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Golden Goal Puts High Point over Liberty
Looking to build upon a 2-0 win over Winthrop last Saturday, the Liberty women's soccer team squared off with third-place High Point, Thursday night.
In the two squads' most recent meeting, during the 2011 Big South Championship quarterfinals, Liberty walked away with a 2-1 victory thanks to a golden goal in overtime by Helena Pereira.
Thursday's contest also ended with a golden goal, but it was host High Point who left the field victorious, earning the 1-0 decision.
Midfielder Becca Hemby posted the Panthers' lone goal in the extra period, while midfielder Taylor Parker was credited with the assist.
With the defeat, Liberty falls to 9-6-1 overall and 3-3-1 in Big South action. Playing in its eighth overtime contest of the year, High Point improves to 6-4-6 on the year and 5-0-2 in conference play. The Lady Flames are now 11-10-2 all-time against the Panthers.
Liberty began the first period with two shots on goal in the opening five minutes. Midfielders Brittany Aanderud and Hannah Myers fired attempts at the High Point net, but goalkeeper Ivy Cocklereece corralled the pair of shots.
Later in the 22nd minute, High Point's Katie Harris tried to put the Panthers on the board with a header. Blocker thwarted the attempt, preventing the hosts from gaining an advantage.
After another header by Hemby sailed high over the Liberty net, the Lady Flames closed out the period with five shots in the final 11:12. Four of the five attempts sailed wide of the goal, while another shot by Aanderud was blocked, leading to a scoreless stalemate at halftime.
In the second period, neither team managed a shot on goal until the 72nd minute. After two shots from each team went wide of the net, Hemby attempted another header for the Panthers. Once again, Blocker snatched the ball out of the air, keeping the contest scoreless.
After a shot by Harris was blocked in the 84th minute, Liberty's Megan Warner took one final attempt for the Lady Flames in the 89th minute. However, the junior's shot was also blocked, setting up overtime.
Pereira tried to repeat history 1:12 into the extra period. The sophomore forward belted a shot at the High Point goal. However, this time goalkeeper Jesse May was able to make the stop.
Just over a minute later, the Panthers sealed the contest with the golden goal. Parker sent a crossing pass over to Hemby, who placed the ball into the net from 10 yards out, giving High Point the 1-0 victory.
Despite the defeat, Liberty outshot High Point, 14-11. The Panthers held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Blocker played the entire contest in goal for the Lady Flames, making two saves. High Point's Cocklereece played the opening 45 minutes, finishing with two saves. May took over for Cocklereece for the remaining 47:17, concluding the contest with one save.
High Point will remain at home, Saturday, playing host to Longwood at 5 p.m.
Liberty returns to action on Saturday, squaring off with Campbell. The clash with the Fighting Camels is slated for 7 p.m.