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Liberty Falls in Season Opener, 2-0

August 22, 2008  Farmville, Va.  RSS
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Liberty's Mallory Neff

Liberty's Mallory Neff

The Longwood Lancers scored a goal in each period on their way to a 2-0, women's soccer season-opening victory over the Liberty Lady Flames, Friday night at the Longwood Athletics Complex.

With the setback in the first contest under head coach Jessica Celi, the Lady Flames drop to 0-1 on the year. Longwood moves to 1-0 to begin 2008.

The match began with neither team getting off a shot in the early minutes, as play was in midfield. Host Longwood attempted the first shot of the game when forward Tia Nardella found some room to fire a shot from just outside the penalty area, only to see it sail high over the crossbar in the seventh minute.

Several minutes later, the Lancers' Michelle DeSieno broke free from the right side of field into the penalty area, only to see her shooting angle cut down by Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker (Fr., Bowie, Md.). The keeper's defensive play forced the Longwood forward to shoot wide and out of harm's way, keeping the contest scoreless in the 10th minute.

The Lancers jumped on the scoreboard at 23:50. On a free kick, Kacie Oliver tucked a shot inside the left post for a 1-0 Longwood advantage.

Over the last 20 minutes of the period, Liberty pressured the Lancer net. Off a corner kick in the 29th minute, midfielder Hope West (Sr., Auburndale, Fla.) fired a shot wide from the top of the penalty area. Five minutes later,  Elia Lake (So., MF, Alexandria, Va.) pounced on a loose ball on the left wing and blasted a shot which forced a diving save by Longwood keeper Marcia Biddle.

In the half's closing moments, Liberty sent a through ball into the penalty area, but Biddle was able to beat Lady Flame Jordan Woody (Fr., MF, Asheville, N.C.) to the ball to send the contest to intermission at 1-0, Longwood.

The Lancers struck again, early in the second half. Less than three minutes into the period, Longwood added to its lead, converting off a free kick at 47:53. Oliver scored her second goal of the game, sending the free kick into the top right corner of the goal for a 2-0 Lancer advantage.

After the marker, the teams traded shot attempts. A shot by Liberty's Amy Oberlin (Sr., MF, Ada, Mich.) was high in the 59th minute, while Blocker stuffed a shot from close range by Oliver in the 63rd minute.

Liberty tested the Lancer defense, attempting a trio of shots during a six-minute span. Midfielder Mallory Neff (Sr., Sunbury, Pa.) began the barrage by sending a shot through a crowd of players, which went wide of the right post in the 73rd minute. Two minutes later, a pass through the penalty area by Ashley Braam (Sr., F, Grand Rapids, Mich.) from the left side of the field just missed finding net, skirting past the right post. Neff ended the flurry with a shot over the goal in the 79th minute.

Another shot late by the Lady Flames went high, as Longwood went on to claim a 2-0 victory.

Longwood outshot Liberty, 9-6, in the contest. Oliver led all players in the game with three shots, while Neff led Liberty with two attempts.

The Lady Flames led in corner kicks, 4-0.

In net, Liberty's Blocker made three saves in her first collegiate game, while Longwood's Biddle made one save.

The Lady Flames travel to Charlottesville, Va., for a contest next Friday with the Virginia Lady Cavaliers. Match time is scheduled for 6 p.m.