The Liberty women's soccer team began its four-match road trip with an overtime battle against George Washington. After outshooting the Colonials 20-13, the Lady Flames had to come from behind with Devon Jones providing the equalizer in the final three minutes of regulation to force a 1-1 tie. Liberty is now 0-1-2 this season.
"We came into this game with a lot of ideas and it didn't culminate in the first half," head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. "The great thing is that we played a lot of players and a lot of girls stepped up. We kept battling and I am very proud of them for that."
Jones' goal in the 87th minute extended the game into Liberty's second overtime game this season. For the second time in 2017, Liberty attempted at least 20 shots with a season-high 13 on goal. Thirteen different players attempted a shot against the Colonials led by Gabrielle Farrell with four shots. Wedmeyer was able to give George Washington many looks as he played 26 players in Thursday night's contest.
The Lady Flames started the game out on the attack, controlling possession in the first 10 minutes. Farrell had Liberty's first quality look at goal with a shot in the seventh minute that hit the far right post. The Colonials capitalized on their early opportunities to take the lead. After hitting the post on its first shot attempt, George Washington converted on its second shot with a goal from Sophia Pavon in the 18th minute.
After GW's goal, Liberty struggled to develop an offensive rhythm, but Wedemeyer made 10 substitutions to change the pace of play. Liberty was able to get five shot attempts from its bench in the first half with three on goal. Liberty's Kayleigh Kardos came close to tying the game in the final minute of the first half, as she dribbled from midfield all the way into the box. With a defender on her back, she was able to get off a shot but her attempt went just right of the far post.
George Washington was able to go into halftime with a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 7-5. Liberty once again continued to apply pressure on George Washington's backline in the second half with seven shots in the second half. The Lady Flames had quality looks with five of the seven shots on goal. The final shot in the second half proved to be the difference maker as Jones gave Liberty its first goal of the night. After building from the backline, Isabella Habuda was able to corral the ball from 30-yards out where she was able to lead Jones into the box. Jones converted her first goal of the season going to the left post, below the goalkeeper's hands.
"All I remember was toeing the ball as hard as I could and I saw the ball bounce into the goal," Jones said. "We came out in the second half and played our game. We did a good job of moving the ball and I am proud of how hard we worked in the second half.´
George Washington looked to press to start overtime with three shots in 10 minutes but Liberty's goalkeeper, Tori Collar, came up with three saves in front of goal to go to a second overtime. In 20 minutes of overtime, Liberty managed to attempt six shots.
"I thought we did a really good job of putting pressure on them (George Washington) but that also allowed for some counter-attacks," Wedemeyer added. "I thought we recovered well on the cases with Tori coming up big."
Liberty will close the weekend on the road against No. 10 Virginia. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, at Klöckner Stadium.
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