Lady Flames Midfielder Rebecca Smith
The Liberty women's soccer team faced a stiff test, Wednesday night, squaring off with No. 7 Virginia at Klockner Stadium. The Cavaliers' offense posted goals at the beginning and end of the first period and capped the night off with one more in the second to defeat the Lady Flames, 3-0. Virginia's Makenzy Doniak finished with two markers, while Carolina Miller rounded out the Cavaliers' scoring. Miller, defenders Morgan Stith and Olivia Brann and goalkeeper Danielle DeLise were all credited with assists to help Virginia improve to 2-1 in 2012. The loss drops the Lady Flames to 1-2 on the year. The Cavaliers wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard in the contest, infiltrating the Liberty net in the opening 90 seconds. Brannon created the opportunity, finding Miller, who broke away from the defense and lobbed it into the net to give Virginia the early 1-0 lead. Undeterred by the quick goal, the Lady Flames tried to even the score in the fourth minute. With the Virginia defense applying pressure, sophomore midfielder Helena Pereira managed to fire a shot at the Cavaliers' net. However, the Bristol, Conn., native's attempt sailed a few feet wide, preventing the tying marker. Virginia nearly upped its lead in the 28th minute, but the goalkeeping efforts of Karen Blocker thwarted the home team's opportunity. Following a foul, midfielder Julia Roberts took the penalty kick for the Cavaliers. Blocker stuffed the shot to keep the score the same. Liberty was able to hold off the Cavaliers' attack until the final six seconds of the first period. After Stith sent a pass into the box, Doniak headed the ball into the net, giving Virginia a 2-0 halftime lead. Much like the opening period, Virginia posted a goal early in the second. During the 50th minute, DeLisle sent a blast to Miller. The forward flicked a pass to Doniak, who tapped the ball into the net for the Cavaliers' third and final goal. Virginia posted seven more shots during the period, but the Liberty defense fended off each attack, resulting in the 3-0 final. The Cavaliers outshot Liberty 19-1 in the contest and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeepers Churchill O'Connell and Delise split time in the net for Virginia, playing 45 minutes, apiece. Blocker played the full 90 minutes in between the posts for Liberty, making five saves. Liberty returns to Osborne Stadium on Sunday, playing host to USC Upstate in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.