Owning a two-goal lead in the second period at Appalachian State, Sunday afternoon, the Liberty women's soccer team appeared on its way to a 2-1 start to the 2014 season. However, the Mountaineers answered with back-to-back goals in the 59th minute by Sam Childress to force overtime. In overtime, Childress followed up with a golden goal in 99th minute to give Appalachian State the 4-3 victory.
With the defeat, Liberty drops to 1-2 on the season, with each of its losses decided by one goal. Appalachian State improves to 2-1 in 2014 and 6-4 in the all-time series with the Lady Flames.
Three different players scored goals for Liberty – senior forward Alanna Dunkle, freshman midfielder Sami Santos and junior forward Crystal Elmers. Along with Childress' hat trick, Erin Settle also netted a goal for the Mountaineers.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Holly Van Noord played the entire game in between the pipes for the Lady Flames, finishing with seven saves. Megan Roberson played 53:08 in net for Appalachian State, making three stops, while Sam Steyl collected one save during the second period.
Appalachian State outshot Liberty, 16-13, including 11-7 in shots on goal. The Mountaineers also held a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks.
"This game is going to be a turning point for our team, this season," head coach Jessica Hain said. "We scored some very nice goals as a result of tenacious defending, but also made some mistake defensively that ultimately cost us the game. I'm proud of our student-athletes for their passion and their witness for Christ. I congratualte ASU for being such a worthy opponent."
Liberty jumped out to an early lead in the 15th minute, thanks to a goal by Dunkle. The Hummelstown, Pa., native fired a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box into the right portion of the net. Dunkle's first goal of the season put Liberty ahead, 1-0.
Settle knotted the game at one in the 36th minute, with the help of an assist from Morgan Fancher. The Mountaineer marker resulted in a 1-1 tie at halftime.
The Lady Flames wasted little time in the second period, as Santos lit up the scoreboard in the 49th minute. The freshman blasted an attempt from just inside the 18-yard box, airmailing it into the back of the Mountaineers' net for the 2-1 advantage. Santos' goal marked the first of her Liberty career.
Elmers followed up with her second goal of the season and 10th of her career in the 53rd minute. The forward dribbled to the left side of the box, cut inward and finished with a shot just inside the post for the 3-1 lead.
Beginning in the 59th minute, Appalachian State rallied with two goals in under 60 seconds. Childress scored her first goal of the contest off an assist by Julia Holz. She followed up with the other marker 56 ticks later, receiving a helper from Jane Cline. Childress' second goal tied the contest at 3-3, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Childress' third and final goal was set up by a free kick from Jackie Nieradka. Jenni Loveless settled the ball, then tapped it to Childress, who finished the play to seal the 4-3 decision for the Mountaineers.
Liberty returns to action on Thursday, playing host to Charlotte. The Lady Flames are looking for their first win against the 49ers after falling 1-0 in overtime during their 2013 season opener in Charlotte, N.C. Game time at Osborne Stadium begins at 4 p.m., with the contest streaming live on the Big South Network.