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Penalty Kick Moves Longwood Past Liberty
Looking to remain unbeaten on the East Campus Fields, Tuesday afternoon, the Liberty women's soccer team hosted Longwood in both squads' regular-season finale. Unfortunately for the Lady Flames, a penalty kick in the 18th minute proved costly, as the Lancers took the contest, 1-0.
Longwood leading scorer Kelsey Pardue posted the lone goal for the Lancers, marking her seventh tally of the season.
With the defeat, Liberty closes out the regular season at 11-7-2 overall and 5-4-2 in the Big South. The Lady Flames finish the year 6-3-2 at home, holding a 5-1-2 mark at the East Campus Fields. Longwood ends its regular season with a 13-5-1 record on the year and an 8-2-1 posting in its first season of Big South Conference play.
Liberty began the contest on the attack. Midfielder Brittany Aanderud took the first shot for the Lady Flames in the fifth minute, but the attempt sailed wide.
Later in the 16th minute, Longwood forward Lindsey Ottavio fired the ball at the Liberty goal, resulting in a Karen Blocker save.
After a foul in the box in the 18th minute, Pardue lined up for a penalty kick, placing it past Blocker to put the visitors on the board, 1-0.
Freshman forward Jaime Bouffard tried to even things up in the 23rd minute. The Oswego, N.Y., native booted a ball from the left side, but goalkeeper Kyra Byron snagged it in front of the goal mouth to keep Liberty scoreless.
Liberty's best chance at an equalizer came in the 43rd minute. Forward Kelly Henion popped up a shot from less than 10 yards out. The attempt ricocheted off the crossbar, allowing the Lancers to maintain their 1-0 lead at halftime.
In the second period, Aanderud took a shot on the Longwood goal in the 48th minute. Once again, Byron was there to make the save.
The Lancers tried to up the ante in the 57th minute with a shot on goal by Olivia Colella. Blocker cleaned up the attempt, preventing Longwood from extending its advantage.
Liberty's final attempt on goal came in the 74th minute. Sophomore Geena Swentik sent a header toward the Lancers' net, but Byron corralled the shot, ultimately setting up the 1-0 final.
Liberty outshot the Lancers, 12-8, and held a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks. Blocker, who entered the matchup No. 2 in the country in goalkeeper minutes, played the entire contest, making five saves. Byron also played the full 90 minutes in the net for Longwood, finishing with four saves.
Both teams now await their quarterfinals contests in the 2012 Big South Championship, this weekend. Official seedings and first round matchups will be announced later tonight.