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2016 Women's Soccer Recap

December 8, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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2016 was another banner year for the Liberty Lady Flames women's soccer team. Liberty captured its conference-leading sixth Big South title and first under first-year head coach Nate Norman. The Lady Flames posted a 14-8 overall record and a 7-2 mark in Big South play. LFSN's Alan York sat down with Norman to take a look back at the season.

2016 Season Highlights

  • Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord closed out her stellar Liberty career by being named the 2016 Big South Defensive Player of the Year and selected to her fourth NSCAA All-Southeast Region team.
     
  • A first team all-conference team member, Van Noord led the Big South Conference in 2016 with a 0.85 goals-against average and in save percentage with a .866 save percentage over 1,805 minutes between the posts.
  • Van Noord's first of eight shutouts on the season and 34th of her career, a 1-0 blanking of James Madison on Sept. 4, set a new Big South Conference record for shutouts. The Hudsonville, Mich., native finished her career as the Big South and Liberty all-time leader with 41 shutouts and the program leader with a 0.79 career goals-against average. The redshirt senior also finished her time at Liberty second on the program's all-time list with 407 career saves.
  • Midfielder Isabella Habuda made quite an impact during her first year at Liberty. Habuda earned NSCAA All-Southeast Region team honors and was named to the 2016 Big South All-Conference first team.
     
  • Habuda led the Big South Conference in goals and points. Habuda scored 10 goals and added five assists to pace the conference with 25 points. She finished the year ranked fifth on the program's single season list in both categories.
  • Forward Gabrielle Farrell was named the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year and to the all-conference first team. Farrell finished the year second on Liberty's all-time freshman scoring list with 24 points. Forward Lauren Coffey scored 32 points during his freshman season in 1999.
  • Farrell led the Big South with six game-winning goals, including the winner in Liberty's 2-1 win over High Point in the Big South Championship game. The forward also tied for the conference lead with eight assists.
     
  • With eight points during the Big South tournament, forward Jennifer Knoebel, the Big South Tournament MVP, continues to climb up the Liberty all-time lists. The junior tied midfielder Sylvia Betancourt (2008-11) for third on Liberty's all-time points list with 55. In addition, she is second on Liberty's career assists list with 21 and is four away from tying Brittany Aanderud (2013-15) as the program's all-time leader with 25.
  • Knoebel also earned Big South All-Conference second team honors, along with defender Sami Santos. Santos played the most minutes of any Liberty player this season and was one of two Lady Flames to play every game.
     
  • Along with Knoebel, Farrell, Van Noord and defender Jordan Kestel were all named to the 2016 Big South All-Tournament team.
  • Head Coach Nate Norman is the first Liberty women's soccer head coach to lead his team to a Big South Championship and a double-digit win total during his first season. The Lady Flames' 14 victories are most ever in a head coach's inaugural season.