The Liberty women's soccer team returned to the win column, Saturday afternoon, defeating defending Big South Champion High Point, 1-0, at Osborne Stadium.
Sophomore forward Jennifer Knoebel posted the contest's lone goal for the Lady Flames early in the first half, with senior midfielder Brittany Aanderud providing the assist. Knoebel now leads the team with 15 points and five goals on the year.
Aanderud's assist is her fourth on the season, tying her with Knoebel for the team lead. The helper extends Aanderud's program record (28) and ties her for second all-time in Big South history. She also has 60 points for her Liberty career.
Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire 90 minutes, finishing with six saves. Van Noord now leads the conference with 87 total saves. High Point netminder Alex Persiani concluded the match with one save. Van Noord and Persiani are now tied for the Big South lead in shutouts with six.
With the win, Liberty moves to 7-6-1 overall and 5-1 in Big South play. The Panthers fall to 7-3-4 and 2-2-1 in conference action. Liberty leads the all-time series over High Point, 15-10-3. Liberty is 5-0-1 at Osborne Stadium, this year, increasing its current unbeaten streak to 14 games on its home field. The Lady Flames are 13-0-1 at home, dating back to Sept. 11, 2014.
Liberty outshot High Point in the contest, 15-8. Corner kicks were even at six, apiece.
Knoebel wasted little time igniting the scoreboard for Liberty, providing the Lady Flames the lone marker of the contest in the sixth minute. Aanderud lobbed the ball from midfield up to Knoebel, who was positioned just outside the 18-yard box. The sophomore made a cut to beat a High Point defender before chipping a 12-yard shot into the right corner, putting Liberty ahead, 1-0.
High Point tried to garner the equalizer in the 11th minute. Lindsay Elsen headed the ball at the Liberty net off a throw-in, but Van Noord was able to pull the attempt in, keeping the Panthers off the board. Liberty outshot High Point in the half, 6-2, but neither team was able to put the ball on the goal frame the remainder of the period, allowing the Lady Flames to hold on to its 1-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, freshman Alyssa Hill tried to give Liberty an insurance goal in the 56th minute. After receiving a pass six yard at the goal frame, Hill chipped a shot at the Panthers' net. However, Persiani dove and put a hand on the ball, deflecting the attempt before it was cleared by a High Point defender.
The Panthers looked to get on the board in top of the 65th minute. Meg Kowalski airmailed a shot at the Liberty net, resulting in a leaping save for Van Noord to keep the visitors off the board.
High Point applied pressure in the final minutes, but the Liberty defense held firm to secure the 1-0 final.
Liberty will receive a week-long break from on-field action before returning to Osborne Stadium next Saturday. The Lady Flames will host Gardner-Webb at 3 p.m., with the contest streaming live on the Big South Network and the Liberty Flames Sports Network.