Liberty women's soccer played its final home game of the regular season on Saturday against Charleston Southern to kick off Homecoming. The Buccaneers pushed the Lady Flames to their limit, sending the match into double overtime but Liberty's Sierra Lam delivered the game-winning goal to give Liberty the 1-0 win.
"Credit to the girls because they found a way to come away with the victory," head coach Lang Wedemeyer said. "It is hard to get a win on Senior Day because there are so many emotions but I think we maintained our composure and pulled out a tough win."
The Lady Flames improve to 8-5-3 overall and remain in first place in the Big South with an unbeaten record of 6-0-1. Charleston Southern falls to 4-9-2 and 2-4-1 in the Big South. Four minutes into double overtime, Liberty was able to corral the ball in the midfield, where Isabella Habuda delivered a ball into the box for Lam. Entering the left corner of the box, Lam fired off a shot to the opposite post for her first game-winning goal of her career.
"Isabella (Habuda) did a great job of setting me up for one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper," Lam said regarding her goal. "We have been struggling to connect passes but we have been doing such a good job of finding ways to win and today was another example of that."
Freshman goalkeeper, Melody Jayroe, came up big all throughout the match with nine saves, recording her fifth shutout during Big South play and her seventh overall. Jayroe's improves her conference-leading goals against average to 0.13 goals per contest.
It was a slow start on offense for both teams to start the game. Charleston Southern attempted the first two shots of the contest where Jayroe had to come up with two saves in front of goal. Liberty did not attempt its first shot until the 25th minute and Jennifer Knoebel came close on the attempt directly outside the box, forcing CSU's goalkeeper jump to make the save.
Liberty's best scoring opportunity in the first half came in the 37th minute with back-to-back shots on goal. Off a great pass from the midfield, Habuda found herself on a breakaway going one-on-one with CSU's goalkeeper and Alyssa Dellacqua made a diving save. Gabrielle Farrell followed the rebound with a shot of her own and Dellacqua would make another diving save to keep Liberty scoreless.
Charleston Southern's offense was on the attack throughout the first 45 minutes of play, attempting multiple shots outside the box. The Buccaneers attempted eight shots in the first half, forcing Jayroe to come up with five saves. Both teams went into the break scoreless.
Liberty's offense began to generate more opportunities as the Lady Flames were able maintain possession. Liberty matched its shot total from the first half in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Liberty ended the second half outshooting Charleston Southern 6-5.
Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first overtime with the lone opportunity coming from Farrell with a shot inside the box.
After wrapping up its final home game of the regular season, Liberty will conclude its regular season next week with two games on the road starting with Longwood on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
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