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Liberty Ties Elon, Sunday

September 18, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior midfielder Silvia Betancourt

Senior midfielder Silvia Betancourt

Looking for its second win of the season on Sunday, the Liberty women's soccer team (1-3-2) instead garnered its second stalemate, playing Elon (2-4-2) to a scoreless tie at Osborne Stadium.

The all-time series remains even between the two programs, with each team holding a 6-6-2 mark.

Strong defensive efforts from both teams themed the first half, with neither squad able to generate an offensive momentum. The Phoenix outshot the Lady Flames 2-0, with the pair of attempts landing wide of the net. Liberty and Elon were also able to capitalize on set plays, taking two corner kicks apiece in the period.

Liberty came out firing in the second half, taking four shots in a 15-second span during the 52nd minute. Kelly Henion made two attempts for a score that were blocked by an Elon defender. Heather Bentley followed up on Henion's attempts with a shot of her own, but the ball was corralled by goalkeeper Shannon Cosgrove. About 10 seconds later, Megan Warner capped of the flurry, sending a shot high over the Elon net.

Just before the 89th minute, Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker prevented the Phoenix from finding the net, stopping a blast from Simi Dhaliwal. With 20 ticks left in regulation, midfielder Madison Short tried for the game-winning goal, but the attempt sailed wide, giving way to the first of two extra periods.

Liberty controlled possession during most of the first overtime, but was unable to put the Phoenix away. Blocker thwarted Elon's chance at a golden goal, saving a shot by forward Marissa Russo. In the final eight seconds of the period, Casey Norris attempted a header, which landed wide of the net.

During the final overtime period, Elon took three shots in the 106th minute. Following a blocked attempt and another that went wide of the goal, Blocker made her fifth save of the contest, stifling a Catherine Brinkman shot.

With time winding down, Lauren Stell took the final shot for the Liberty attack. The Exton, Pa. booted the ball from outside the 18-yard box on the left side, bending it toward the Elon goal. However, Stell's attempt was scooped up by Cosgrove, leading to the 0-0 tie.

Liberty outshot Elon, 11-10 in the contest. Each team took five corner kicks on the day. Blocker played in between the posts the entire 110 minutes for Liberty, making five saves. Kate Murphy protected the Elon net for the opening 45 minutes, while Shannon Cosgrove relieved her at the start of the second half and finished the game with three stops.

The Lady Flames head out for the first of two games in the nation's capital on Friday, when they take on George Washington. Game time is slated for 4 p.m.