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Big South Women's Soccer Semifinal Preview

November 6, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Big South Women's Soccer Semifinal Preview

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The No. 1 seed Liberty women's soccer team continues its quest for another conference title, when it takes on No. 4 seed Campbell at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. The semifinal matchup is slated for 4:30 p.m. and will stream live on the Big South Network.

Campbell leads the all-time series versus Liberty, 4-3-1. The two teams squared off during the regular season with the matchup resulting in a scoreless tie.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
A free live video stream courtesy of the Big South Network will be available on the women's soccer schedule/results panel. Live stats powered by StatBroadcast will also be available.

Last Time Out for Liberty
The Liberty women's soccer team advanced in the Big South Women's Soccer Championship, Sunday afternoon at Osborne Stadium, defeating No. 8 seed Radford Highlanders, 2-0.

The defending Big South champions received goals from junior midfielders Brittany Aanderud and Madison Kauzlarich. Forwards Crystal Elmers, Jennifer Knoebel, Alanna Dunkle as well as Aanderud were all credited with assists. Aanderud's assist was the 24th of her career, adding to her program record.

Goalkeeper and Big South Defensive Player of the Year Holly Van Noord earned her ninth shutout of the season, making three saves. The netminder extended her program record for career shutouts to 23.

A Look at the Lady Flames
Brittany Aanderud paces the team in points (19) on five goals and a conference-leading nine assists.

Crystal Elmers leads the squad with six goals. Like Aanderud, Alanna Dunkle and Madison Kauzlarich have five markers. Jennifer Knoebel and Rebeccah Smith have three goals apiece. Knoebel is also second on the team and fifth in the conference with five assists. Jaime Bouffard and Baylee Gillmore each have two goals and four assists on the year. Maddie Boone, Sami Santos and Jordan Kestel round out Liberty's scoring on the season with one goal each.

Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord leads the conference in shutouts with nine. She is also first in the Big South in save percentage (.864) and goals-against average (0.61).

As a team, Liberty leads the Big South in assists (36), save percentage (.874), shutouts (10), fewest goals allowed (11) and goals-against average (0.59). The Lady Flames are also second in goals with 34.

Head coach Jessica Hain is in her sixth season with the program. Hain is coming off the most memorable season of her coaching tenure at Liberty, guiding the program to its fourth Big South Championship and first since 2005.

Boone was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week for games played, Oct. 13-19. The weekly conference honor marked Boone's second this season and the program's fifth overall.

Boone previously won the award on Aug. 25. Knoebel (Sept. 22) and Aanderud (Sept. 29) have each garnered Attacking Player of the Week honors this season, while junior defender Alex Mack was named Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 6.

Liberty Lands 8 All-Conference Honors; Van Noord Voted Defensive Player of the Year
Along with claiming the Big South regular season championship, eight Liberty women's players earned all-conference honors, this afternoon, as voted by the conference's coaches. Holly Van Noord headlines Liberty's group of honorees, earning Big South Defensive Player of the Year and becoming the first player in program history to garner the award.

In addition to Van Noord, junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud and senior defender Maddie Boone were selected to the conference's first team, while senior forward Alanna Dunkle and junior midfielder Rebekah Page picked up spots on the second team. Forward Jennifer Knoebel and defender Jordan Kestel were voted to the all-freshman team, and senior forward Helena Pereira garnered all-academic team honors.

Aanderud and Van Noord Break Program Records
Junior midfielder Brittany Aanderud recorded two assists in Liberty's 8-0 over UNC Asheville on Oct. 1, setting a new program record with 21 helpers. The mark surpassed the previous record held by Nancy (Davis) White (1998-2001). Aanderud now has 24 career assists and nine on the season

On Oct. 11, goalkeeper Holly Van Noord earned her 21st career shutout in a 2-0 win over High Point. Van Noord surpassed the previous mark of 20 set by former teammate Karen Blocker (2008-12). The netminder heads into the semifinals with 23 shutouts, accomplishing the feat in just two active seasons.

Campbell at a Glance
Campbell steps onto the field Friday sporting an 8-7-3 overall record. Head coach Stuart Horne's squad finished fourth in the Big South standings with a 6-3-2 mark.

The Camels punched their ticket to the semifinals when senior midfielder Alexis Prada scored the game-winning goal in double overtime, Sunday afternoon, to defeat No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb, 1-0.

Ashley Clark paces Campbell with eight goals, while Kelley Costello-Mays holds the team lead in assists (6). Goalkeeper Alexis Connors has appeared in 14 contests, starting 13. She enters Friday's matchup with a goals-against average of 1.05 and a .821 save percentage.

Liberty's All-Time Marks in Big South Championship
The Lady Flames are 19-8-6 all-time in the Big South Championship, capturing titles in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2013. Liberty is currently second in the conference in tournament wins and is tied for second all-time with High Point with four championships. Radford holds the all-time record with five titles.

Last season marked Liberty's sixth finals appearance, tying the Highlanders for the second most Big South finals appearances in conference history.

The Lady Flames' most common opponents in the tournament have been Charleston Southern (2-1-1), High Point (4-1) and UNC Asheville (2-0-2). The Lady Flames have also played Radford (4-1), Coastal Carolina (2-0), Winthrop (0-1-1), Gardner-Webb (0-0-1), Longwood (0-0-1) and former conference members UMBC (0-3), Elon (2-1), Howard (1-0), Towson (0-1) and Birmingham Southern (1-0).

Lady Flames and the Big South Championship
The Lady Flames captured their fourth Big South Championship by winning the 2013 Big South Women's Soccer Championship. Liberty's other titles came in 2000, 2001 and 2005.

With their appearance in 2013, the Lady Flames have played in six conference finals, posting a 4-1-1 record. Liberty made three straight trips to the Big South final from 1999 to 2001.

Liberty fell in its first appearance in the title game in 1999, 3-2, in overtime to Elon. The following year, the Lady Flames claimed their first championship with a 2-0 victory over Elon and then made it back-to-back titles with another 2-0 title-game win over the Phoenix in 2001.

Liberty returned to the title game in 2005 and added its third trophy since 2000, with a 3-0 victory over UNC Asheville.