The Liberty women's soccer team captured its second straight Big South regular-season championship, Tuesday night at the Longwood Athletics Complex, defeating Longwood, 1-0.
Baylee Gillmore posted the lone goal for Liberty in the 49th minute thanks to an assist by senior midfielder Brittany Aanderud. The assist by Aanderud was her sixth on the season and 30th of her career, giving her sole possession of the Big South all-time assist record.
With the win, Liberty closes out the regular season with a 10-7-1 record and 8-2 mark in conference play. The Lady Flames have amassed 24 Big South regular-season wins in the last three years, garnering eight conference victories for the third consecutive year. Longwood concludes the regular season with a 9-7-2 overall mark and a 5-3-2 record in league play.
Liberty goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire contest, recording two saves to pick up her 31st career shutout and eighth of the season. The netminder is two shutouts away from tying the Big South record of 33. Longwood goalkeeper Maria Kirby finished the contest with five saves.
Liberty came out firing in the opening 10 minutes, with Jennifer Knoebel, Baylee Gillmore and Jordan Kestel each taking a shot on goal. Kirby was there to thwart each attempt, keeping the Lady Flames scoreless.
Later in the 20th minute, Crystal Elmers fired a shot from the top of the key at the Longwood goal. Once again, Kirby corralled the attempt, preventing Liberty from igniting the scoreboard.
Longwood's lone attempt at goal came in the final minute of the period. Meghan Magee headed the ball at the Liberty net. Van Noord dove to make the save, deflecting the shot with her right hand. Van Noord's highlight reel stop made it, 0-0, at halftime.
In the second period, Liberty wasted little time finding the back of the net. Aanderud took the corner kick for Liberty, dropping the ball in front of the goal frame for Gillmore. The sophomore put her head on the ball, slipping a shot past Kirby to give the Lady Flames the 1-0 lead.
Jaime Bouffard made one final shot attempt on goal for Liberty in the 51st minute, resulting in a Kirby save.
The Liberty defense held the Lancers at bay the remainder of the period. Van Noord made one final save in the 85th minute, punching out a shot by Jessica O'Bryant to set up the 1-0 final.
Liberty now returns to Osborne Stadium on Sunday to host a Big South Championship quarterfinals matchup against the No. 8 seed. Official seedings and game times will be announced later tonight.