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Blocker Collects 20th Career Shutout on Senior Night
Looking to build off a 2-0 win over VMI, the Liberty women's soccer team hosted defending Big South champion Radford at the East Campus Fields, Saturday night. Despite a combined 51 shots in the contest, the matchup ended in a scoreless draw.
In a contest that featured two of the conference's top goalkeepers, Karen Blocker played the full 110 minutes in net for the Lady Flames, making seven saves. The Bowie, Md., native recorded her 20th career shutout and ninth on the season. In addition to extending her Liberty career shutout record, Blocker is now tied with Natalie Mayer (2001-04) for the most shutouts by a Liberty goalkeeper in a single season.
Brown also played the entire contest in the net for the Highlanders, finishing with six saves.
With the draw, Liberty is now 11-6-2 on the year and 5-3-2 in the Big South. The Highlanders are 10-2-4 overall and 6-0-4 in conference play.
Prior to the start of the matchup, Liberty honored its eight seniors for Senior Night – Heather Bentley, Blocker, Ariana Espinoza, Kelly Henion, Emily Hoy, Sarah Robinson, Madison Short and Lauren Stell.
Radford held a slight edge in the opening period, outshooting the Lady Flames, 8-6. Each team had two shots on goal, resulting in a pair of saves for both goalkeepers.
After two stops by Blocker in the opening 11 minutes, Brittany Aanderud fired a shot at the Highlanders net in the 18th minute that was corralled by Brown. Later in the 39th minute, Jaime Bouffard sent a header toward the visiting goal, but once again Brown made the stop to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime.
The action picked up in the second period, with Radford holding a 14-12 margin in shots. The Highlanders took four shots on goal, resulting in four stops for Blocker. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames had three good looks at the Radford net, but Brown thwarted the trio of attempts.
Liberty's best chance at a goal came in the 64th minute, as junior forward Megan Warner blasted a shot toward the left corner. Brown dove for the ball, full extending her arms and snatching it out of the air to prevent the score.
Radford's final attempt on goal came in the 82nd minute from Sally Dillinger, resulting in Blocker's sixth save of the night. Later in the 88th minute, Bouffard attempted header for the Lady Flames, but the shot sailed wide, setting up Liberty's third overtime of the season.
Liberty outshot Radford in the first overtime, 5-1. After a shot by Pereira went wide in the 91st minute, Dillinger had a look at the Liberty net just before the 93rd minute. Once again, Blocker was there to make the grab. The Lady Flames followed with a pair of blocked shots and two more which went wide, giving way to the final overtime.
Much like the first extra period, Liberty controlled the action, outshooting the Highlanders, 5-0. The Lady Flames first three attempts were all wide of the goal. After a shot by Alex Mack was blocked, Pereira looked to be the hero in the final minute. The sophomore fired an attempt at the Radford net, but Brown grabbed the shot, ultimately leading to the scoreless tie.
Liberty outshot the Highlanders in the contest, 28-23, and held a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks.
Radford closes out the regular season at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against VMI.
Liberty returns to the East Campus Fields to host Big South newcomer Longwood, Tuesday. Game time at the East Campus Fields is slated for 4:30 p.m.