty (10-6-1, 4-3-1 Big South) currently holds the advantage in the all-time series with a 5-3 record against the Keydets. Game time at Patchin Field is slated for 4 p.m.
Following Liberty's matchup with VMI, the Lady Flames return home to host defending Big South champion and current conference leader Radford, Saturday. The contest will serve as the Lady Flames' Senior Night, as eight Liberty seniors will be honored prior to the matchup. The Highlanders are currently tied for first in the conference standings with High Point and hold a 15-7-3 advantage in the all-time series with Liberty. Game time for Saturday's meeting at the East Campus Fields is set for 7 p.m.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for both games on LibertyFlames.com, by clicking the appropriate links on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats for Thursday's game will be provided by the VMI media relations office.
A Look at Liberty
After falling to High Point last Thursday on a golden goal in the 93rd minute, the Lady Flames responded with an overtime game-winner of their own against Campbell, Saturday.
Forward Helena Pereira scored Liberty's golden goal, finding the net in the extra period at the 92:59 mark. The goal was reminiscent of one the sophomore posted in a 2-1 victory over High Point in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big South Championship.
With the win, Liberty improved to 10-6-1 on the season and 4-3-1 in conference play. The Lady Flames earned their 10th win in a single season for the first time since going 12-7-2 in 2005. The victory is also the team's first against the Fighting Camels since a 3-0 win on Oct. 9, 2000. The Lady Flames are now 2-5 all-time versus Campbell.
Goalkeeper Karen Blocker currently leads the Big South in goals-against average (0.81) and is tied for first with Radford's Che' Brown for the most shutouts (7). The netminder holds the program's all-time record for career shutouts (18) and is No. 2 all-time on Liberty's career saves list with 318. Blocker is also on pace to end her career with the best goals-against average (1.39) in program history.
Freshman forward Jaime Bouffard leads the Lady Flames this season with five goals and 12 points. Senior defender Lauren Stell and sophomore forward Helena Pereira each have four goals on the year. Freshman midfielder Brittany Aanderud leads the team with five assists.
The Lady Flames currently sit in sixth place in the conference standings. Liberty leads the conference in goals-against average (0.81) and is second in shutouts (7) and fewest goals allowed (14).
VMI at a Glance
VMI enters Thursday's contest with a 1-13 record overall and an 0-8 mark in Big South play. The Commonwealth competitor has been outscored by opponents, 48-6, this year. Courtney Mason leads the team with two goals, while four other Keydets have one apiece. Three different players have stepped in between the posts for VMI this season. Mackenzie Harrmann has seen the most action in goal for the Keydets, making 51 saves, this season.
Sneak Peek at Radford
Unbeaten in its last 11 games, Radford (10-2-2, 6-0-2 Big South) is currently tied for first with High Point in the conference standings. Julie Ruh'e and Rachel Conway lead the Highlanders with six goals each on the season. Mary Wiley has been a key distributor for Radford, sitting at No. 2 in the Big South with six assists. Goalkeeper Che' Brown leads the conference in save percentage (.828) and is tied with Karen Blocker in shutouts with seven.
As a team, the Highlanders lead the league in goals (31) and fewest goals allowed (12). Prior to its meeting with Liberty, Radford squares off with Longwood on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Liberty concludes the 2012 regular season at home against Longwood next Tuesday. Game time at the East Campus Fields is slated for 4:30 p.m.