Desite multiple opportunities by the Liberty offense, Longwood defended its home field with a late goal Friday night.
The Liberty women's soccer team stepped into the Longwood Athletics Complex for a Commonwealth clash with the Longwood Lancers, Friday night. With each team riding a two game winning streak, the contest remained scoreless until the 72nd minute, when the Lancers' Lauren Trinza connected on a header, allowing Longwood to edge the Lady Flames, 1-0. Liberty falls to 3-5-2 with the setback, while Longwood improves to 7-4 on the season. Each team experienced a missed opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the opening 15 minutes. In the sixth minute, Longwood forward Dylan Spickler made her way through the Liberty defense, but sent her shot attempt wide right, preventing an early Lancer score. Approximately five and a half minute later, Liberty nearly capitalized on a corner kick. After settling a Madison Short corner kick, midfielder Maggie Woody blasted a shot from close range. However, the attempt sailed high over the net to keep the game scoreless. Neither team managed to find the net in the opening stanza, leading to a 0-0 stalemate at halftime. Longwood held a slight edge in shot attempts, outshooting the Lady Flames 4-3. The Lancers applied the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half, firing multiple shots to open the period. In the 48th minute, Liberty goalkeeper Ashley Nyholt thwarted a shot attempt by Longwood midfielder Mackenzie King. Twenty seconds later, Nyholt once again made the save, this time diving for the ball following a shot from the nation's leading scorer Lindsey Ottavio, to keep Longwood's offensive attack at bay. Liberty's attack intensified as the clock showed less than 25 minutes remaining in the contest, keeping the ball on the offensive end for several minutes. At 67:13, midfielder Laura Nyholt booted a shot from 25 yards out, but the Brampton, Ontario native's attempt was wide right of the goal. The tide turned nearly four minutes later, as Trizna headed the ball into the goal following a free kick to give the home team a 1-0 advantage. Following the score, the Lady Flames tried to find the equalizer, pressing the Longwood goal in the closing minutes. Liberty's last attempt came in the 88th minute, when Silvia Betancourt booted 22-yard shot that went over the left side of the goal, allowing Longwood to hold off the Lady Flames for the decision. Ashley Nyholt spent the entire 90 minutes in goal for the Lady Flames, finishing with five saves. Marcia Biddle occupied the net for Lancers during the contest, recording two saves.
The Lady Flames will take an eight-day break from competition before heading to Charleston, S.C., to open Big South play by taking on Charleston Southern next Saturday. Game time at Buccaneer Field is slated for 3 p.m.