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Women's Soccer to Open Season at Fullerton, Friday

August 20, 2015  Fullerton, Calif.  RSS
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Brittany Aanderud

Brittany Aanderud

The Liberty women's soccer team heads west for the start of its season, as it opens the 2015 campaign in Fullerton, Calif. The Lady Flames will compete in the Fullerton Tournament at Titan Stadium on Friday, beginning with a matchup against host Cal State Fullerton, Friday, at 10:30 p.m. (EST).

Liberty will remain at Titan Stadium on Sunday, closing out its stay in the Golden State versus UC Riverside at 2 p.m. (EST).

How to Follow the Lady Flames
A live video stream will be available for both contests on BigWest.TV and by clicking the schedule/results tab. Live stats for Friday and Sunday's games will be provided by the Cal State Fullerton media relations office. Live stats are available by clicking the link on the schedule schedule/results tab.

Hometown Hero
Senior midfielder Brittany Aanderud will feel right at home this weekend, as she is a native of Fullerton, Calif. Prior to coming to Liberty, Aanderud was a multi-year letterwinner at Sunny Hills High School. During her high school career, Aanderud was a three-time all-league and first team All-California Interscholastic Federation honoree. Named the Orange County Player of the Year, Aanderud posted 20 goals and 24 assists her senior season to finish with 61 goals and 64 assists for her career.

Along with her high school accomplishments, Aanderud also played center midfielder for Arsenal FC, helping her squad capture an Elite Clubs National League national championship and a Surf Cup championship.

Lady Flames Best VMI in Exhibition
Liberty hosted Southern Conference member VMI last Friday, defeating the Keydets, 5-0. Brittany Aanderud led the charge with three goals, posting two in the opening frame before closing out the hat trick in the second period. Forwards Jennifer Knoebel and Crystal Elmers each chipped in a goal apiece. Sophomore midfielder Brianne Beard led the Lady Flames with two assists, while sophomore Ashleigh Hill added one helper.

Remembering the Titans
Cal State Fullerton returns seven starters from the 2014 campaign. The Titans concluded the year with a 10-8-4 record and a 6-0-2 mark in Big West play. Fullerton captured the Big West Tournament championship, punching its ticket to the 2015 NCAA Women's College Cup. However, the Titans lost to Stanford in the first round, 5-2.

Redshirt senior Rebecca Wilson returns to the lineup this year after leading the Titans with 23 points and 10 goals in 2014. Wilson's effort earned her NSCAA All-West Region Second Team and the Big West Conference First Team honors.

Lady Flames and Van Noord Garner Top Big South Preseason Accolades
For the second straight year, the Liberty women's soccer team has been voted the preseason favorite in the Big South Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll by the league's head coaches. The announcement was made this afternoon by the conference office. Liberty picked up 119 of 121 possible points and received nine first place votes.

Along with the top spot, Liberty redshirt junior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord was voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Van Noord was also the 2014 Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Campbell redshirt senior forward Ashley Clark was voted the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year.

Guess Who's Back
Liberty returns 20 players from the 2014 lineup, including seven starters – senior midfielder Brittany Aanderud, senior defender Jaime Bouffard, senior midfielder Madison Kauzlarich, sophomore forward Jennifer Knoebel, senior defender Alex Mack, senior midfielder Rebekah Page and redshirt junior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord. Along with Liberty's senior starters, senior forward Crystal Elmers also returns for her final season after leading the Lady Flames with seven goals, last season.

Van Noord was voted 2014 Big South Defensive Player of the Year, leading the conference in shutouts (9), save percentage (.844) and goals-against average (0.69). A NSCAA all-region second team and VaSID all-state first team selection, she was also ranked 31st in the country in goals-against average and 33rd in save percentage.

On Oct. 11, 2014, Van Noord earned her 21st career shutout in a 2-0 win over High Point. The redshirt sophomore surpassed the previous mark of 20 set by former teammate Karen Blocker (2008-12). Van Noord now has 23 shutouts, accomplishing the feat in her first two active seasons.

A Big South first team all-conference and second team NSCAA all-region selection for the past two seasons, Aanderud paced the Lady Flames in points (21) on six goals and a conference-leading nine assists. Nationally, the midfielder ranked 44th in total assists and 37th in assists per game.

In Liberty's 8-0 win over UNC Asheville on Oct. 1, Aanderud set a new program record with 21 helpers. The mark surpassed the previous record held by Nancy (Davis) White (1998-2001). Aanderud now has 24 career assists. Through three seasons, Aandeurd has 50 career points, tying her for fifth all-time with Lauren Zealand (1999, 2001, 03-04).

2014 Season Recap
The Lady Flames concluded the 2014 campaign at 14-4-2, including an 8-1-1 mark in conference play en route to the third Big South regular season championship in program history. Entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed, Liberty reached the championship final for the second straight year. Squaring off with No. 3 seed High Point, the contest went to penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie. High Point advanced on penalty kicks, 5-4, to capture the 2014 Big South Championship.

Holly Van Noord headlined Liberty's group of 2014 all-conference honorees, earning Big South Defensive Player of the Year and becoming the first player in program history to garner the award.

In addition to Van Noord, junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud and defender Maddie Boone were selected to the conference's first team, while senior forward Alanna Dunkle and junior midfielder Rebekah Page picked up spots on the second team. Forward Jennifer Knoebel and defender Jordan Kestel were voted to the all-freshman team, and senior forward Helena Pereira garnered all-academic team honors.