The Liberty women's soccer team kicked off its 2017 season on the road against Wagner College, Friday afternoon. The Lady Flames outshot the Seahawks 21-6 but after both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, the game resulted in a tie due to lightning in the area.
After countless opportunities on offense for Liberty it was reigning Big South Freshman of the Year, Gabrielle Farrell, who came up with the first goal of the season in the 78th minute. Farrell was able to sneak past Wagner's backline on the left flank for a goal in the lower-90. Just three minutes later, Wagner College would respond with a goal from Maria Nunez to tie the match at 1-1 and head into overtime. After the match was delayed due to lightning in the area three minutes into overtime, the match was eventually called due to weather conditions.
Five different players for Liberty recorded three or more shot attempts led by Farrell with four shot attempts with three on goal. In 93 minutes of play Liberty's goalkeeper, Tori Collar, faced four shots and came up with three saves.
One of Liberty's best opportunities came within the first minute of the game when Farrell, fired off a shot from 20-yards out forcing Wagner's goalkeeper to make a diving save. Liberty quickly applied pressure on the Seahawk's backline, forcing three shots in the first 10 minutes of action.
The Lady Flames continued to press as Sierra Lam almost put Liberty on the board. Lam was able to find her way inside the box for a shot that would hit the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Liberty had two quality opportunities in front of the goal as Jennifer Knoebel was able to get past the backline for a shot from 10-yards out. Wagner's goalkeeper was able to get her hands on the ball, preventing a goal. Isabella Habuda followed Knoebel's shot with an attempt of her own but Katie Viscardi would come up with another save.
Liberty ended the first half with 12 shots, while the Lady Flames' backline was stellar, not allowing a single shot. Of the 12 shots Liberty attempted in the first 45 minutes of play, four were on goal and four players had more than one shot.
Early in the second half, Farrell received a ball from the Hadley Jones leading her straight into the box. With a one-on-one opportunity against the goalkeeper, Farrell's shot attempt would be blocked by Wagner's new goalkeeper, Delaney Beck. The opportunities continued for Liberty's offense as Habuda's attempt in the 75th minute came close to giving the Lady Flames the lead. Abigail Persson followed up with another great attempt but Beck stretched out to prevent a goal.
Liberty will return to Lynchburg for its home opener on Sunday when the Lady Flames host VCU at 6 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.
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