Despite allowing a goal in the opening two minutes in its Big South opener against Charleston Southern, Wednesday, the Liberty women's soccer team answered with a season-high four goals to defeat the Buccaneers at Blackbaud Stadium, 4-1.
Junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud led the Lady Flames attack with two goals, followed by Rebeccah Smith and Madison Kauzlarich, who each had one. Helena Pereira, Aanderud and Jaime Bouffard were credited with assists. Aanderud's helper gives her 19 for her Liberty career, one shy of tying the program record held by Nancy Davis (20, 1998-2001). Erica Gazzani posted the lone goal by Charleston Southern off an assist by Buccaneers leading scorer Anna Sells.
Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the opening 67:37 between the pipes, making one save. Tori Collar came in for the final 22:23, ending Van Noord's streak of consecutive minutes in goal at 2,855. Collar finished with three saves in her Liberty debut.
Liz-Amanda Brown remained in net the entire 90 minutes for the home team, making four saves. The Lady Flames outshot the Buccaneers, 21-9, including 11-5 in shots on goal. Liberty also held a 5-3 advantage on corner kicks.
With its third straight win, Liberty moves to 5-3 on the season and 1-0 in Big South action.
The Buccaneers struck early with a goal by Gazzani in the second minute. Sells headed the ball up to Gazzani who fired a shot past Van Noord for the quick 1-0 advantage.
Liberty responded with the equalizer nearly five minutes later. Dribbling near the top of the key of the 18-yard box, Pereira flicked a pass over to Smith on the right side. The senior fired a 15-yard shot from inside the box, which bounced off Brown's hands into the net. Smith's first goal of the season knotted the contest at 1-1.
Kauzlarich added to the excitement with her first goal of the year exactly three minutes later. Aanderud dished out a short corner kick to Bouffard, who crossed it over to the right side for Kauzlarich. The junior connected on the crossing pass, heading the ball into the left corner of net for the 2-1 lead.
Aanderud capped Liberty's scoring in the first period, this time capitalizing off the corner kick herself. The junior midfielder airmailed a shot toward the Buccaneers' goal frame. Brown attempted to make a play, but deflected the ball into the net. Aanderud's first goal of the season allowed Liberty to carry a 3-1 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, Aanderud added to Liberty's goal tally in the 62nd minute. After a Smith took a shot that was blocked, Aanderud scooped up the loose ball on the right side and blasted it from 23 yards out. The ball sailed into the left corner, upping the Liberty advantage to 4-1.
Liberty remains on the road in conference play, Saturday, squaring off against Campbell. Game time is set for 1 p.m.