The 2016 Big South Championship rematch was set at Osborne Stadium between Liberty and High Point, as both teams were looking to stay undefeated in the Big South. Unable to capitalize with nine shots on goal, the Lady Flames drew a 0-0 tie against the Panthers.
The tie was Liberty's first in conference since Sept. 27, 2014 against Campbell. The Lady Flames are now 3-5-3 while High Point is 4-6-1. Both teams are now 1-0-1 in the Big South.
"I thought it was a really hard-fought game. High Point came out with a lot of energy," head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. "It took us a few minutes to get into the flow of the game, but once we did, we started connecting on a lot of passes. I thought we played well and created enough chances."
Despite being outshot 19-12 during the 110 minutes of action, Liberty created more quality chances with nine shots on goals while holding the Panthers to three shots on target. With the 0-0 draw, reigning Big South Freshman of the Week, Melody Jayroe, records her third shutout of the season.
"We came out a bit shaky, but once we regrouped as a defense, I think we finished strong," Jayroe said. "My backline was amazing tonight. They got me out of tough positions, and all the credit goes to them for getting us the shutout."
Liberty struggled to develop a rhythm on offense to start the game, not attempting a shot until 36 minutes into the game. The Panthers attempted the first five shots of the game.
Looking to pick up the offense, Wedemeyer made a six-person substitution in the 27th minute that paid dividends. Ten minutes into Liberty's substitutions, the Lady Flames had their first two shot attempts coming from players off the bench. Gabrielle Farrell came close to goal after receiving a pass from Kayleigh Kardos. Farrell fired off a shot from the corner of the box, but High Point's Alex Hank made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
"The first group really wore down the defense, and the second group came in and did a lot of good things," Wedemeyer added. "We probably have 22 players that could start on any given day, so the fact that we can bring in girls off the bench is a positive."
Despite being outshot, 7-2, Liberty had the only two shots on goal in the first half. The two teams went into the break scoreless. Although Liberty's offense failed to produce many shots, the attempts continued to remain quality looks in the second half. Liberty's first three shot attempts in the second half were all on goal within the box, yet Hank came up with key saves to keep Liberty scoreless.
Liberty's backline was able to keep the pressure off Jayroe as the goalkeeper did not have to make a save until the 69th minute. The offense started to pick up in the second half for both teams. As play opened up, the teams combined for 16 shots, but neither team was able to capitalize as the game headed into overtime.
The teams combined for four shots in the 20 minute of overtime as the match resulted in a draw.
Liberty will conclude the weekend on the road for its first Big South road match of the season. On Saturday, the Lady Flames will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for a matchup against Winthrop. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Eagle Field.
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