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Liberty Extends Shutout Streak with 2-0 Win on Senior Day

October 22, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(from left to right): Seniors Lizz Kappler, Erika Troutman and Holly Van Noord with family and Liberty coaching staff

(from left to right): Seniors Lizz Kappler, Erika Troutman and Holly Van Noord with family and Liberty coaching staff

The Liberty Lady Flames recorded their fourth consecutive shutout, besting the UNC Asheville Bulldogs,  2-0, Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Osborne Stadium.

Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord, who was one of three Liberty seniors honored before the match, made seven stops to notch her sixth shutout of the season and extend her own Big South and Liberty record to 39 career blank sheets.

The Lady Flames have now posted seven shutouts as a team in 2016 and have not allowed a goal over their last 403:57 of play.

Liberty's Gabrielle Farrell scored her seventh goal of the season early in the second half and later, the Lady Flames got an own goal from Asheville in the win.

Winners of four straight and six out of its last seven, Liberty moves to 6-2 in Big South Conference play and 10-7 overall. UNC Asheville falls to 3-6 in the conference and 8-11 overall.

Before the game, Liberty seniors Lizz Kappler, Erika Troutman and Van Noord were each honored during Senior Day activities.

Liberty controlled play throughout the opening half, putting five shots on goal to Asheville's one. However, the two teams went to halftime with the match scoreless.

Farrell gave the Lady Flames a 1-0 advantage at 60:39. Forward Jennifer Knoebel pushed a pass from the end line into the center of the 18-yard box for midfielder Isabella Habuda. Habuda turned and tipped the ball to her left for Farrell, who ripped a shot in stride into the lower left corner of the net for a Liberty edge.

The Lady Flames continued to be relentless on the attack and extended their lead during the 67th minute.  From the lower left hand corner of the box, Habuda sent a crossing pass from the end line to the far post, where a Bulldogs defender and forward Devon Jones battled for the ball. The Bulldogs defender ended up kicking the ball into her own net for a Liberty score and what proved to be the final of 2-0.

The Lady Flames held possession for most of the time remaining in regulation.  A shot by Abigail Persson during the 77th minute and a shot from senior Troutman during the 85th minute, forced diving saves by Asheville goalkeeper Keller Dixon.

Meanwhile, Van Noord stopped three shots during the final 10 minutes to preserve Liberty's fourth straight shutout.

Liberty held a 15-10 advantage in shots and a 10-7 edge in shots on goal. The Lady Flames also held an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Liberty will close its 2016 regular season on Tuesday. The Lady Flames will travel to Charleston, S.C., to make up a Big South match against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.

The contest was canceled due to Hurricane Matthew earlier this month. Match time on Tuesday is scheduled for 3 p.m.