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Pair of Goals Gives Liberty 11th Win

October 18, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Sophomore forward Rebecca Smith posted a goal in the 16th minute of Liberty's 2-0 win over VMI, Thursday.

The Liberty women's soccer team picked up its second straight win, Thursday afternoon, defeating VMI at Patchin Field, 2-0.

Liberty's pair of goals came from the feet of forwards Rebecca Smith and Helena Pereira. Junior defender Dawn Elmers was also credited with an assist on Pereira's goal. With her fifth marker of the season, Pereira is now tied for the team lead with freshman forward Jaime Bouffard.

Goalkeeper Karen Blocker played the entire contest in the net for the Lady Flames, making three saves and extending her career shutout record to 19. The shutout is also the netminder's eighth of the season.

The win helps Liberty improve to 11-6-1 on the season and 5-3-1 in Big South play. VMI falls to 1-14 on the year and 0-9 in conference action.

Freshman Alex Mack attempted to put Liberty on the board early in the first period, firing a shot on goal in the third minute. VMI goalkeeper Mackenzie Harrmann stuffed the attempt to keep the Lady Flames from gaining the advantage.

Liberty lit up the scoreboard just before the 17th minute. Senior Lauren Stell lofted a ball from behind the midfield line to the right side. Senior Heather Bentley then flicked the long pass forward with her head before Smith settled it. The sophomore dribbled up the field and broke through the goalkeeper challenge before airmailing it into the left corner. Smith's second goal of the year put Liberty ahead, 1-0.

After Harmann thwarted an attempt by freshman Rebekah Page at 18:33, Elmers nearly gave the Lady Flames another goal in the 25th minute. The defender blasted a shot at the VMI net, but the attempt ricocheted off the crossbar.

In the 31st minute, VMI had a look at the Liberty net. Forward Liz Affronti booted a shot from 25 yards out, but Blocker was there to make the grab, allowing Liberty to maintain its 1-0 edge at halftime.

Liberty wasted little time in the second period, posting its second goal in the 50th minute. A through ball from Elmers landed between two defenders and was settled by Pereira. The forward dribbled past the VMI defense and placed a 12-yard shot in the back of the net, giving Liberty the 2-0 lead.

Stell tried to add to Liberty's advantage, taking a shot on goal in the 54th minute. Harmann corralled the attempt, preventing the Lady Flames from extending their lead. Later in the 63rd minute, Mack had a look at the VMI net, but the freshman's shot in front of the goal mouth was blocked by a Keydet defender.

VMI took two shots on goal in the final 10 minutes of the contest, resulting in two Blocker saves. With five seconds remaining, Blocker stopped the final attempt by Affronti, giving way to the 2-0 victory.

Liberty outshot the Keydets in the contest, 15-6, and held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Like Blocker,
Harrmann played the full 90 minutes in the net for VMI, finishing with two saves.

VMI heads to Longwood on Saturday for a clash with the Lancers at 6 p.m.

Liberty returns home on Saturday to host defending Big South champion Radford. The contest will serve as the Lady Flames' Senior Night, as eight Liberty seniors will be honored prior to the matchup. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.