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Lady Flames to Visit Nation's Capital

September 22, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Defenders Ariana Espinoza (left) and Bridgette Kelly (left).

Defenders Ariana Espinoza (left) and Bridgette Kelly (left).

The Liberty women's soccer team heads to Washington, D.C., this weekend for a pair of games in the nation's capital. On Friday, head coach Jessica Hain and the Lady Flames play at George Washington for their first-ever meeting with the Colonials. Game time is set for 4 p.m.

Liberty closes out its stay in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, taking on Howard at 4 p.m.

How to Watch the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available on, by clicking the appropriate link on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats for Friday's game will be provided by the George Washington media relations office. A live video stream of the contest against the Colonials will also be available for a nominal fee.

A Look at the Lady Flames
Looking for its second win of the season on Sunday, the Lady Flames instead garnered their second stalemate, playing Elon to a scoreless tie at Osborne Stadium.

Through the Lady Flames' (1-3-2) first six contests, five different players have netted goals this season – Aimee Luurtsema, Silvia Betancourt, Laura Nyholt, Kelly Henion and Megan Warner. The Liberty defense has allowed no more than one goal in the last five contests, holding a goals-against average of 0.73 during the span.

Blocker has played all 580 minutes in the net for the Lady Flames, making 35 saves and holding a 2.02 goals-against average on the season.

Liberty was picked to finish fifth in the Big South standings at season's end in the conference's preseason poll.  The Lady Flames return 20 players from last season's squad, including All-Big South second team defender Ariana Espinoza, midfielder Madison Short and forward Luurtsema.

A Look at George Washington
George Washington steps on to its home turf sporting a 3-5 record on the season. The Colonials are coming off a 2-1 win against Big South member Gardner-Webb, last Friday. Adriana Moya and Taylor Katz each netted a goal for George Washington, while Moya also chipped in an assist. Nicole Ulrick played the entire 90 minutes in goal for the Colonials, finishing with two saves.

Moya and Sierra Smidinger pace George Washington in goals this season with three apiece. Along with her trio of goals, Moya has also amassed three assists.

Goalkeeper Lindsey Rowe has started six games in goal this season. The netminder has 55 saves on the year and holds a goals-against average of 2.78. Appearing in four contests between the posts, Ulrick has started two contests, made nine saves and has a goals-against average of 0.84.

A Look at Howard
Prior to hosting Liberty, Howard (1-6-1) will head to West Point, N.Y., for a matchup at Army, Friday. The Bison are coming off a 2-0 defeat to George Mason, last Friday.

Howard shares one common opponent with the Lady Flames, suffering a 2-0 loss at Longwood on Aug. 21. The Lady Flames' contest with the Lancers on Aug. 29 ended in a 1-1 tie.

Liberty-Howard Series Notes
Heading into Sunday's contest with Howard, Liberty holds a 6-1-0 advantage all-time over the MEAC member. The Lady Flames hosted Howard last year, besting the Bison, 5-0, on Sept. 17, 2010. Aimee Luurtsema led Liberty with three goals, followed by Silvia Betancourt, who had two. Luurtsema's performance in the contest helped her earn her first-ever Big South Attacking Player of the Week award.

Quest for 200
Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker is approaching a milestone, as she is three saves shy of career save No. 200. Achieving the feat will allow her to surpass Natalie Mayer (199 saves, 2001-04) for fourth all-time on the school's career saves list. Currently sitting in fifth in the school record books with 197 stops, Blocker needs just eight saves to move ahead of former teammate Ashley Nyholt (2007-10), who is third all-time with 204 saves.

Looking Ahead
The Lady Flames return to Osborne Stadium next Thursday, opening the Big South conference slate against Coastal Carolina. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.