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Liberty Begins Conference Play, Wednesday

September 23, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Begins Conference Play, Wednesday

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The defending Big South Champions begin their quest for a second straight title, Wednesday,  as the Liberty women's soccer (4-3) team heads to Charleston Southern (4-4) for its first game of the 2014 conference slate. The Lady Buccaneers lead the all-time series, 12-9-3, but Liberty took the most recent meeting, 1-0, at Osborne Stadium, last season (Sept. 25, 2013).

The Lady Flames are looking for their third straight win, while Charleston Southern hopes to snap a three-game losing streak. Game time at Blackbaud Stadium is set for 3 p.m.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats for Wednesday's game will be provided by the Charleston Southern media relations office and can be found on the schedule results/panel.

A Look at Liberty
Freshman forward Jennifer Knoebel paced the Lady Flames attack, last Tuesday at Osborne Stadium, scoring two goals in a 2-0 victory over George Mason. Knoebel's performance earned her Big South Attacking Player of the week honors on Monday for games played Sept. 15-21. The weekly honor marks the first ever for Knoebel in her budding collegiate career and the second for the Lady Flames, this season. Senior defender Maddie Boone previously earned Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors on Aug. 25.

Knoebel now leads Liberty with three goals on the season, after recording the Lady Flames' first two-goal game of the year. Baylee Gillmore was credited with the assist on the first goal, while Erika Troutman and Brittany Aanderud contributed to Knoebel's second marker.

Aanderud's helper gives her the team lead with three on the year. She is also first in the conference in assists with three other players – Winthrop's Krystyna Freda, UNC Asheville's Kaitlyn Eckert and Ashley Carmean. The junior midfielder now has 18 career assists, tying her with Cheryl Jones (18, 1997-2000) for second all-time in program history. Aanderud needs three more helpers to surpass Nancy Davis (20, 1998-2001) for the program record.

Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord picked up her fourth shutout of the season and 18th of her Liberty career. She is currently second on the school's all-time shutouts list, needing three more to break the school record of 20 held by Karen Blocker (2008-2012). This season, Van Noord leads the conference in shutouts and is second in goals-against average (0.82) and save percentage (.818).

Head coach Jessica Hain is in her sixth season with the program. Hain is coming off the most memorable season of her coaching tenure at Liberty, guiding the program to its fourth Big South Championship and first since 2005.

Liberty was unanimously voted the preseason favorite in the Big South Conference women's soccer preseason poll by the league's head coaches. The Lady Flames collected all 11 first-place votes and 121 total points, and were the preseason favorite for the first time since 2010 and sixth time overall.

Charleston Southern at a Glance
Charleston Southern enters Wednesday's contest with a 4-4 record. The Lady Buccaneers were predicted to finish seventh in the Big South Preseason poll. Charleston Southern is looking to bounce back from a three-game skid, dropping contests to Richmond (3-1), The Citadel (3-1) and Stetson (1-0).

Anna Sells leads the Lady Buccaneers offense with six goals and two assists on the season. Liz-Amanda Brown has played between the pipes in all eight games. She currently has a goals-against average of 1.34 and 46 saves (.807) on the year.

Looking Ahead
Liberty remains on the road in conference play, Saturday, squaring off against Campbell. Game is set for 1 p.m.